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There are four species of cockroaches that are common in New York: German, American, Brown-banded and Oriental. This is a minuscule number of species compared to the over 4,000 cockroach species in the world. Although each of these species has distinct looks and traits, they behave similarly.

  • Small Size: Cockroaches have oval bodies, wings, six legs, and spines on their legs. Easily hides in cracks and crevices. Male cockroaches can fit through an opening as small as 1/16 inch in width or the thickness of a quarter.

  • Resilience: Cockroaches can live for up to a week without their heads.  They can hold their breath for 40 minutes and survive being submerged in water for half an hour.

  • Quick Speed: Cockroaches are very fast and can run up to three miles an hour.  A newborn cockroach, which is about the size of a speck of dust, runs nearly as fast as its parents.

  • Irregular Feeding Habits: Cockroaches can survive for up to one month without food and one week without water.  They are attracted to all types of foods, including sugars, proteins and fats. breed quickly.

Who Knew German Cockroach

Species of Cockroaches In Long Island

German cockroach

German Cockroach

What You Should Know:
  • German cockroaches are one of the most common species found in homes & businesses.
  • Adults measure 13 to 16 mm (1/2-5/8") long and are pale brown in color, with two dark-brown stripes behind the head.
  • These insects typically live up to 12 months and produce more eggs than other species.
  • One egg capsule can carry 30-40 eggs.
  • These roaches are not capable of flight


American Cockroach

What You Should Know:
  • American cockroaches are the largest cockroaches commonly found in homes & businesses.
  • American cockroaches are reddish-brown to brown in color, with light yellow bands around the shield behind the head.
  • Both males and females of this species have wings and are capable of flying short distances.
  • Adults are about 34-53 mm (1 3/8-2 1/8") in length.

  • An egg capsule can carry 14-16 eggs.
Brownbanded cockroach dorsal 4

Brown-banded Cockroach

What Should Know:

  • They are light brown. They get their name from the two distinctive brownish bands running around their wings and abdomen.
  • Both males and females have two light yellow bands across their bodies.
  • Brown-banded cockroaches can grow up to 13 mm.
  • Only males are capable of flight.
  • One egg capsule can carry 10-18 eggs.
  • This species jumps when disturbed.

Oriental Cockroach

What You Should Know:

  • Shiny black to a dark reddish-brown color.
  • One egg capsule can carry about 16 eggs.
  • Oriental roaches are commonly called "black beetle", "shade roach" or "waterbug".
  • The males can measure up to 25 mm (1") in length and the females can measure up to 32 mm (1 1/4").
  • Primarily an outdoor species, oriental roaches are often found in sewers, under debris, leaves, stones and firewood.
20_german-cockroaches-on-crackers (1)

How Dangerous are Cockroaches?

Cockroaches are gross and dirty. They pick up germs on the spines of their legs as they crawl through decaying matter, which may be transferred to humans on hard surfaces and through food contamination. They can spread diseases including salmonellosis, cholera, dysentery, plague, leprosy, and giardia. Cockroach droppings, saliva, shed skin and other body parts contain potent allergen proteins known to cause allergic reactions and exacerbate asthma symptoms, especially in children.

How to Prevent an Infestation?

  • Clean up spills, food, and dirty dishes.
  • Keep counters free of crumbs, sweep and vacuum the floors often to reduce the accumulation of cockroach allergens.
  • Store food in airtight containers.
  • Keep garbage in a sealed container and dispose of it regularly to avoid attracting pests.
  • Pay extra attention to kitchens and bathrooms - especially under appliances and sinks - as these areas are particularly vulnerable to cockroach infestations.
  • Seal cracks and holes around the outside of the home including utility pipes.
  • Properly ventilate basements and crawl spaces to prevent moisture buildup. Install humidifiers where excess moisture is a problem.

What to Do If You Have an Infestation?

Remember, sprays only work for cockroaches on the surface and will not eliminate the ones that are not seen. If you suspect you have an infestation, contact us for a free inspection. EM Pest Control will recommend a course of treatment that will eliminate the cockroaches that are not just out in the open, but also behind walls and in inconspicuous places.