The Most Common Types of Cockroaches In Texas

German cockroach

Cockroaches prefer to feed and live in dark, moist places so if a cockroach is seen in the daytime, it is possible there is an infestation. They are most often found behind refrigerators, stoves, sinks, under floors, inside drains, and inside of major appliances. Learn about the most common types of roaches you can find in your Texas home.

American Cockroach

One of the largest commonly found cockroaches in Texas, these roaches can reach 1-2 inches long.  Their color is reddish-brown with a shield portion behind the head that is sometimes light brown or yellow.

American Cockroaches are generally outdoor species.  They will live in decaying trees, woodpiles, palm trees, and sewer systems.  It’s easy for them to enter your home because they have flattened bodies.  Main points of entry include cracks around loose-fitting doors and windows, pipes and electric lines that pass through walls, and the attic ridge venting.  They’ll eat pretty much anything including sweets, starchy foods, meats, grease, baked goods, leather, wallpaper paste, and bookbinding.  These roaches have wings and are able to glide.

German Cockroach

Adult German Cockroaches (pictured above) are smaller—about 5/8 inch long—and light brown in color.  They have a thoracic shield behind the head which is marked with two black stripes.  Younger nymphs are even smaller, wingless, and have a pale stripe running down the middle of their body.  Nymphs have a darker color body as compared to adults.

German Cockroaches are mainly indoor species.  A common way homes become infested is by bringing in materials such as grocery bags or boxes that have eggs attached to them.  Bathrooms, kitchens, or other places that provide moisture, food, warmth, and shelter are where you’ll find these smaller roaches.  They’ll search for food and water at night mainly, but you will see them running around during the day too.  These roaches also hang out in kitchen cabinets, under/behind appliances, you might even find them living inside appliances.

Smoky-brown Cockroach

Smoky-brown cockroaches range from 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches long and are dark brown to almost black in color. They require high humidity for survival and their antennae are usually longer than their bodies. They can be found outside in wooded areas that provide shade and moisture. They can also be seen in tree holes, mulch, buildings, and attics. Stacks of firewood, sewer-access openings, and trash piles can contribute to infestations. Once in structures, they are commonly found in attics or near fireplaces. Leaky roofs and plumbing lines attract these cockroaches.

The smoky-brown cockroach prefers warmer climates and is not cold-tolerant. Usually, they will try to come indoors during cooler weather. In addition to this, it fares well in moist conditions and appears to be particularly prevalent in moist concealed areas. It often lives around and inside the perimeter of houses.

Oriental Cockroaches

Oriental cockroaches are black or dark ground and usually grow to about 1 ¼ inches long.  They have short wings and do not fly.  People sometimes refer to these cockroaches as “water bugs,” mainly because they prefer dark and damp places, such as sewers, garbage disposals, kitchens, bathrooms, and indoor storage areas. Filth from these sources is spread by cockroaches to food supplies, food preparation surfaces, dishes, utensils, and other surfaces. Cockroaches contaminate far more food than they are able to eat.  

They are seldom found on walls, in high cupboards, or in the upper floors of buildings. At times large numbers occur in one great mass around leaks in the basement or crawl space areas of homes. Oriental cockroaches are generally found outdoors during warm weather, but in periods of drought, there may be considerable movement into structures, apparently in search of higher humidity. They may enter the home in food packages and laundry or merely come in under the door or through air ducts, garbage chutes, or ventilators.

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