Cockroach Identification & Prevention

What are cockroaches?

Cockroaches are adaptable creatures that live worldwide near people in urban, suburban, and rural settings. They are scavengers and survive on a variety of food and non-food items. These insects have oval-shaped bodies and six legs covered in spines. Their long antennae help to pick up vibrations and are the same length or longer than their bodies.

many cockroaches in a bathroom in a home in memphis tennessee

Listed below is a quick description of the most common cockroaches living throughout the Memphis Metro area of Tennessee:

American cockroaches
These insects are the biggest species of cockroach living in the United States. Adults range in size from 1-1/4 to over 2 inches long. American cockroaches have mahogany-colored bodies with a unique yellowish, figure-8 marking behind their heads. They also have fully developed wings and can fly short distances.

Brown-banded cockroaches
As their name suggests, these cockroaches have bodies that are dark brown with lighter-colored bands going across them. Males have fully developed wings, but females do not. These cockroaches prefer to live in very warm, dry locations.

German cockroaches
German cockroaches prefer to live indoors. They have light brown or tan-colored bodies with two horizontal black stripes behind their heads. These cockroaches also have fully developed wings, but they are not capable of flying. German cockroaches move quickly and scatter when disturbed.

Oriental cockroaches
Often found in and around drains and in other areas of high moisture, Oriental cockroaches are also called “water bugs.” These cockroaches have smooth, dark bodies and neither males nor females are capable of flying. 

Are cockroaches dangerous?

Cockroaches contaminate food, food prep areas, and the other surfaces of your home or business with bacteria, disease, and parasites, making them dangerous pests. Cockroaches can spread things like E.coli and salmonella which can make people very ill. In addition, cockroach excrement and shed skins trigger allergies and asthma attacks, especially in young children. Cockroaches also damage personal property like books, curtains, fabrics, upholstered furniture, and other personal belongings by staining them with their excrement or by chewing on them.

Why do I have a cockroach problem?

Cockroaches often live outside near homes, under mulch, in gardens, in trashcans, and in compost bins. When their location is close to your home or business, there’s a chance they’ll be lured inside while foraging for food. Cockroaches get in through spaces in the foundation, gaps around windows and doors, openings around air-conditioners, or through vents or drains. These creatures can also get inside in boxes, potted plants, used appliances, or packages.

Where will I find cockroaches?

You are going to find most species of cockroaches living wherever there are people and abundant sources of food and shelter. When living outside, they seek refuge in a variety of locations depending on their species, such as behind tree bark, under mulch, in gardens, around dumpsters or trash cans, in compost piles, and sewers. Indoors, most species seek dark, damp nesting locations including behind appliances, in drawers, under cabinets, and around pipes and drains. The exception to this rule is the brown-banded cockroach: they prefer dark, dry, and hot locations and are often found in attics or the upper parts of kitchen cabinets.

How do I get rid of cockroaches?

If you are looking to get rid of cockroaches from your Memphis property, the professionals at Dart Pest, Lawn & Wildlife are here to help. Our EPA-trained and certified technicians will solve your cockroach problems once and for all! Our affordable ongoing services protect people, homes, and yards from cockroaches and our area's most common pests. To learn more about our exceptional residential or commercial pest control services, reach out to Dart Pest today!

How can I prevent cockroaches in the future?

Utilize the following prevention tips to help keep cockroaches out of your Memphis area property:

  • Fix leaky pipes and fixtures and use dehumidifiers to reduce moisture levels in your home or business.

  • Seal any gaps or cracks in the foundation and exterior walls of your property.

  • Wash dirty dishes, vacuum regularly, and wipe down counters daily.

  • Install weather-stripping around all windows and doors.

  • Replace torn window or door screens.

  • Remove trash from your home daily.

  • Eliminate clutter where cockroaches can hide.

  • Keep grills and outdoor eating areas free of food debris.

  • Make sure outdoor trash cans and compost bins have locking lids.

  • Store all food, including pet food, in airtight containers or the refrigerator.

  • Place a barrier of stone or crushed rock between any mulch or soil and your foundation.

  • Replace white outdoor light bulbs with yellow or LED lights that are less attractive to cockroaches and other insects.


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