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As I was getting ready for work this morning, I had the unpleasant experience of seeing a cockroach scurry out from underneath my desk and dart across the floor.  My first reaction was a squeal and a jump, before my more effective response kicked in, which was to grab a shoe and smash it.  After disposing of this wretched creature, it got me wondering what exactly had attracted this pest into my room and what species it was.  Because roaches are so common in the United States, this is an experience that occurs far too frequently for many of us.  To give you a better idea of what kind of roaches you may face in your home and what they look for, I’ve compiled a list of some of the most common species of cockroaches in the United States.


      1. German cockroach: This is the most common species of roach found in the United States and they seek out damp areas.  German cockroaches also enjoy feasting on many types of human food, which means they are frequently found in kitchens and bathrooms. This species is relatively small only around ½ inch long and brownish in color. German cockroaches have wings but cannot actually fly.


      1. American cockroach: This species, at a whopping 2 inches, is the largest of the household roaches in the United States. These roaches also enjoy damp areas and will feast on virtually anything they can find in your home.  American cockroaches have an oval shape and are reddish brown in color.


      1. Oriental Cockroach: These very dark cockroaches are around 1 inch in length and can emit a very unpleasant odor.  Oriental cockroaches enjoy wet areas, earning them the nickname waterbug. This species enjoys feeding on garbage and decaying material.  These roaches have wings and are capable of flight and will tolerate colder temperatures.


      1. Smokybrown Cockroach: This species of cockroach prefers warmer temperatures and will also search for damp areas to provide it with the water it needs to survive. Smokybrown cockroaches are a very dark brown in color and are around 1 ½ in length.


    1. Brownbanded Cockroach: These cockroaches are quite small, only around ½ inch in length and do not like damp areas like many other species.  They prefer warm, dry areas and will eat a range of organic material throughout your home.  This type of cockroach gets its name from the two light brown stripes across its darker brown body.  Brownbanded cockroaches are more common at nighttime and are also capable of jumping and flying.

There are plenty of other species of cockroaches to be found, but these are most commonly found in homes.  Nobody wants to encounter these repulsive critters in your house.  Most people don’t derive much enjoyment from being able to identify the species of roach in their home, but knowing which type of roach you are facing and what attracts them gives you some good insight into how to prevent them.

In case you were wondering, my morning guest was a brownbanded cockroach, most likely attracted to my clutter of books and notebooks underneath my desk.

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