Below are pictures and descriptions of the most common roaches you may encounter in and around your home or office. Click any picture to enlarge. You’ll find a DO-IT-YOURSELF section at the end of each description.
The American roach is one of the two most common roaches we encounter in our homes and offices. They are also known as the “Palmetto bug”. They are one of the largest roaches in our area, growing to a length of 1.25″. They can fly very well. They live in and outside our homes. They prefer moist environments but they are an opportunist surviving on each others feces, our skin cells, hair, soap scum, paint, lead, grease, etc. DO-IT-YOURSELF: Since this roach lives in and out, a good pryrethroid perimeter application is a first line of defense. We recommend boric acid in cracks and crevices throughout the home. For an added boost, you may use foggers in your attic or crawl to flush them from this area too. Note: If you use a fogger in these areas, be sure to turn off all gas appliances.
The Asian roach looks nearly identical to the German roach except Asian roaches are found inside and outside and they can fly. They are relatively small. An adult is about 5/8″ in length. Like all roaches, they are scavengers but prefer carbohydrates. DO-IT-YOURSELF: In some rural areas of the bay area, you’ll find them outside on plants and in mulch beds. A good pyrethroid based insecticide perimeter application is clearly the first choice in control. Inside, use boric acid in cracks and crevices focusing in the kitchen and bathrooms.
The Australian roach is one of two very large roaches we encounter in our homes and offices. It is also known as the “Palmetto bug”. They are up to 1.25″ in length. They are good flyers and live happily in or outside your home. They prefer damp environments, but I’ve seen them surviving on each others urine, feces and get enough water to survive through our humid environment. DO-IT-YOURSELF: This species lives year round in our wall voids, attics, crawls, garages and of course outside. Treating cracks and crevices and wall voids with boric acid will reduce the population inside. You may also use a fogger in your attic or crawl to flush the population. Be sure if you use foggers to turn off any gas appliances. For long range control, a good pyrethroid perimeter application repeated regularly will also aid in the control.
The German roach is known globally as the most disgusting roach. Their infestations can rapidly grow into the hundreds of thousands. It is one of the smaller roaches we encounter with an adult length of up to 5/8″. This roach is unusual because even though it has wings, it does not fly. Reproduction is also unusually successful because the female roach carries her egg sack (otheca) until it hatches. This nearly guarantees the success of the offspring. Another thing unique to this roach is German roaches are not found in our environment. They are transported into our homes in boxes, groceries and even used furniture that came from a home with an infestation. Spraying is useless and can make them worse. Foggers kill a few, but the survivors will scatter, therefore increasing difficulty in controlling. The good news is once they’ve been eradicated, they won’t return unless you bring them in. DO-IT-YOURSELF: Do not spray or use foggers. Try to find the original source of the infestation and make sure you are not bringing them in anymore. Without sprays or foggers, they will regroup near water sources in the kitchen and bathroom. Clean these areas regularly but not with strong cleansers as these will cause the pest to stay away from these areas. Boric acid alone is not efficient enough to cure. Experiment with different foods to find their attraction. Recent studies have revealed sugars have actually become repellent to German roaches due to sloppy overbaiting. Most over the counter baits have sugars and won’t work. Remember any baiting approach requires the pest to be attracted otherwise it won’t work. Once you find an attractive food, add a little boric acid and be patient and persistant.
The Oriental roach is one of the largest roaches we encounter. I’ve seen them over 1.5″ in length. This roach gives a bad odor when provoked. This roach requires a very wet environment and rarely are found inside the home. They enter only during rain through door openings and garages. DO-IT-YOURSELF: A good pyrethroid perimeter application is sufficient should these be sighted inside your home.
Surinam roaches are very common to our area. An adult is about 3/4″ in length. They rarely fly. Due to the way they move, many people mistake them for beetles. They enter the home through door ways and garages only during rain. This pest requires a very wet environment and live in damp areas around your home. DO-IT-YOURSELF: This species does no require any indoor treatment as it only enters during rain. Once they are in, they usually die to to lack of moisture. A good pyrethroid perimeter treatment at the foundation is adequate to remedy.