Common types of cockroaches in Washington
Cockroaches are found living all over the world, they are prolific creatures that are highly adaptive and unfortunately can become a problem for any property owner. In Washington, the species of cockroaches that cause the most issues for people include the German cockroach, Brownbanded cockroach, American cockroach, and Oriental roach.
German roaches have flat, oval shaped bodies that are light brown or tan. They also have two black stripes behind their heads. Females of this species have wider abdomens than their male counterparts. Both sexes have fully developed wings but do not fly.
The largest house-infesting roach in our region, American cockroaches are reddish brown in color and have a lighter color outlining their bodies. They also have a yellowish figure-8 pattern behind their head. Both the males and females are winged and are strong fliers.
Oriental cockroaches are known for their smooth, shiny black bodies. Females have wider bodies than males. Neither are capable of flight. Another distinguishing characteristic of Oriental roaches is the unpleasant musty smell they produce.
Only seen occasionally in Washington state, brownbanded cockroaches are a smaller species. Females are shorter than males and have stockier, heavier bodies. Females have undeveloped wings that are reddish brown to dark brown in color. Males have wings that are dark brown in color at the base and lighter towards the tips. Brownbanded cockroaches have unique tan bands on that cross their wings.
Why do I have a problem with cockroaches?
Unfortunately there are many ways to develop a cockroach infestation. These pests may sneak inside through cracks and openings on the exterior of the structure. They might enter through vents or arrive in boxes, packages, bags, and other deliveries made to your home or business. Cockroaches can also be found hiding inside of used furniture and used appliances.
Where do cockroaches hide?
Hiding spots vary by species. Brownbanded roaches prefer to live inside and will seek out warm, raised areas. Ceiling voids, closets, and attics are common spots to find these roaches. Oriental roaches (also known as water bugs) are often found in dark, damp spaces that are in close proximity to water sources such as pipes and faucets. Laundry rooms, basements and crawl spaces are common places to find Oriental cockroaches. Outside, American cockroaches are often found under mulch, in trees and flower beds as well as in sewer systems. Inside they’ll migrate towards kitchens, bathrooms, and basements. German roaches also prefer the indoors over the outside and can be found inside cupboards and drawers, behind appliances, underneath sinks, and in laundry rooms.
Are cockroaches dangerous?
Yes, cockroaches are dangerous. They have the potential to deposit viruses, bacteria, parasites, and human pathogens on food, dishes, counters, and other surfaces inside of structures they are invading. What makes this especially concerning is the fact that they may have traveled through sewers, garbage piles, and excrement prior to their arrival in your home or business. Diseases they spread include:
- Salmonella poisoning
In addition to the illnesses they can introduce, the shed skins and feces that cockroaches leave behind can trigger asthma attacks and allergic reactions in young children, people with weak immune systems, and the elderly.
How do I get rid of cockroaches?
If you’ve found roaches crawling around in your home or business, contact ProSite Pest Control right away. Our team will conduct a free onsite inspection to accurately identify the species and to develop a treatment plan to get rid of these pests. Reach out today to learn more!
How do I prevent a roach problem?
To keep roaches out, we cannot emphasize the importance of keeping your home or business clean. Sanitation is absolutely critical when it comes to preventing these bugs. We also recommend the following cockroach prevention tips:
- Fix leaky pipes and fixtures to help eliminate water sources
- Use dehumidifiers to reduce humidity levels inside of your home
- Store all food in air-tight containers or in the refrigerator
- Inspect packages before bringing them into your home
- Use caution and inspect thoroughly before bringing used items into your home
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