A Guide To Cockroach Identification & Control

What are cockroaches?

Cockroaches are adaptable, which has allowed this group of insects to thrive while others have become extinct. Cockroaches are nocturnal. They hide during the day and are active at night to forage for food. Cockroaches are scavengers and feed on a variety of both food and non-food items. They have flattened, oval-shaped bodies and six legs that are covered in spines. Their long antennae are usually the same length or longer than their body, which comes in a variety of colors, including black, brown, and dark red.

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Common species of cockroaches living in our North Carolina and Virginia service area include the American cockroach and the German cockroach.

American cockroach
The American cockroach, or '"palmetto bug" as they are commonly called, is a large species of cockroach. These roaches prefer to live outside, but do sometimes find their way inside homes and businesses. They are identified by a yellowish-colored figure-eight-like pattern that sits behind their head. American cockroaches are strong fliers and are attracted to light.

German cockroach
German cockroaches are a part of a small species that like to live indoors. They are most often identified by the two black stripes that run horizontally down behind their head. German cockroaches have wings but are rarely seen flying.

Are cockroaches dangerous?

Cockroaches are not aggressive, they do not typically bite people, and they do not sting. However, cockroaches are considered dangerous pests due to the large number of bacteria, parasites, and human pathogens they have the potential to spread. Cockroach feces, saliva, and shed skins can trigger allergies and asthma attacks. This is especially true in the case of children or people with weakened immune systems. Additionally, having cockroaches living in your home can create a stressful environment and may cause the contamination of food and food prep areas.

Why do I have a cockroach problem?

Cockroaches regularly make their way inside while foraging for food. Common entrance points for cockroaches include cracks in the foundation and exterior walls, spaces underneath doors and around windows, through open windows, vents, doors, and through holes in screens. Cockroaches are also accidentally brought inside homes and businesses inside deliveries, in used furniture and appliances, in cardboard boxes, or on potted plants that have been brought inside from outdoors.

Where will I find cockroaches?

American cockroaches prefer to live outside on trees (especially palmetto trees), in garden areas, underneath mulch, and in sewers and drains. They move inside while searching for food, and when the weather outside becomes too hot and dry. Inside, American cockroaches nest and hide out in humid rooms like kitchens, bathrooms, basements, and laundry rooms. German cockroaches are more often than not found living inside. They particularly like living in homes and restaurants. German cockroaches nest in warm, humid, dark, secluded places, including behind appliances, underneath cabinets in kitchens and bathrooms, in laundry rooms, and in pantry areas.

How do I get rid of cockroaches?

To eliminate cockroaches from your residential or commercial property, professional pest control is highly recommended. When you partner with the pest control professionals at Four Seasons | HomeTown Pest Control, our experienced and friendly professionals will provide the tailored, comprehensive services needed to eliminate your property’s initial infestation. We then have the ability to provide ongoing preventative treatments to stop cockroaches and other household pests from returning.

To learn more about ridding your Outer Banks, NC or Chesapeake, Suffolk, Portsmouth, or Norfolk, VA area property of cockroaches, give Four Seasons | HomeTown a call!

How can I prevent cockroaches in the future?

To help you stop cockroaches from taking over your home or commercial property we offer the following prevention tips:

  • Seal spaces found around wires, cables, pipes and other utilities entering your home through its exterior.

  • Make sure weather stripping is placed around windows and doors.

  • Use dehumidifiers to reduce humidity levels inside your home.

  • Repair leaky pipes and fixtures.

  • Quickly wipe up spills, and vacuum your home’s floors regularly.

  • Inspect packages for cockroaches before bringing them into your home.

  • Don’t purchase used furniture or appliances for use within your home. If you do, thoroughly inspect it for roaches.

  • Store all food in air-tight containers or in the refrigerator. Don’t leave food on tables in bowls or in other open containers.

  • Put into place a professional pest control service from the North Carolina and Virginia pest control experts at Four Seasons | HomeTown Pest Control.


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