Cockroach Identification: Differentiating Cockroaches Infesting Your Home

When dealing with a cockroach infestation, you might end up getting confused about the species of cockroach invading your home. It might seem impossible to mistake cockroach for other insects, but there are specific tips that can help you identify one in case you aren’t that familiar with the insect.

Since they pose a big threat to worsening certain health concerns, it is recommended that you have them exterminated thoroughly. Also, you should know how to prevent them from coming back once they are eradicated.

Common Characteristics of a Cockroach

Though these pests are a nuisance, it would be helpful for you to know how to identify one in case you are suspecting an infestation. Some of the common characteristics of a cockroach are the following:


Cockroaches can grow from .25 of an inch to about 2 inches long. Immature roaches are usually 2mm to 5 mm long. Learning the average size of a cockroach will help you identify their life stage and get a successful inspection process.


The colour of these pests may range from light tan to dark shade of brown. There are species with bands or stripes on their heads or backs.


Most roaches have similar shapes. They have flat and oval-shaped bodies and have six legs. These pests also have two antennae that may have varying lengths depending on the type of roach. Though they have wings, not all species fly.

Common Types of Cockroaches

There are common species of these pests that you might see in your kitchen or bathroom. The following are some of these species:

Oriental Cockroaches

These insects are large and have a very dark colour. They are shiny and often found in northern regions of the United States.

Since they are often found in watery areas and even in crawl spaces, they are sometimes called by some as water bugs. They can also hide in piles of firewood or leaves outdoors. These pests also excrete a strong smell and considered as among the dirtiest species.

Brown Banded Cockroaches

Brownbanded cockroaches are brown in colour. They have pronounced stripes or bands on their wings, which is where they got their names. Males have larger wings than females.

They tend to stay in places with drier, warmer, and higher areas. These species usually hide their egg cases under or in pieces of furniture.

American Cockroaches

American cockroaches are reddish brown in colour. They also have a distinct yellow 8 pattern found on the back of their heads.

These are frequently found in basements and sewers, drains and pipes particularly. These cockroaches are the largest when it comes to species infesting houses. Once the temperature reaches 70 degrees above, they start being active and still remains active even in lower temperatures.

German Cockroaches

The colour of this species range from light brown to tan and has two dark bands on their backs. Just like common cockroaches, they have six legs, antennae and bodies are oval shaped.

You can find this species throughout structures. However, they are more prominent in humid and warm areas. Though you may find some in bathrooms and kitchens, they are frequently found in areas where people drink or eat. It is also common in areas where you place or leave the pet food dish.

This species is the most common cockroach you’ll find in properties. Aside from being considered as a nuisance, they are also known to worsen allergic reactions and cause illness outbreaks.

Preventing These Pests from Entering your Home

Knowing that cockroaches can approximately grow at least two inches in length as well as other characteristics, you can know clearly identify the insects infesting your home. To prevent them from entering your home, it is necessary that you keep all possible attractants away.

Learn to keep your home clean and seal all possible entry points as soon as you can. Make use of various pest control products that will help you monitor, trap, and prevent them from coming back.