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Cockroach Identifying Characteristics

Evidence shows approximately 4,000 cockroach species found all around the world. Only 30 of the flea species have been linked to human habitation. Fifty cockroach species have been reported in the United States and five in the State of Colorado. As a home and/or business owner, it is crucial to be familiar with cockroach infestations, especially the species reportedly found in Colorado.

When a cockroach infestation is discovered in your home and/or business, you need to initiate an immediate search to determine the actual species. While all cockroach species share similar characteristics and behaviors, they have unique food and reproduction preferences. For example, some cockroach species do not frequent indoors for one reason or another. These insects should not be a concern for homeowners, but it could still play in your favor to know this information. Cockroaches begin as tiny eggs, developing into young insects and eventually adults.

Cockroach Species In Colorado

Cockroach species found in Colorado include the American, German, brown banded, wood, and oriental.

  • German Cockroach Species – Adults range between ½” to 5/8” in length, with a mixture of tan and dark brown coloring. Located near the head, tiny stripes called “racing.” Like man insects, cockroaches are oftentimes referred to as “prolific breeders.” A single female adult cockroach can produce a reproductive capsule with up to 40 eggs. Throughout the female cockroach’s lifetime, she will produce no more than five of these egg capsules. These species are not against invading a homeowner’s space. They can be found living inside appliances, walls, drywall, baseboards, floorboards, décor items, and kitchen cabinets. The good news, the German cockroach does not have flying capabilities.
  • American Cockroach Species – Adults range between 1-3/8” to 2” in length, with a mixture of dark brown and red coloring. Tiny dark markings are found on the head plate, a prominent characteristic utilized for identification purposes. The lifespan is extensive compared to some other cockroach species. An egg takes between 6 to 24 months to mature. In safe living conditions, the American cockroach species can live up to three years easily. Their common hiding places include near plumbing fixtures.
  • Wood Cockroach Species – Adults range between ½” to 1” in length, with shorter wings compared to some other cockroach species. It originates in the Eastern part of the United States but is not known to frequent indoors, fortunately for homeowners. The male American wood cockroach has flying capabilities that are frequently utilized at night to access bright lights. Their common hiding places include downspouts, guttering, wood siding and shingles, and piles of firewood.
  • Spotted Mediterranean Cockroach Species – Adults range between 1/3” to ½” inch in length, with a mixture of tan and dark brown coloring. Originating from Europe, the species made its way to the United States over the decades. The most common hiding place is generally outdoors in foliage (plants, trees, and shrubs). It has flying capabilities, which are most commonly utilized at the edge of dark to access lighting.
  • Oriental Cockroach Species– Adults range between 1” and 1-1/4” in length, with a mixture of black and dark coloring. Only the male develops wings. The most common hiding places are sewer systems, outdoor sheds, and structures in towns and cities. The diet is comprised of fecal material, decayed organic material, and waste.
  • Smokey Brown Cockroach Species – Adults range between 1” and 1-1/2” in length, with a mixture of glossy red and brown coloring and wings. They are commonly found in the Southern United States – Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana. However, they have been reported in other parts of the United States. Experts believe the species is transported through shipping services from one area to another.
  • Surinam Cockroach Species – Adults range between ¾” to 1” in length, with a mixture of tan and brown coloring. The small plate located behind the head is dark brown in color and the wings are tan. These are outdoor cockroaches that can be found living in greenhouses. The reproduction process is unique compared to other cockroach species. The female carries the egg capsule internally until what is believed to be a live birth.
  • Brownbranded Cockroach Species – Adults range between ½” to ¾” inch in length, with a light brown body and racing stripes on the plate behind the head. Infestations are becoming less frequent in the state of Colorado and throughout the United States.

Why Do I Have A Cockroach Infestation?

The main reason your home is infested is that it offers the perfect environment for cockroaches. It offers a plentiful supply of food, easy access to the outdoors, and a warm environment. Cockroaches generally access homes through plumbing pipe openings. They are notorious for breeding large batches of eggs.

Cockroach – Does It Pose Health Risk For Humans And Pets?

Cockroaches are not to complicate things for humans when they are living indoors. These small insects have been linked to salmonella and asthma in vulnerable humans. They feed on just about any type of food, including table scraps, dog kibbles, feces, and decaying organic material. Cockroaches are known to bite humans or animals, but they can cause stress and anxiety in severe cases. They are also known to carry diseases that can spread to humans through their feces. The most symptoms associated with the diseases spread through these insects include dysentery, diarrhea, and upset stomach.

How To Eradicate Cockroaches?

Cockroach infestations are some of the most difficult to eradicate. The more severe the infestation, the more drastic the treatment that begins with good housekeeping measures. Remove all food sources, including waste and food scraps, from your home routinely. Do not allow dishes to pile up in the kitchen sink. Remove dog and cat food immediately following each meal. Store perishables in the refrigerator and non-perishables in plastic sealed containers. A thorough in-home inspection by our exterminators will help determine the severity of your cockroach infestation, the culprit (the type of cockroach species), and the best course of action. We generally recommend pesticides to eradicate all cockroach infestations.

How Long Will It Take For The Exterminator To Arrive?

Once the exterminator is dispatched to your home, the expert should arrive within a few hours. It may take anywhere between 24 to 48 hours to dispatch an exterminator out to your home.

Cockroach Treatment – Is It Safe?

Cockroach treatment does not necessarily need to be dangerous. In fact, when the application is performed correctly, the home’s occupants are not at risk. We utilize organic pesticides that do not contain harmful chemicals to eradicate most cockroach infestations. The United States Environmental Protection Agency-approved cockroach solutions have been deemed safe for humans, pets, and the environment.

Future Cockroach Prevention

Once your home is free of cockroaches, you will need to continue working to prevent a future infestation. Follow the aforementioned tips provided above to keep your home cockroach-free. Frequent inspections are necessary to detect cockroaches before they have the opportunity to transition to an infestation. Contact our Colorado office to learn more about our EPA-approved cockroach solutions. We work long hours to ensure access to the best cockroach pesticides on the market. These products have been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency. Our exterminator will offer more suggestions and tips following the cockroach treatment.

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