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Get $250 Off Cockroach Service

Cockroaches are challenging to eliminate once they invade your space. They may inhabit any living space, even the cleanest of homes or businesses. Their flat, oval-shaped bodies can easily slip through cracks and crevices, which can allow them to survive and flourish undetected.

Think you may have cockroaches in your home? Keep reading to find out what the most common types of cockroaches look like, how they get into your home, and how to keep them out for good.

cockroach crawling on a sponge

Get help with your roach problems by calling the roach control pros at Hawx Pest Control! Dial (888) 372-9514 today.

What are the most common types of cockroaches?

Only 30 out of the 4,600 known species of cockroaches live with humans, Of the 30, here are the three most common types you may find in your home. 

American cockroach

American cockroaches, also known as palmetto bugs, are 1–2 inches in length, reddish-brown in color, and have a flat body with a figure eight-shaped yellow marking behind their heads. They’re extremely fast runners and can travel up to 50 body-lengths per second.

American cockroaches tend to be found in large buildings, in sewer drains, in basements, and landscaping, especially in subtropical and tropical environments. At times, they may wander into houses, especially in warmer regions.

German cockroach

Lighter in color and smaller in size, German cockroaches are the most common type of cockroach and they thrive in shelters with humans. They are about 0.5 inches in size and live 5–7 months after reaching adulthood. 

What makes German cockroaches so pervasive? Well, they compensate for their shorter lifespans with their rapid maturity and breeding rates. Female German cockroaches produce an egg capsule carrying as many as 48 eggs three days after mating, and the eggs hatch within 20 days. About 30–40 eggs hatch into nymphs at a time. A typical German cockroach nymph completes development in two months. Many overlapping generations of German cockroaches can easily coexist at one time. 

They eat pretty much everything as well, including table scraps, pet food, even the glue found in cardboard boxes and book bindings. Large infestations in apartment buildings or multi-family homes can cause allergic reactions for the people living there, due to direct contact and sometimes even bites from the cockroaches.

Oriental cockroach

The Oriental cockroach, also known as a water bug, likes to live in wet and moist areas like sewers, crawl spaces, and plumbing drains in the kitchen or bathroom. They are usually found in California up through the Pacific Northwest, in the midwest, and in the southern United States. These cockroaches eat garbage, sewage, or decaying organic matter found in plumbing. They’re typically black in color and have a smooth, shiny exterior. An adult can live 1–6 months and often produces its eggs during spring and summer. 

What do cockroaches eat?

Cockroaches, especially German cockroaches, eat just about anything. It’s nearly impossible to eliminate their food sources as they will eat most organic materials like hair, fingernails, glue, paper products, dead insects, and even some inorganic material like plastics. Even if you have managed to cut off all food sources, cockroaches can survive up to a month without food.

two cockroaches eating a piece of food

However, they are extremely sensitive to dehydration and cannot survive more than a week without water. Hunting for water sources is natural to them and they can live off of the smallest amount of moisture.

Where do cockroaches come from?

Cockroaches can invade your home through holes or cracks in your walls or floors, through the sewer, or from drains. If your neighbor has a cockroach problem, they can easily spread into your home through these entry points. Some cockroaches can even find their way into your home by hitching a ride on items from the outside, such as in the boxes you might bring home from a large warehouse store, or any other building with a cockroach infestation. German cockroaches are almost always introduced to a structure via human activity.

What are signs of a roach infestation?

It’s not super easy to find signs of an early roach infestation, since roaches are nocturnal and typically come out only at night. But, if you do see a single cockroach, it can mean there are more. If you do you see them out in daylight, this is a sign of overcrowding, which means there are a lot more hiding out of plain sight. 

Contact a pest control expert, like Hawx, as soon as you spot any of the following signs.

Droppings and smear marks

Cockroaches leave behind droppings or smear marks wherever they crawl—on your walls, furniture, or even your food. Check hidden areas and crevices, such as floor corners, cabinets, under sinks, fridges, or stoves. 

Smaller cockroaches produce small black feces similar to coffee grinds or black pepper, while larger species produce cylindrical feces the size of a grain of rice. Smear marks and small, brown stains are unsolidified cockroach waste.

Unusual odor

Cockroaches taint everything they touch with a musty smell, attracting other roaches to the site. This musty smell comes from their pheromones found in their feces or dead bodies. This odor becomes stronger as the infestation grows larger.

Egg casings

Cockroaches lay or carry oval-shaped capsules called ootheca. These capsules may contain more than 20 eggs at a time. The shell of the ootheca is left behind once the eggs hatch. If you find this shell around your floor or in your cabinets, it’s a pretty clear sign there are hatched roaches in your home.

Skin sheddings

As they mature into adulthood, cockroaches shed their tough exterior shells about 5–8 times. These skins are often light-brown and oval-shaped like their bodies. Look for them in possible nesting locations or other hidden areas. 

Property damage

Check for damage on packaging and other organic materials in your kitchen. While cockroaches do not harm the structural integrity of any buildings, they can cause small property damages overtime to your paper products and books, wallpaper, or some furniture. Since cockroaches eat glue and similar materials, parts of your home that have adhesives may deteriorate. Check your baseboards for smear stains. In serious infestations, the sheer volume of cockroach colonies in a home can damage walls, floors, or insulation.

What are common roach hiding places?

Roaches tend to look for dark, warm, damp spaces close to food sources. The kitchen alone has plenty of locations that are perfect for a cockroach colony. 

Here are some more common places to check for German cockroaches—the most common type of cockroach you’ll find in your home. 

Kitchen appliances

Check for egg casings, droppings, or skin sheddings under and behind the fridge, stove, and small kitchen appliances where there may be crumbs and other debris. 

Inside cabinets

Food spills and unsealed packaging attract unwelcome pests, especially cockroaches. Cabinets under sinks make excellent nesting grounds. Look for the telltale signs mentioned above in the corners of these spaces.


Cockroaches often live close to pipes because they provide moisture. Unfortunately, these pipes run throughout your home and will not be immediately accessible to you. 

You can possibly catch sightings of cockroaches in areas with exposed plumbing such as the basement or your boiler room. A floor drain is also a common hiding spot and entry point for German cockroaches or water bugs.


While not as common in furniture as bedbugs, cockroaches can easily use parts of your furniture as a nesting ground. A cockroach may leave their eggs to hatch inside your couch, under the bed, or in the closet.


If you eat while you’re working, crumbs and food particles can fall into your keyboard or other crevices. Cockroaches are able to maneuver through the tiniest spaces and may hang around more if they see regular food sources near your nice warm electronic devices.


If you have any cardboard boxes lying around and you suspect a cockroach infestation is happening in your home, dispose of the boxes immediately as they are a food source for cockroaches. Multiple boxes stacked together make a good nesting and breeding location for them.

Are roaches dangerous?

Roaches can be potentially harmful to humans if infestations aren’t managed correctly. This is because they can carry harmful bacteria and diseases, and they contaminate everything they touch. The pathogens found in their bodies and legs are discarded everywhere they go. These waste products also attract more cockroaches and feed the young nymphs to maturity, making the infestation more difficult to control with time.

Roaches can spread E. coli and salmonella or bring in diseases such as dysentery, cholera, and listeriosis into your home. Some people may develop allergic reactions or rashes from having a cockroach come into contact with their skin or from a rare cockroach bite. Empty egg casings, exoskeletons, and cockroach waste products can also trigger breathing problems, particularly if you have allergies or asthma.

Help, I have a German Cockroach infestation! How do I get rid of them?

Cockroach infestations can be difficult to handle. Because German cockroaches rapidly reproduce, it’s important to act quickly. To ensure the effectiveness of pest treatments, like the comprehensive service from Hawx, it’s important that homeowners and pest specialists work together.

cockroach on floor past a door

How can Hawx help with German cockroaches?

Our German Cockroach treatment includes removing all visible cockroaches using a vacuum and a thorough inspection of the home for cockroach activity.  The inspection helps us to identify (and then communicate to homeowners) what places in the home are optimal for cockroaches and to determine optimal treatment zones.

Hawx Pest Control will address a German cockroach infestation right at the source, destroying their nests, identifying and blocking any possible entry point, and fully cleansing your home of cockroach residue and smells. We tailor our treatments to the season for maximum effectiveness.

Following treatment, we recommend a monthly recurring service where these products are reapplied and the house is reinspected.

How do you prevent cockroach infestations before they start?

These tips can help you prevent German cockroach infestations in the future. 

Clean thoroughly

Regularly vacuum your floors, upholstered items, and furniture so there are no crumbs lingering on these items. Keep kitchen areas clean and free of food debris. Check and sweep under and behind kitchen appliances and inside your cupboards.

If you spot any smear marks or stains, wash and scrub the area with lukewarm water and soap. Then let it dry. Spray disinfectant on the area and let it sit for a few minutes, Wipe with a dry cloth and wash the area with lukewarm water and soap. 

If there are smear marks on your clothes, rub chlorine on the smeared area and let it sit on the fabric before putting it in the wash. When handling and cleaning smears, make sure not to touch them directly. 

Seal off any openings

Place weather stripping around windows and doors and replace damaged or torn window and door screens. Check your home for any cracks on the exterior and make sure to seal any openings.

Store food properly

Remember to also keep trash cans and compost bins covered and secured, and make sure your food is properly stored and sealed.

Use a dehumidifier

Use a dehumidifier to dry out your basement. Inspect pipes and fixtures inside and outside your home and immediately fix any leaks.

Inspect cardboard before you bring it inside

Before bringing boxes, furniture, or appliances into your home, inspect the items first, especially when you are purchasing these items secondhand.

Ready to get help with your cockroach problem? We’ve got you covered and can’t wait to discuss the best options for you. 

With free estimates at Hawx, you have nothing to lose by giving us a call about your home intruders.

Get $250 Off Cockroach Service

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