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4 Types of Cockroaches In NC - Identification

cockroaches in North Carolina

North Carolina hosts a variety of different terrains in between the mountains in the western part of the state, to the beaches in the east.  Despite these different settings, North Carolina is known for being warm and humid for most of the year. When combined with the increased level of rainfall during Spring and Summer months, NC becomes the perfect breeding ground for the ultimate nemesis in pest control: cockroaches. 

Cockroaches are a nocturnal pest that thrives in a warm and humid environment. They also love standing water or areas of high moisture.  These traits are common among the residential areas throughout NC. Cockroaches can find their way into even the cleanest of homes.  Without proper cleaning and taking adequate precautions, cockroaches can become a particularly tough pest to remove from your home. Thankfully TPC offers pest control in Chapel Hill, pest services in Charlotte, and pest services all over the Triangle!

While there are many species of cockroaches known throughout the world. There are four species of cockroaches that are common in North Carolina. In this blog, we will review how to identify the different species of cockroaches in NC, their habits, and why they enter your home.

German Cockroaches In North Carolina

German cockroaches are the most common species of cockroach found in North Carolina.  Adult German cockroaches grow to about ⅝ of an inch in length. Their bodies are flat and light brown in color. A unique identifier of a German cockroach are the 2 black stripes running horizontally behind their head.  

German cockroaches are known as the most invasive species of cockroach in North Carolina. Not only are their small, flat bodies perfect for invading even the tiniest cracks in structures, but they reproduce at an exceedingly fast rate. A female German cockroach can lay up to 50 eggs at a time.  German cockroaches are omnivorous and will eat anything from dead leaves and insects, to pet food, to even human food.  German cockroaches are typically found in warm and moist environments. In homes, they are often found in kitchens and bathrooms.  

American Cockroaches In North Carolina

Perhaps the most recognizable species of cockroach, the American cockroach is also one of the most common species of cockroach in North Carolina. The biggest identifier of American cockroaches are their size. American cockroaches are the largest species of house invading cockroach in the United States.  They have the potential to grow up to 3 inches in length, though they usually grow between 1 ½ to 2 inches. American cockroaches are dark and reddish brown in color, with a lighter color outlining their bodies. They also have a yellowish colored figure-8 pattern on the back of their head.  

American cockroaches prefer to live outside, but will regularly migrate indoors in search of food. American cockroaches prefer warm, moist environments, and frequently house themselves in basements crawl spaces and sewers. They are often found in restaurants and other commercial establishments. In homes, they are commonly found in kitchens and bathrooms. American cockroaches are a nocturnal species that hide in cracks and crevices during the day.  

Brown-Banded Cockroaches In North Carolina

Brown-Banded cockroaches are small. Adults are about a half an inch in length.  They are light brown in color with a distinctive banding going across their wings. Male and Female brown-banded cockroaches have different body types, as females have a shorter and stouter body than their male counterparts. 

Unlike most species of cockroach, brown-banded cockroaches prefer to live in warn, dry locations. They prefer to live high on walls or in upper cabinets. Brown-banded cockroaches can be found in homes, apartments, hotels, and office buildings.  Brown-Banded cockroaches, like most, are nocturnal. Unlike other cockroaches, brown-banded cockroaches are know to be good flyers.

Oriental Cockroaches In North Carolina

Oriental Cockroaches are one of the most common and largest species of cockroaches in North Carolina. Oriental cockroaches grow up to 1 inch in length. Their bodies are a shiny black and they are smooth in texture. Oriental cockroaches release a powerful, musty odor. 

Oriental cockroaches are often referred to as water bugs due to their preference of damp, dark, and cool environments.  Like American cockroaches, they are frequently found in basements, crawl spaces, and sewer systems. Oriental cockroaches will eat just about anything, including the decaying matter of insects.  While they are not known to transmit disease, their presence is often associated with poor sanitation. 

Are Cockroaches Common In North Carolina?

Cockroaches are very common in North Carolina. Cockroaches thrive in warm and moist environments. Not only does North Carolina have ample amounts of warm and wet land, there is a significant amount of woodland area and vegetation cockroaches to live in and feed on.  

Aside from the environment, cockroaches’ biology and behavior are what make their presence strong in North Carolina.  Cockroaches are nocturnal and not easy to spot during the day. Due to their often flat body type, cockroaches are able to hide in the slightest cracks in foundation. This gives them ample places to hide from predators and would be exterminators.  Cockroaches are also very efficient breeders. Most species of cockroach lay about 25-50 eggs at a time.  

Are There Flying Cockroaches In North Carolina?

In short, yes. All four of the cockroaches discussed in this article possess a pair of wings. Three out of the 4 are capable of flight, with only the German cockroach being incapable of flying.  Despite the ability to fly, roaches crawl fast and prefer crawling as their preferred method of transportation. The only species of cockroach in North Carolina known as a proficient flyer is the brown-banded cockroach.  Remember, just because a cockroach doesn’t prefer to fly, it is important to know they have that ability when you are trying to get rid of one in your home. Your sanity could depend on it.

Final Thoughts On Cockroaches In North Carolina:

Unfortunately due to North Carolina's hot and humid environment, we are prone to roaches! That being said, although cockroaches are common in North Carolina you don't have to let them take over your home! You can receive a free cockroach inspection when you contact Triangle Pest Control! Our highly trained technician will come out to your home, identify what type of cockroaches you're dealing with, and come up with a specialized treatment plan specifically for your infestation!

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