How to Identify Roaches with Roach Pictures

You probably think you need an entomology degree to be able to identify all the various species of insects that can be found in and around your home. It actually would help, but we know most of you are not entertaining the thought of going to the University of Tennessee for an entomology degree. Reading descriptions of how to identify bugs can be, well, fruitless. How is one supposed to determine if their front legs are high towards their head when they are less than a quarter of an inch in length? Crazy!

We here at Johnson Pest Control like pictures. So with winter upon us and the probability that roaches are casing your house for potential food sources (as well as some warmth), we thought it a good idea to put together some roach pictures to help you identify what might be in your home.


How to identify an American cockroach infographic - Keep cockroaches away from your home with Johnson Pest Control in TN

The American Cockroach is the largest roach that you are likely to come across, it will reach a size of around 2 inches. The Oriental and German Cockroaches decrease in size. The big thing you might notice with the American Cockroach initially is the amber color. It is getting that from it’s brown and red tones. If you are still unsure you can look towards the head of the roach and see if you can spot two dark circles. The German Cockroach has similar line markings, so be sure you are seeing circles over lines.

If you want to really notice the roach, you can look to see what the roach is feeding on. American cockroaches like moist food. That might look like pet food, or some perishable item in the pantry or on the counter.


German Cockroach Pictures
German Cockroach picture courtesy University of Florida Entomology Department

The German Cockroach is probably the one you find when you turn the lights on. They prefer to come out at night, or in the darkness. If you see them out in open light conditions you could have a real infestation problem as they possibly have overcrowded their living conditions. They can vary in color, which makes them hard to identify in that way. The best way to identify a German Cockroach is to look for the, almost, parallel lines starting from its shoulders (practically head) down to its back. They are about 1/2 inch in length, so under the size of a nickel.

The German Cockroach likes moist environments, so that is why you will often first notice them around a kitchen or bathroom sink.


How to identify an oriental cockroach info graphic - Keep cockroaches away from your home with Johnson Pest Control in TN

Unlike the American & German cockroaches, the Oriental Cockroach does not have cool spots or lines as features to clue you in to who they are. They have a tubular shape to them maintaining a similar width from head to butt. The male and females will look different. The males will have wings on their backs, though they cannot actually fly. The females are a little larger yet do not have wings at all. Often these roaches can look black, but at second glance you can see they have a darker, deeper, brown color to them.

The Oriental Cockroach can survive winters hiding out under mulch, rocks, and debris and may not care for your home. If they do come into your home you will find them around pipes and in the darker/cooler places, like a basement.

Getting Rid of Roaches?

Getting rid of roaches can be attained in a few steps. However, nothing is full-proof depending on the infestation. Go ahead and try on some of the commercial traps you can find at the grocery and home improvement store. We’d caution on using the foggers and sprays initially as they can do more harm than good, especially when used incorrectly or excessively.

Removing food sources will help to get rid of roach issues as well. The problem is that their food sources can cover such a vast array of items it is hard to get rid of everything. Cleaning up food spills, not leaving food out overnight or for extended periods of time will help. Placing pantry items in sealed containers plus taking out trash regularly will provide some proactive measures to make your home less hospitable to roaches.