Cockroach Identification

What are cockroaches?

Cockroaches are a pest that no homeowner ever wants to deal with, but with over 4,000 species living worldwide, at some point, almost everyone comes into contact with them. These scavengers feed on a variety of food and non-food items and can thrive in almost any indoor or outdoor environment, making them difficult pests to control. Cockroaches are a type of insect and have a flattened, oval-shaped body, six legs, and antennae about the same length as their body. Some species have wings and can fly, but most scurry around from place to place.

a cockroach crawling among tomato slices in a kitchen in tukwila washington

Some of the most common roaches invading properties in Spokane, WA, are the German cockroach, American cockroach, Oriental cockroach, and brown-banded cockroach.

German cockroaches

German cockroaches prefer the indoors and are a major pest inside homes and businesses - especially restaurants.

American cockroaches

While they prefer to live outside, American cockroaches often find their way into homes and other structures. Concerning body size, they are the largest cockroach found in the United States.

Oriental cockroaches

Oriental cockroaches are also commonly called “water bugs” because you’ll find them living indoors and out around drains and sewers.

Brown-banded cockroaches

Brown-banded cockroaches differ from other species of roaches in that they prefer to live in hot, dry locations. 

Are cockroaches dangerous?

Cockroaches live in and crawl through garbage, sewers, drains, excrement, and carrion. The bacteria and human pathogens these insects carry on their bodies and legs are just some of the reasons why they are dangerous pests.

When they get into homes, cockroaches contaminate food and food prep surfaces, which expose people to salmonella poisoning, diarrhea, and dysentery. Other reasons why cockroaches are dangerous are that their shed skins and excrement trigger allergies and asthma attacks.

Roaches also produce an unpleasant musty odor that can overtake a home, and their chewing and feeding habits cause damage to fabrics, upholstered furniture, rugs, and clothing.

Why do I have a cockroach problem?

Cockroaches move into homes on their own while foraging for food sources. They get in through cracks in the foundation, exterior walls, drains, and through spaces found around utilities that enter a building. Cockroaches also get inside by hitchhiking their way inside delivery boxes or used furniture or appliances, for example.

Where will I find cockroaches?

Most species of cockroaches live outside, away from people. They are environmentally beneficial by helping to break down decaying materials. Only the cockroach species have adapted to living near or with people that are pests and need to be controlled and eliminated. Outside, cockroaches live and hide in yards and properties near our homes behind tree bark, under mulch, in gardens, around trash receptacles, in compost piles, and in and around sewers and drains.

After finding their way indoors, cockroaches seek out dark, damp nesting locations, including behind appliances, in drawers, under cabinets, and around pipes and drains. However, the brown-banded cockroach prefers the opposite. They like to inhabit hot, dry locations and are often found in attics, above ceilings, upholstered furniture, or upper cabinets.

How do I get rid of cockroaches?

For homeowners looking for a responsible approach to getting rid of the cockroaches on their property, we suggest partnering with Alta Pest Control. We focus on low-impact pest control that effectively eliminates cockroaches and other household pests while minimizing the impact on the environment. Let our family-owned company protect your home and family from our area’s most persistent household invading pests! If you are looking for more information about our cockroach control services, reach out today and speak with one of our friendly and helpful professionals!

How can I prevent cockroaches in the future?

With the help from the local pest control professionals at Alta Pest Control and the following tips, you can prevent cockroaches from becoming a problem on your property.

  • Examine your home’s exterior walls and the foundation and repair any openings you find.

  • Place weatherstripping around windows and doors and install door sweeps on exterior doors.

  • Seal off spaces around wires and other utilities entering your home.

  • Repair leaky pipes and fixtures.

  • Pick up uneaten pet food each evening.

  • Keep outdoor eating areas (decks, patios, porches) free of food debris.

  • Inspect deliveries, potted plants, and used furniture or appliance for roaches before bringing the items inside.

  • Use dehumidifiers to dry out basements and keep moisture levels low in your home.

  • Store any leftover food in the refrigerator or containers with airtight lids.

  • Place tight-fitting or locking lids on outdoor trash cans and compost bins and rinse out jars and cans before putting them in recycle bins.


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