Cockroach Types

Updated April 11, 2024

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

There are few insects that carry a bigger social stigma than the cockroach. There mere presence brings judgements of uncleanliness. The reality of where cockroaches live and how they come to be in our homes is very different from the prevailing social beliefs. For starters, there are over 70 different species of cockroaches in the United States. The preferences and habits of each species of cockroach differs from the next, and that means that the pest control method used to get rid of them will differ as well.  Foundation Pest Control has the knowledge and experience to identify your cockroach culprit and target a pest control program to eliminate them from your home.  Let’s take a closer look at the five species of cockroaches you are most likely to encounter here in Memphis, Tennessee. 

German Cockroach Foundation Pest Control Memphis
German Cockroach

The German Cockroach

The German Cockroach is the classic cockroach that we all fear and loathe. German cockroaches are the most common in the United States and they rely on humans for survival. They are indoor insects and tend to make their homes in kitchens and bathrooms. They prefer environments that are warm and humid and offer plenty of fermented food. Like any pest that lives near humans, German cockroaches are capable of transferring disease and have been directly blamed for outbreaks of typhoid and dysentery. German cockroaches can range from rusty brown to dark brown and are identified by the two distinct stripes on their backs.

The American Cockroach

The American cockroaches are approximate 1 to 1 & 1/2 inches long and with body length rust-colored wings. American cockroaches prefer to make their homes outdoors in moist, shaded areas but they will invade homes when the ground becomes saturated after periods of heavy rains. Because they feed on decaying organic material, including human waste, American cockroaches are known to transmit bacteria that cause food poisoning. American cockroaches commonly gain entry to homes or businesses through the sewer and plumbing system.

American Cockroach Foundation Pest Control Memphis
American Cockroach

The Brown Banded Cockroach

The Brown Banded Cockroach is similar in size and coloring to the German Cockroach. They grow to approximately ½ inch in length and are identified by the two horizontal bands on their backs. The Brown Banded Cockroach differs from the other species in its preference for dry environments and starchy food instead of damp climates and organic matter. They are known in some areas as “Furniture Roaches” because they prefer to live behind paintings, in the crevices of appliances, or in the hollow legs of furniture. Like their German counterparts, Brown Banded Cockroaches live indoors year round, and never venture outside.

Oriental Cockroach Foundation Pest Control Memphis
Oriental Cockroach

The Oriental Cockroach

The Oriental Cockroach is approximately an inch long and dark brown to nearly black in color. Both the male and female Oriental Cockroach have wings but thankfully they do not fly like their American cousins. Oriental Cockroaches prefer the outdoors, but they will come inside the house looking for warmth when it gets cold outside. They are most at home in dark, wet places. In fact, they are known as “Water Bugs”,  or “Water Roaches” in many areas. “Black Beetles” is another common alias. Plumbing systems are the Oriental Cockroaches ‘ most common entry point and it is not uncommon to spot them in garages, basements, and under the kitchen or bathroom sinks.

The Smokey-Brown Cockroach

The Smokey-Brown Cockroach is approximately an inch long and, you guessed it, they are smokey-brown in color.  Smokey_Brown Cockroaches prefer to live outside where they feed on vegetation. Both the male and female Smokey-Brown Cockroach have wings and often fly around light sources at night. 

Have cockroaches and need them gone?

Dealing with pests inside your home is stressful. The sight of a cockroach is enough to undermine your ability to relax in your own home. To make matters worse, Cockroaches are known to spread disease which makes the need to remove them even more pressing.  Foundation Pest Control has been providing top-notch pest control services in the Memphis area since 2010.  We offer regular, flexible pest control management as well as specialty treatments to deal with the more challenging home invaders. Call us at (901) 302-5206 today or contact us to schedule a free inspection.