What Does a Cockroach Look Like?

Cockroaches have flat, oval-shaped bodies. The bodies of cockroaches are oily to the touch and may be cool or warm, depending on the temperature of their environment. The head of a cockroach is small and is covered by a shield-like pronotum. Cockroaches have six long, spiny legs that allow them to run quickly across almost any surface. The specialized pads located at their tarsi are used for scaling surfaces and even allow for walking on walls and ceilings. A cockroach’s mouth is directed down and backwards. Some species of cockroaches have wings that are flattened against their backs, although not all cockroaches use these wings for flight.

Male cockroaches are typically smaller than females. Female specimens often tend to be larger and, in some species, the females lack wings where the males possess them. Cockroach eggs are encased in egg cases called oothecae, which are commonly oval-shaped and dark brown in color. Young cockroaches appear similar to adults but are pale in color and do not have wings. After molting several times, young cockroach nymphs become mature adults.

German cockroaches are brown and approximately 13 to 16 mm long. Oriental cockroaches can grow to be much larger and are black in color. American cockroaches are reddish-brown in color and are one of the longest domestic cockroach species, measuring approximately 40 mm in length. Pennsylvania wood roaches measure approximately 20 mm in length. Male adults of this species are tan in color.

cockroach crawling on wood