There are over 4,600 species of roaches in the world. They vary widely in color, behavior, and size, depending on the species and the habitat. The most common pest cockroaches in the United States typically range from a 1/2 inch to 2 inches in length. Let’s take a closer look at how to identify roach species by size.
- German roaches (blattella Germanica) are one of the most common household pests. They reproduce quickly and can hide effectively because they are small. German cockroaches usually only grow to be about ½ an inch long. They are most easily identified by the two dark, parallel lines that run from behind their heads to their wings.
- Brown-banded roaches (Supella longipalpa) are small like their German cousins. They are also usually only around ½ an inch long. They are brown or tan in color and have light colored bands across their wings and abdomen. They also prefer warm, indoor areas and can become problematic quickly.
- Oriental roaches (blatta Orientalis) love cool, moist environments like sewers, drains, and basements. Oriental roaches are nearly black in color and range from 1 – 1 ¼ inches long.
- Smoky brown roaches (periplaneta fuliginosa) prefer the outdoors, but may wander into homes in search of food, water, or shelter. They look very similar to American roaches, except they are uniformly dark brown in color and do not have the light pattern on the thorax that American cockroaches have. Smoky brown cockroaches are one of the larger species and can grow up to 1½ inches long.
- American roaches (periplaneta Americana) are also very common in homes. They love dark, warm environments like sewers, bathtubs, crawl spaces, and storage areas. American cockroaches are the largest of the common pest roaches and can grow from 1½ – 2½ inches long. They are reddish-brown, and the area just behind the head is often outlined with a yellow band.
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