Cockroaches

Common pest species found in New York:

German Cockroach

Blatella germanica

German cockroaches are the most common species of cockroach in the United States. Their small size makes it easy for them to get into people’s homes by sneaking into packages, boxes, and other shipping materials.

They are attracted to warmth and humidity, often seen darting underneath kitchen appliances and sinks. They also like to hide in toaster ovens and heat-producing electronic equipment.

Size: 1/2–5/8 inch long (13–16 mm); about the length of an adult’s fingernail

Color: Light brown or tan

Shape: Long, oval-shaped body with thread-like antennae, 6 legs, and 2 pairs of wings

Legs: 6 spiny legs that can move very quickly

Antennae: Thin, flexible antennae that are as long as its body

Body: Look for 2 parallel dark bands on the pronotum, extending from behind the head to the base of the wings

Wings: Light-colored wings consisting of a pair of leathery forewings and membranous hindwings; incapable of flight

American Cockroach

Periplaneta americana

American cockroaches are the largest species of household cockroaches in the United States. 

Outdoors, they can usually be found around gardens, garbage, and sewers. Indoors, they tend to congregate in areas with high temperature and humidity, such as bathrooms, boiler rooms, and plumbing lines.

Size: 1–2 inches long (29–53 mm); about the length of a safety pin

Color: Reddish-brown

Shape: Long, oval-shaped body with thread-like antennae, 6 legs, and 2 pairs of wings

Legs: 6 spiny legs that can move very quickly (up to 5 feet per second!)

Antennae: Thin, flexible antennae that are as long as its body

Body: Look for a pale brown or yellow halo behind its head (around the edges of the pronotum)

Wings: Large wings consisting of a pair of leathery forewings and membranoushind wings; capable of short-distance flight when temperatures exceed 85° F

Oriental Cockroach

Blatta orientalis

Oriental cockroaches are primarily an outdoor species that tends to live around sewers, storm drains, gutters, and landscaping beds. They occasionally seek shelter indoors in dark, damp, cool areas of the house like basements, crawlspaces, and around the foundations of buildings.

They’re notorious for their foul, musty odor that smells much worse than other cockroaches. And unlike other cockroach species, Oriental cockroaches have a seasonal cycle that typically peaks in the late spring and early summer.

Size: 4/5–1 inch long (22–27 mm); about the length of a paperclip

Color: Black or dark brown

Shape: Long, oval-shaped body with thread-like antennae and 6 legs; males have 2 pairs of wings

Legs: 6 spiny legs that move relatively slowly and are bad at climbing

Antennae: Thin, flexible antennae that are as long as its body

Body: Smooth, dark-colored body that appears shiny or glossy

Wings: Males have short wings that cover 3/4 of the abdomen, while females appear wingless (only wing pads); neither are capable of flight

Brown-Banded Cockroach

Supella longipalpa

Brown-banded cockroaches are a small species of cockroach with a preference for warm, dry, and high places. They like to hide and deposit eggs in elevated locations like furniture, shelves, kitchen and bathroom cabinets, ceiling light fixtures, picture frames, and wallpaper.

Like German cockroaches, brown-banded cockroaches tend to get into your home via hitchhiking — usually inside infested furniture, electronics, and appliances.

Size: 2/5–1/2 inch long (10–14 mm); about the length of an M&M candy

Color: Light-to-medium brown

Shape: Long, oval-shaped body with thread-like antennae, 6 legs, and 2 pairs of wings

Legs: 6 spiny legs that can move quickly

Antennae: Thin, flexible antennae that are as long as its body

Body: Look for the distinctive brown bands running across its wings and abdomen

Wings: Males have long wings that cover the entire abdomen and can fly, while females have short wings and cannot fly