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German Cockroach vs. American Cockroach

What's the Difference Between German Cockroaches and American Cockroaches?

The first step towards controlling pest problems is being able to identify the pest. Several factors can help homeowners distinguish between German cockroach vs. American cockroaches infestations:

  • Size: The biggest home-invading species, American cockroaches measure about 1 ½ - 2 inches in length. German cockroaches tend to be much smaller at about half an inch long.

  • Appearance: German cockroaches are tan with dark, parallel lines running from their heads to the ends of their wings. On the other hand, the American cockroach is reddish-brown with a thorax edged in faded yellow.

  • Location: Although both pests prefer warmth and moisture, German cockroaches generally gather in kitchens and bathrooms, while American cockroaches are likely to be found in basements, crawl spaces and around or inside drains.

  • Frequency: Because the German species is the most common of the two, an infestation is more likely to be the result of German cockroaches rather than American cockroaches.

American Cockroach Illustration

American Cockroach Illustration

German Cockroach Illustration

German Cockroach Illustration

Problems Caused by Cockroaches

While there are many differences in appearance between German and American cockroaches, these species can cause similar issues. Since both pests will spend time in drains, sewers, and other unsanitary places, they collect plenty of bacteria on their bodies. German and American cockroaches can transfer germs to a surface simply by walking on it.

Cockroach body fluids also produce a faint odor. If a large number of the pests are present, the smell can become overwhelming. As they feed, they also contaminate pantry items and potentially pass diseases to humans.

Cockroach Control

Homeowners avoid cockroach problems with regular cleaning. Vacuuming up crumbs, sanitizing sinks, and wiping counters can go a long way towards prevention. However, if faced with either German cockroaches or American cockroaches, the best course of action is to call Orkin for removal.


Dig Deeper on German Cockroaches

German Cockroach vs. American Cockroach

Phases of the German Cockroach Life Cycle

German Cockroach Nymphs

German Cockroach Diseases

German Cockroach Nests

Brown-Banded Cockroach vs. German Cockroach

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