Cockroaches are resilient insects that can spread disease and contaminate food in infested areas.

What are cockroaches?

Cockroaches are hearty pests that can be found successfully living in urban, suburban, and rural environments. Cockroaches are prolific breeders and can become a major problem in both homes and businesses. These common invaders have flattened, oval-shaped bodies and six legs covered in spines. Their long antennae are usually the same length as their bodies. Cockroach nymphs look very similar to their adult counterparts, but are wingless and smaller in size.

Five of the most common species of cockroaches living in our area of northeastern Texas are the American, brown-banded, German, Oriental, and wood cockroach.

American cockroach
These cockroaches are very large. They have distinctive, yellow-colored figure-8 patterns located behind their heads. Both males and females are strong fliers.

Brown-banded cockroach
As their name suggests, brown-banded cockroaches have dark brown bodies with two lighter-colored brown bands going across their body. Males have fully developed wings and can fly while the females have underdeveloped wings and cannot fly.

German cockroach
German cockroaches are light brown to tan in color, have two identifying black stripes running horizontally down behind their head, and can fly, but rarely do.

Oriental cockroach
Oriental cockroaches are highly attracted to moist areas, and therefore, are also commonly referred to as water bugs. Adults grow up to 1 inch in length and are shiny and dark brown. While females have wide bodies and short wings, the males have narrow bodies and longer wings. Neither are capable of flight.

Wood cockroach
Wood cockroaches are dark brown in color. Their thoraxes and the front portions of their wings are outlined in a whitish-yellow color. Males have fully developed wings and can fly for short periods, while females have underdeveloped wings and cannot fly.

Are cockroaches dangerous?

Yes, cockroaches are dangerous pests. Cockroaches are not aggressive and rarely bite people but carry a large number of bacteria, parasites, and human pathogens on their bodies and legs that contaminate food, utensils, dishes, and the surfaces of your home. Dysentery, salmonellosis, gastroenteritis, and E. coli can all be spread by cockroaches. Also, the cockroach’s feces, saliva, and shed skins trigger allergies and asthma attacks, especially in children or people with weakened immune systems.

Why do I have a cockroach problem?

Cockroaches find their way onto properties and then into homes and businesses while foraging for food, water, and suitable nesting sites. Roaches find their way into homes and other buildings through cracks and crevices in the foundation and exterior walls, spaces underneath doors, around windows, vents, open windows, doors, and holes in screens. Cockroaches can also accidentally be introduced into homes and businesses inside of deliveries, used furniture and appliances, cardboard boxes, or on potted plants.

Where will I find cockroaches?

Cockroaches can be found living both indoors and outdoors. Some species, like German roaches, prefer living inside, while others like the wood cockroach, prefer to live and breed outside. Inside, cockroaches typically prefer to hide in spaces that are warm, humid, and dark including in laundry rooms and pantries, behind appliances, under kitchen and bathroom cabinets, and around drains. Outside, cockroaches are found hiding behind the bark of trees, in landscaping, around gutters, and under mulch.

  • American cockroaches primarily live outside in and around sewers and drains, in flower beds, or under mulch. They sometimes move inside during periods of bad weather or while foraging for food. Inside, they are usually found in basements, bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms.

  • Brown-banded cockroaches are common indoor pests. Unlike many other species of cockroaches, they prefer dry, warm locations. Inside of a home, they are often found in upper cabinets in kitchens or bathrooms, and under furniture.

  • German cockroaches are a species of cockroach that prefers to live inside. They are common invaders of homes and businesses, especially restaurants. They typically take up residence in bathroom and kitchen areas.

  • Oriental cockroaches live outside in sewers, in piles of firewood, in leaf debris, and under landscaping ties. During summer, they often move inside while seeking cool, damp shelter. Inside of homes, they are found in basements, bathrooms, and crawlspaces.

  • Wood cockroaches are another species that mainly live outside. Near homes, wood cockroaches are typically found behind wooden shingles and in woodpiles. They usually only find their way inside after being accidentally brought inside on firewood. They are attracted to light and can be seen gathering around indoor and outdoor lighting fixtures and televisions.

When are cockroaches most active?

American cockroaches are most active when the temperature is between 70 and 80 degrees, which is why they are so prevalent in McKinney, Texas and other southern states. German cockroaches are most active when the temperature is above 70 degrees and thrive inside in of the temperature-controlled environment your home or business provides then. In general, females tend to be much more active than males.

Most species of cockroaches here in northeastern Texas are nocturnal pests but will sometimes be seen moving around during the day. Brown-banded cockroaches are most active when the temperature is over 80 degrees. They are mainly nocturnal but, in the case of a large infestation, they can be seen moving around during the day. Oriental cockroaches are most active during the heat of the summer and early fall months. This species is very nocturnal and is rarely, if ever, seen during the day. Wood cockroaches are also most active at night. They are highly attracted to outdoor lamps, lighting fixtures, and light that is emitted from television screens.

Interesting facts about cockroaches

1. There are more than 4,000 species of cockroaches living worldwide, with German cockroaches being the most common species.

2. Cockroaches are known for their ability to scatter away when the lights are turned on, but did you realize they can run more than 3 mph. No wonder they are so hard to catch!

3. Cockroaches have an open circulatory system and breathe through holes in each of their body segments; both of these features allow cockroaches to live for about a week without their heads. They finally die after a week because they are unable to eat or drink without their heads and mouths.

How do I get rid of cockroaches?

To eliminate and/or prevent cockroaches, partner with Around The Block Pest Control. Our friendly and highly trained professionals deliver modern and effective pest control solutions. We will work closely with you to eliminate cockroaches and stop future cockroaches from making themselves at home in your Texas home or business.

Around The Block Pest Control offers a variety of residential and commercial pest control services: general pest coverage, organic services, bed bugs control, fire ant control, mosquito control, rodent control, and more. To learn more about the cockroach services we offer in northeastern Texas, contact Around The Block Pest Control today!

How can I prevent cockroaches in the future?

In addition to our professional services, the following tips can help to prevent problems with cockroaches invading your property in northeastern Texas and surrounding areas:

  • Wash dirty dishes, remove trash from your home or business daily, and vacuum regularly.

  • Seal gaps or cracks in the foundation and exterior walls of your structure.

  • Place a barrier between any mulch and your structure’s foundation.

  • Place weather stripping around all exterior windows and doors.

  • Replace any torn window or door screens.

  • Fix leaky pipes, fixtures, and faucets.

  • Use dehumidifiers to reduce moisture levels.

  • Inside, keep all food in airtight containers or the refrigerator.

  • Check any potted plants before bringing them inside from outdoors.

  • Make sure that outdoor trash cans and compost bins have locking lids.

  • Maintain gutters and make sure downspouts are directing water away from the outside of your structure.