Four species of cockroaches are commonly found throughout the United States. They vary somewhat in appearance and habits, but in general they are all rather large, flattened insects, brownish or dark in color and fast-running. They seek concealment in the daytime and when disturbed at night. Roaches and their egg cases (otheca) are easily transported into buildings in furniture, boxes, grocery bags, animal feed sacks, and other similar containers. In apartments and large buildings, they migrate from one area to another along water pipes or other openings between units. Some species enter structures from outdoors or come in through sewer openings.
American Cockroach – Is reddish brown in color. It is the largest of the common cockroaches (about 1 1/2 inches long as an adult). They are found in dark, moist areas such as basements, sewers and steam heating tunnels.
Brownbanded Cockroach – Is about 1/2 inch long. It is brown with two lighter bands across the base of its wings and abdomen. It may infest the entire building, but particularly it likes high places behind picture frames and in in upper cabinets. Infestations usually start from luggage, furniture or other boxes materials shipped from place to place.
Cuban Cockroach – Is a pale green cockroach species. The Cuban cockroach or Panchlora nivea is occasionally found in the Houston and surrounding area.
German Cockroach – Is a common species found in kitchens. Adults are about 5/8 inch long. They are tan in color with two dark stripes running lengthwise on the area just behind the head. They will often occur in large numbers.
Oriental Cockroach – Is about one inch long as an adult. They are shiny black or very dark brown. The female has small wing pads while the wings of the male cover about 3/4 of his abdomen. They are found in damp places such as basements and may enter buildings through sewer openings. They may live outdoors during the summer months and move from home to home.
Wood Cockroach – They will normally spend their lives outdoors in wooded areas. Males are good fliers and are often attracted to lights. As a result they may be found indoors but do not stay long.
Proper identification is essential to controlling roaches. Explore sanitation before applying insecticides. The destruction of breeding places and the removal of food and water sources are essential in obtaining a satisfactory level of cockroach control. Common "hide-outs" in homes and restaraunts are behind built-in shelves and cabinets, in and beneath stoves and refrigerators, under sinks, in hollow equipment legs and other "voids" and behind baseboards. In basements, cockroaches hide beneath trash, old papers, in cupboards, washing machines, shelves, and cracks and crevices in concrete block walls. Pest control can be obtained by treating the entire area where cockroaches hide.