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American Cockroaches vs. German Cockroaches. What’s the Difference?

Posted by: Cooper Pest

What makes your skin crawl more than thinking about cockroaches? Not much else grosses people out than seeing a cockroach in their kitchen or bathroom. They’re often associated with uncleanly environments and sewer pipes, which makes mere thought of this insect unpleasant. If you see cockroaches in your home, you already know that these negative thoughts can quickly become a reality. Learning how to identify what kind of cockroach is living in your home is the first step towards cockroach control.


What do American cockroaches look like?

Adult American cockroaches are about 1 ½” - 2 ¼” long and they are reddish brown with yellowish edge on the pronotum. You may see them flying around since they are equipped with wings that make them very strong fliers.

The Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences describes American cockroaches as having the following characteristics.

  • The wings of the male extend slightly beyond the tip of the abdomen.
  • Female wings are about the same length as the abdomen.
  • Nymphs are similar in appearance but are smaller and do not have wings.
  • The American cockroach can be identified by its large size and reddish brown color with faded yellow edges on the thorax.

Egg capsules are dark reddish to blackish brown, about 3/8” - ½” long. 

American Cockroach Treatment NJ


What do German cockroaches look like?

Adult German cockroaches are typically 1/2 to 5/8 inch long and are tan to light brown. They have 6 legs and one set of antennae. Although they have fully developed wings, they do not fly. The German cockroach is best identified by its small size and two dark parallel lines running from the back of the head to the wings.


Why do I have cockroaches in my house?

Cockroaches are attracted to areas where they can thrive. This means they need to have access to a continuous food source and high levels of moisture.


Where do cockroaches live?

German cockroaches can be found in kitchens and bathrooms where it is warm, moist, and close to food. They eat nearly anything from soap, glue, and toothpaste, to human and pet foods including starches and dry dog food.


According to the National Pest Management Association, “American cockroaches will move indoors when they experience a food shortage or a significant change in the climate. In general, American cockroaches prefer warm, moist and dark environments with temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. They often enter structures by being brought in on human belongings, coming up from the sewer system via drains or occasional mass migration from other structures, dumps, etc., during warm weather.”

Cockroaches In Kitchen

Pictured Above: German cockroaches living in between plates on top of a refrigerator


Are cockroaches dangerous?

The National Pest Management Association notes that “Cockroaches have been reported to spread at least 33 kinds of bacteria, six kinds of parasitic worms and at least seven other kinds of human pathogens. They can pick up germs on the spines of their legs and bodies as they crawl through decaying matter or sewage and then carry these into food or onto food surfaces. Medical studies have shown that German cockroach allergens cause allergic reactions and can exacerbate asthma attacks, especially in children. This makes German cockroach control incredibly vital.” The best way to avoid any of these medical triggers is to perform cockroach prevention on a regular basis.


How to get rid of cockroaches

Cockroaches are one of the most difficult pests to get rid of once they take up residence in your home. According to National Geographic, cockroaches can withstand forces more than 900 times their body weight without sustaining injury. These resilient pests infest homes in explosive numbers if left untreated.

Roaches In My House

Pictured Above: Several life stages of a German cockroach found by a Cooper staff member.

German cockroaches are usually seen in the kitchen or other areas throughout a home. They are very adapted to humans which makes them even more challenging to eradicate without professional pest control services.


Follow the steps below for cockroach prevention at your home.

  • Sweep the floor in your kitchen on a regular basis to remove fallen crumbs.
  • Wipe under kitchen appliances and over counters to ensure all food residue is gone.
  • Move food in easily opened packaging such as cereal boxes, into sealed containers.
  • Lift food left in dog bowls each night.
  • Use a bathroom exhaust fan or dehumidifier to limit excess moisture.
  • Keep bathroom floors clean and sweep under the counters and sinks on a regular basis.
  • Eliminate as much clutter as possible such as paper bags and cardboard.

If you find cockroaches in your home, only professional pest control intervention will be able to eliminate and control the infestation. You can vacuum up cockroaches as you see them until a pest control professional arrives.



How much does cockroach extermination cost?

Please call us for a customized plan. After a free inspection performed by one of our specialists, an estimate will be provided for the scope of the service. Our cockroach pest control services are charged on an hourly basis.


Where can I find cockroach pest control near me?

Cockroach pest control in NJ and cockroach pest control in Bucks County is possible with Cooper’s effective treatment options.

One-Time Cockroach Service

Once one of our specialists has provided an estimate for the cockroach treatment, one of our state-certified Pest Management Professionals will visit your home to provide treatment. In order to eliminate cockroach populations within your home, one or more of the following activities will take place.

  • Physical removal of live cockroaches
  • Physical removal of food debris responsible for attracting roaches
  • Application of baits in areas prone to roach activity and areas where roach activity was observed
  • Application of Insect Growth Regulators (IGR’s) to stimulate feeding on cockroach baits and interfere with the ability of cockroaches to develop and reproduce

Cockroach populations should be reduced by 75%-85% within the first week. You may see activity on and off, mostly small roaches, for up to one month following the service visit. If you continue to see any roach activity after 30 days from the initial treatment, please call our office for additional treatments.


The Home Traditional Plan

The Home Traditional Plan is a quarterly maintenance plan that provides coverage year round for over 20 common household pests including both American and German cockroaches. If you are seeing cockroach activity at any time, one call to our main office is all you need to schedule an inspection for service. Cockroach treatment procedures are the same as listed in the One-Time Cockroach Service. Unlimited service calls are available in between the quarterly visits for all covered pests if any problems arise.


The Home Intensive Plan

The Home Intensive Plan also provides both American and German cockroach pest control. This plan includes four preventive services per year. Each service is unique and will be accompanied by a detailed 30-point inspection report with detailed findings as well as providing you with important recommendations for your home. Each year you will receive three exterior maintenance services (March – November) and one interior service (December – February). The winter service will focus on the interior of the structure and is geared towards rodents and other pests that may live within the structure. Unlimited service calls are available in between the quarterly visits for all covered pests if any problems arise.


For fast service, call Cooper at 1-800-949-2667 for a Free No-obligation inspection at your home or fill out the form on our website.  If necessary, please have your landlord contact us and speak to one of our representatives.

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