What are Cockroaches?

cockroach crawling on top of a toothbrush


Cockroaches are a type of insect belonging to the order Blattodea. They are characterized by their flattened, oval-shaped bodies, long antennae, and typically dark brown or black coloration. Cockroaches are notorious for their resilience and adaptability, thriving in various environments worldwide.

These insects are scavengers and omnivores, feeding on a wide range of organic matter, including food scraps, decaying plant material, and even other insects. Cockroaches are often found in areas with access to food, water, and shelter, such as kitchens, bathrooms, basements, and garbage areas.

What Kinds Of Cockroaches Are There?

There are thousands of cockroach species worldwide, but some of the most common types that are often encountered by humans include:

German Cockroach (Blattella germanica):

  • Size: Approximately half an inch to five-eighths of an inch.
  • Characteristics: Light brown with two dark stripes behind the head.
  • Habitat: Commonly found in kitchens and bathrooms, prefers warm and humid environments.
What are German Cockroaches?
German Cockroach

American Cockroach (Periplaneta americana):

  • Size: Large, reaching lengths of up to two inches.
  • Characteristics: Reddish-brown with a yellowish figure-eight pattern on the back of the head.
  • Habitat: Often found in damp, warm areas like sewers or basements, but can venture indoors for food or water.

Oriental Cockroach (Blatta orientalis):

  • Size: About one inch in length.
  • Characteristics: Shiny black or dark brown.
  • Habitat: Prefers cool, damp environments such as basements and drains.

Brown-banded Cockroach (Supella longipalpa):

  • Size: Approximately half an inch.
  • Characteristics: Light brown with distinctive bands across the wings and abdomen.
  • Habitat: Tends to favor warm and dry areas, often found in upper cabinets and ceilings.

Smokybrown Cockroach (Periplaneta fuliginosa):

  • Size: About 1.5 inches.
  • Characteristics: Dark brown to black.
  • Habitat: Thrives in warm, humid conditions, commonly found outdoors but may enter structures.

Madagascar Hissing Cockroach (Gromphadorhina portentosa):

  • Size: Large, up to four inches.
  • Characteristics: Brown, with a unique hissing sound produced by exhaling air.
  • Habitat: Native to Madagascar, but sometimes kept as pets.

Australian Cockroach (Periplaneta australasiae):

  • Size: Around 1 to 1.25 inches.
  • Characteristics: Brown with yellow markings on the thorax and a yellow margin on the wings.
  • Habitat: Common in warmer climates, often found in gardens and greenhouses.

Wood Cockroach (Parcoblatta spp.):

  • Size: Varies by species, generally smaller than other common cockroaches.
  • Characteristics: Light to dark brown, adapted for outdoor habitats.
  • Habitat: Typically found in wooded areas and natural environments, less likely to infest indoor spaces.

These are just a few examples, and the characteristics and habitats of cockroach species can vary. While some are more commonly associated with indoor infestations, others primarily inhabit outdoor environments. Effective pest control strategies often involve identifying the specific species and implementing targeted measures based on their habits and preferences.

Why Are Cockroaches Bad?

Cockroaches are considered bad for several reasons, primarily due to the health risks and nuisances they pose:

Health Risks:

Cockroaches are known carriers of bacteria, pathogens, and allergens. They can pick up these contaminants from unsanitary environments and spread them to surfaces, food, and utensils in your home. Exposure to cockroach allergens can trigger asthma attacks and allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.

Food Contamination:

Cockroaches are scavengers and will feed on almost anything, including food scraps, garbage, and even feces. When they crawl over food preparation areas and surfaces, they can contaminate food with disease-causing bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli, leading to foodborne illnesses if ingested.

Property Damage:

Cockroaches can cause damage to property by chewing on paper, cardboard, fabrics, and even electrical wiring. They may also leave behind fecal matter and secretions that stain and damage surfaces over time.

Unpleasant Odor:

Cockroaches emit a foul-smelling pheromone that can linger in areas where they congregate. This odor can be particularly noticeable in large infestations and may be difficult to eliminate without professional intervention.


Cockroaches are often associated with poor hygiene and unsanitary living conditions. Their presence in a home or business can tarnish its reputation and create discomfort for occupants and visitors.

Overall, while cockroaches play a role in natural ecosystems, they are considered pests when they invade human environments. Their ability to spread disease, contaminate food, and cause property damage makes them undesirable and a nuisance that requires effective control measures to manage.

How Fast Can Cockroaches Reproduce?

Cockroaches are notorious for their rapid reproduction rates, with the ability to multiply quickly under favorable conditions. The exact reproductive rate varies depending on factors such as species, environmental conditions, and availability of food and shelter.

In general, cockroaches are prolific breeders capable of producing large numbers of offspring in a relatively short period. For example, a single female German cockroach (one of the most common species) can produce multiple egg cases (oothecae), each containing up to 40 eggs. With a short incubation period of around 28 days and the ability to mate shortly after reaching maturity, a single female German cockroach can potentially give rise to thousands of offspring within a year under optimal conditions.

Other species of cockroaches may have different reproductive rates, but most share the ability to reproduce quickly and prolifically. Factors such as temperature, humidity, and the availability of food and shelter can influence the rate at which cockroaches breed.

Given their rapid reproductive abilities, early detection and effective control measures are crucial for managing cockroach infestations and preventing population explosions. Regular inspections, sanitation practices, and targeted treatments can help keep cockroach populations in check and minimize their impact on homes and businesses.

How To Get Rid of & Prevent Cockroaches From Your Home With Professional Pest Control

At Alta Pest Control, we understand the importance of maintaining a roach-free environment in your home. Our comprehensive approach to cockroach control combines effective eradication methods with proactive prevention strategies. Here's how we can help:

Thorough Inspection:

Our skilled technicians conduct a thorough inspection of your property to identify areas of cockroach activity and potential entry points. By pinpointing the root cause of the infestation, we can develop a targeted treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.

Effective Treatment Methods:

Utilizing advanced pest control techniques and products, we implement effective treatment methods to eradicate existing cockroach populations. Whether it's employing baits, sprays, or dusts, we ensure thorough coverage to eliminate roaches at all life stages.

Preventive Measures:

In addition to eradication, we focus on implementing preventive measures to keep cockroaches from returning. Our experts provide guidance on sanitation practices, sealing entry points, and reducing conducive conditions to deter future infestations.

Professional Expertise:

With years of experience and expertise in cockroach control, our team is equipped to handle even the most challenging infestations. We stay up-to-date on the latest industry trends and techniques to deliver superior results and ensure your satisfaction.

Customized Solutions:

At Alta Pest Control, we understand that every home and infestation is unique. That's why we offer customized solutions tailored to your specific situation. Whether you're dealing with a minor roach problem or a full-blown infestation, we have the expertise and resources to address your needs effectively.

Don't let cockroaches take over your home. Trust Alta Pest Control for professional cockroach control solutions that deliver results. Contact us today for a comprehensive inspection and customized treatment plan to rid your home of roaches and prevent their return.

Cockroach Frequently Asked Questions

Are cockroaches dangerous?

People are at risk from Cockroaches. They live in filthy areas and then move into our homes carrying bacteria, human pathogens and parasites on their legs and bodies. They can contaminate your food and surfaces with their saliva, excrement and blood once they have entered your home. They can also contaminate your home with feces and shed skins, which can aggravate asthma and allergies, especially in children.


Cockroaches also produce a substance that stains surfaces and gives off a foul odor. Cockroaches can chew through and destroy paper and fabrics. They will scatter if you disturb them. However, if they are large enough, they might bite you when you're asleep.

Do I have cockroach problem?

Cockroaches can be prolific breeders so a few of them could quickly become a problem on your property. If they find suitable nesting areas and food sources, Cockroaches can quickly become a problem in your home or business. Cockroaches can quickly find their way into your home through cracks in the foundation, gaps in the roofline and windows. You can also introduce these insects into your home or other buildings by bringing used appliances, furniture, and groceries bags.

Where will I find cockroaches in my area?

It all depends on which species of cockroach you are looking for. Australian and American cockroaches both prefer to live outside, but they can easily move indoors if necessary. Outside cockroaches can be found in forests, gardens, garbage piles, and close to drains and sewers.

Others, such as the German roach, prefer indoor life. They are common pests in restaurants, grocery stores and hotels. Cockroaches that live inside prefer to hide in dark, damp places. Cockroaches love to nest indoors in places like under sinks, kitchen drawers, cabinets, wall voids close to pipes, basements, and bathrooms.

How can I rid myself of cockroaches?

Alta Pest Control, a family-owned business, is the best option to eliminate cockroaches in your home or office. You can rest assured that your pest problems won't return and we will respond quickly. Our pest experts provide high-quality control services using only the best products to eradicate cockroaches from your properties. Find out why Alta Pest Control is the preferred pest control company for your neighbors. Give us a shout today!

What can I do to prevent cockroaches from returning in the future?

Partner with Alta Pest Control to prevent cockroach problems. Also, follow these prevention tips:

  • You can replace white outdoor light bulbs with yellow or LED bulbs. They are less appealing to cockroaches or other insects.
  • As much as possible, keep outdoor lights off.
  • You can seal cracks and gaps in your foundation and exterior walls.
  • Between any soil or mulch, place a stone or crushed-rock barrier.
  • Exterior doors can be fitted with door sweeps.
  • Weatherstripping should be placed around doors and windows. Replace any broken or damaged screens.
  • Dehumidifiers can be used to reduce moisture in your home.
  • Check that gutters are free of debris and that water is directed away from your house.
  • Place tightly sealed lids on compost bins and outdoor trash cans.
  • Make sure outdoor eating areas are clean.
  • All food and pet food should be kept in your home.

How Alta Pest Control Protects Your Home From Pests

All of our treatment plans are customized to your home and yard. We do this to ensure that you get the exact coverage you need to keep your home safe. All of our technicians and inspectors are experts in their field, so you can be sure that you are getting top-tier protection.


One of our expert technicians will inspect every inch of your home and business for pest activity. Then they will create a custom plan based on their findings.

Initial Service

Once your custom plan is created, we will treat your home and yard to give you immediate relief from pests. Then, we will create a boundary around your property to prevent more pests from entering.

Follow Ups

After the initial service, we will conduct regular maintenance to ensure that your pest problems remain solved. We will also conduct free inspections for problem pests, such as termites.

Alta Guarantee

When it comes to pest control, we put our money where our mouth is. If we treat your home, and you're still seeing pests, we'll come back and retreat for free. We'll always have your back.


Your Trusted Pest Control Provider

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