While there are many different species of cockroaches throughout the world, cold northern winters prevent populations from thriving outdoors in our region. The three most common species of cockroaches in New England are German, American and Oriental.
The German Cockroach is far and away the most prevalent roach in homes and businesses. An adult German cockroach is anywhere from ½ to ⅝ of an inch in length. They are winged, even though they don’t fly, and have long thread-like antennae. They range in color from tan to a medium brown and have two short, dark stripes located just behind the head. German cockroaches breed quickly, reaching sexual maturity in 4 months and produce egg capsules containing an average of 40 immatures. The immatures, called nymphs, are small, very dark in color, with undeveloped wings. In growing populations, nymphs will be the majority of the population.
These roaches measure up to 1½ inches in length, are reddish brown in color and are capable of flying when the temperatures are very hot. They prefer warm, moist environments like sewers and steam tunnels.
About one inch in length, they are mahogany brown to black in color and are not capable of flying. The adult males and females look different from each other. The males have short wings which do not cover the entire abdomen, and the females have little wing pads. Their preferred environment and control measures are similar to the American roach, but they tolerate much cooler temperatures.
Pennsylvania Wood Cockroach
This dark brown roach can grow up to one inch in length. The male, which is capable of flying short distances, is larger than the female, which is unable to fly. The female deposits the egg capsule containing up to 32 eggs behind the loose bark of a log or stump. Introduction into the house is usually on firewood or attraction to porch lights and exclusion issues (gaps, cracks, or open doors). They never reproduce indoors, so treatment is only applied outside of the home.