Cockroaches


Facts, Identification & Control

Appearance

What Do They Look Like?
Cockroaches can measure over 50 mm (2 in) length, with tropical species tending to be larger than those found in other climates. Cockroaches have six legs, two antennae and some have wings. However, most winged cockroaches are not particularly adept at flying. Read more about what a cockroach looks like.

How Did I Get Cockroaches?

People often blame a cockroach problem on poor housekeeping. While cleaning floors, kitchens, and bathrooms is useful and very important to reduce food sources used by cockroaches, they may get inside and cause an infestation for other reasons. These pests can hitch a ride on infested items brought inside, get indoors via cracks and gaps in the home’s exterior, enter through drains or sewer pipes and a few species of cockroaches can fly inside when attracted to lights.

Read about cockroach infestation signs

How Serious are Cockroaches?

While cockroaches are one of the most common pest problems, they are also one of the most stubborn. Infestations are hard to get rid of because the insects hide in a host of areas, breed quickly, have a very high reproductive potential and may develop resistance to pesticides.

Cockroaches often taint food with E. coli and Salmonella bacteria, so it’s not safe to ignore these pests. Exposure to cockroach feces and the body parts of dead roaches over time can even trigger allergies and asthma.

How Do You Get Rid of Cockroaches?

What Orkin Does
The Orkin Man™ is trained to help manage cockroaches. Since every home is different, the Orkin technician will design a unique program for your situation.

Keeping roaches out of your home or building is an ongoing process, not a one-time treatment. Orkin’s exclusive A.I.M. solution is a continuing cycle of three critical steps—Assess, Implement and Monitor.

The Orkin Man™ can provide the right solution to keep roaches in their place…out of your home or business.


How Long Does It Take to Get Rid of Cockroaches?

The length of time it takes to rid your home of a cockroach infestation depends largely upon species and size of infestation. Many over-the-counter products homeowners utilize often prove ineffective against a cockroach infestation. These pests are extremely adaptable and may even be resistant to some home extermination methods.

Cockroach Facts

Cockroaches belong to Kingdom Animalia, Phylum Arthropoda, Class Insecta and Order Blattaria. Some species invade human dwellings and are considered pests. Others are beneficial to the environment as important recyclers of decaying organic material. 

The pest cockroaches can be carriers of various diseases because they are commonly found near waste deposits or in the kitchen, where food is present.

Restaurants may also experience cockroach infestations.

Cockroaches emit unpleasant odors and may also produce sound.

The Madagascar hissing cockroach is the most famous of these vocal cockroaches, although more common species may produce quieter clicking or chirping noises.

two cockroaches crawling

Cockroaches can wreak havoc on your home. To win the war in cockroach control, here’s what you should know:

  • Entry: Cockroaches can enter your home in many different ways, from the outside through cracks and crevices, vents, sewer and drain pipes. We even bring them in on products like grocery bags, boxes, purses and on our person!
  • Ideal environment: Your home is an ideal breeding ground for certain pest species of cockroaches. With plenty of food, warmth, water and nesting sites, they can remain active all year round.
  • Reproduction: Cockroaches reproduce quickly. For every one you see there can be many, many more hiding and multiplying behind your walls.
  • Evasiveness: Because cockroaches typically are nocturnal, if you’ve seen one, you probably haven’t seen them all. The few cockroaches you see by day could mean they were likely forced out by overcrowding; a possible sign of severe infestation.
  • Allergies/Asthma: The debris created by cast-off cockroach skins, dead bodies and droppings can aggravate allergies, especially in children and sensitive individuals.
  • Do-it-yourself ineffectiveness: Cockroaches are better at hiding than you are at finding them, and their eggs are naturally protected from many over-the-counter insecticides. Without special equipment, materials and know-how, cockroach control can be a losing battle.

More Information

For information on other pests, visit the pest library home page.