Skip to Content



Most Common Types

There are over 3,500 cockroach species in the world but only four are prominent pests in the U.S.: German, American, Oriental, and Brown Banded. If you know what the cockroach looks like, it will help you dertmine how to best solve your roach problem. Use our roach identifier to help determine the type of cockroaches bugging you.

What They Look Like

Roaches can be large or small, measuring approximately 1/2 to 2 inches inch in length. German cockroaches tend to be yellowish-brown or brown in coloring. Brown Banded cockroaches have two light yellow bands across their backs. American cockroaches are the largest, and have fully developed reddish-brown wings. Oriental cockroaches are also fairly large but tend to be dark-brown or black in coloring.

Where They Live

German Cockroaches are the most common roaches in the United States and worldwide. Brown Banded, Oriental, and American cockroaches are primarily found in the Southern, Midwestern, and Northeastern United States.

Where They Nest

Roaches live in dark humid places close to sources of food and water. The kitchen and bathroom are prime roach nesting areas. They typically nest in cracks and crevices. When food, water and shelter are readily available, the roach population can multiply rapidly. Roaches are a chronic problem because they travel from one dwelling to another when the population gets too large, or when there is improved sanitation and/or the use of insecticides. They are also easily transported in boxes, bags and even pant legs or boots from infested places to new dwellings.

Steps to Prevent

Eliminating nesting sites by improving sanitation and reducing clutter and the elimination of food and water sources is imperative to eliminate cockroach infestations and will help protect you from future roach problems. You can also help prevent infestations by sealing any areas where roaches could enter from other units in multi-unit buildings and by checking items such as shipping boxes, school bags and grocery bags for cockroach hitchhikers before bringing them into your home. Place Combat® Baits and Gels in key locations (such as under sinks, near trashcans, behind toilets, inside cabinets, etc.) to help prevent a cockroach infestation. If you think you have a cockroach infestation, create your Plan of Attack to help you build your best line of defense in the war against roaches.

Are They Harmful?

Yes, their bites can leave itchy welts on the skin and can cause allergic reactions.