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Cockroaches in North Carolina: Our Pest Control Tips

June 05, 2023

By Daniel Baldwin, BCE, CCFS, CP-FS

It’s important to know the types and habits of cockroaches in North Carolina, as they can spread illnesses and trigger allergic reactions in some people. This post will teach you how to identify cockroaches and spot the warning signs of infestations so you can take action to protect yourself and your family.

Are cockroaches common in North Carolina?

Cockroaches are common in North Carolina and the surrounding states. Although our state is home to many types of terrain, the consistently warm, humid climate offers ideal conditions for cockroaches to thrive, especially during the rainy spring and summer seasons. 

Types of cockroaches in North Carolina

Many people think of cockroaches as a single pest, but the cockroach category includes more than 4,600 species that all pose different challenges. Read on to learn about the cockroaches most common in North Carolina.

American cockroaches

If you see a red cockroach in North Carolina, it’s probably an American cockroach. These pests are usually around 1 to 2 inches long and red-brown in color. One of their most easy-to-spot characteristics is a yellow, figure-eight-shaped marking directly behind their heads.

The American cockroach in North Carolina prefers to live outdoors, but can find its way into buildings through cracks and crevices in their search for food. They usually infest restaurants and large commercial buildings. However, it’s common to see them in kitchens and bathrooms in homes.

Close up of a palmetto bug or american cockroach on wood
American Cockroach

German cockroaches

German cockroaches are the type that infest residential homes most often. Able to lay up to 48 eggs at a time, German cockroaches’ rapid reproduction means a small number of the pests can quickly turn into a large infestation. The German cockroach is about 0.5 inches long and smaller than the American cockroach. It has a flat, light brown-colored body with two black stripes behind its head.

Close up of a german cockroach on a green leaf
German Cockroach

Oriental cockroaches

Due to wet conditions, the Oriental cockroach is common in North Carolina. This species prefers damp areas, seeking out sewers, crawl spaces, and drains to live in. Most Oriental cockroaches are around 1 inch long. They’re easy to identify by their shiny black bodies. 

Oriental Cockroach crawling on a branch
Oriental Cockroach

Brown-banded cockroaches

Brown-banded cockroaches are less common than the previously discussed species but can still pose a problem in many North Carolina homes. These pests usually live their entire lives indoors, where they find hiding places high up on walls and in upper cabinets. At a glance, they can be mistaken for the German cockroach due to their size and color. However, the brown-banded cockroach lacks the two stripes behind its head and has darker brown bands along its wings.

Brown-banded cockroach crawling on an egg carton
Brown-Banded Cockroach

Signs of a cockroach infestation 

Some warning signs that a North Carolina cockroach species has infested your home or place of business include:

  • Feces that may resemble coffee grinds or black-brown grains of rice, depending on the size of the cockroaches
  • Smear marks and brown stains caused by smeared feces
  • Pervasive musty odors given off by the feces and dead bodies of cockroaches
  • Empty oval-shaped egg capsules called ootheca
  • Empty skins shed when cockroaches molt
  • Damage to cardboard, books, wallpaper, and other paper products

You may also spot cockroaches scattering if you turn the lights on in the middle of the night, as the pests are nocturnal and most active when humans usually sleep. Keep in mind that it’s possible to have an infestation without ever actually seeing a cockroach because they are fast movers and skilled at hiding.

How to get rid of cockroaches in North Carolina

Follow these tips to deal with an infestation of cockroaches in North Carolina.

Block potential entry points

Cockroaches will take advantage of cracks in caulking, gaps under doors, and crevices in the structure of your home. Walk the perimeter of your house outdoors and indoors, looking carefully for possible entry points. Be sure to address vulnerabilities by making repairs and sealing any potential openings.

Fix leaks and plumbing problems

All species of cockroaches need water to live, and can get the moisture they require even just from leaky taps and pipes. Repair your plumbing issues as quickly as possible to discourage cockroaches looking for a cool drink.

Keep trash out of reach

An open trash can may attract cockroaches looking for food. Keep indoor and outdoor cans covered with a tight-sealing lid. While dealing with an active infestation, remove indoor garbage from the kitchen and bathroom daily.

Clean regularly

It’s a myth that cockroaches only infest homes that are dirty. Even a small amount of debris like crumbs or pet food can provide an appealing food source that attracts the pests. However, cleaning your home regularly can limit cockroaches’ access to food. As a part of your cleaning routine, wipe down counters and tables, mop the floor weekly, and run the vacuum daily.

Control moisture

Damp conditions in a home can encourage cockroaches. To reduce moisture in the air, use air conditioning during the summer months and run a dehumidifier.

Seek help from the pros

A professional pest control company with experience treating cockroaches in North Carolina can help you deal with infestations. Pest control technicians can assess the infestation and then develop a treatment plan to address it while also advising you on reducing the risk of cockroaches returning.

Cockroach control services 

If you’re dealing with cockroaches in your North Carolina home or business, Hawx Pest Control is ready to assist you. Our licensed pest control technicians can identify nesting areas and use state-of-the-art technologies and tools to treat cockroaches. In addition, our technicians can alert you to potential entry points that need addressing and create a maintenance plan to help control cockroaches in the future.

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