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6 Types of Cockroaches in Oklahoma (With Pictures)

german cockroach

Cockroaches are hardly a welcomed sight no matter where you live. These pesky insects are an unpleasant sort to have around, and most people want to do what they can to prevent cockroaches from ever stepping foot inside their homes.

In this article, we are going to talk about the 6 types of cockroaches that are found within the state of Oklahoma. We talk about each species, help you identify each one, and then go over some tips and tricks for keeping cockroaches out of your home and yard.

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The 6 Types of Cockroaches in Oklahoma

1. German Cockroach

german cockroach on a rock
Image Credit: Lukas Juhas, Unsplash
Scientific Name: Blattella germanica
Size: ½ -5/8 inch
Color: Light to medium brown
Region: Throughout the United States

The German cockroach is the most common type of cockroach that is dreaded by many. This is the roach species that frequent homes, restaurants, grocery stores, food processing plants, and other human-inhabited dwellings. It takes about 100 days for their entire lifecycle from egg to adult to be completed.

These roaches are native to North Africa but are now found worldwide and will spend their days hiding away in cracks and crevices only to emerge at night to feed. Their nests are typically found in warm, moist areas near plumbing fixtures, under appliances or drawers, or within cupboard cracks. Infestations are most often observed in kitchens and bathrooms where resources are plentiful.

German cockroaches range in size from ½ inch to 5/8 inches and they are light to medium brown with two dark parallel stripes directly behind their head on their backs. Large infestations can emit a musty odor within the area and can take several weeks to eradicate.

2. American Cockroach

american cockroach
Image Credit: guentermanaus, Shutterstock
Scientific Name: Periplaneta americana
Size: 1-1 ½ inch
Color: Reddish brown with light thorax
Region: Throughout the United States

The American cockroach is another species that is common in places where food is prepared. This includes restaurants, bakeries, warehouses, and grocery stores. This species is not native to the United States like the name suggests but was actually introduced from Africa as early as the 1600s. This species is now found worldwide and throughout the entire United States.

They commonly infest basements, sewers, and drainage systems and infestations are typically very noticeable after a large rain. While they do prefer locations where food is prepared and stored, American cockroaches do not often infest residential homes.

The life cycle of these roaches from egg to adulthood takes about 600 days and they molt approximately 13 times as they grow. Once they reach adulthood, they can survive for up to a year or more. Fully grown, the American cockroach averages 1 to 1 ½ inches in length. They are reddish brown with a lighter-colored thorax.

3. Oriental Cockroach

Image Credit: Liz Weber, Shutterstock
Scientific Name: Blatta orientalis
Size: ¾-1 inch
Color: Dark brown to black
Region: Throughout the United States

The Oriental cockroach is not a native species to the United States and is believed to have either originated in Africa or Southern Russia. These roaches prefer warm, damp areas and are common outdoors in shaded areas. They are fairly common throughout the United States and will come indoors when temperatures drop.

They primarily feed on garbage, sewage, and any decaying organic matter. If they make their way indoors, they will gravitate toward more starchy foods. Oriental cockroaches are dark brown to black and typically reach ¾ to 1 inch in length.

It takes approximately one year for these cockroaches to reach adulthood once they are hatched, which is done in about 7 molts. Once they are fully grown, they typically survive ranging from one to six months.

4. Brownbanded Cockroach

brown banded cockroach
Image Credit: Freedom my wing, Shutterstock
Scientific Name: Supella longipalpa
Size: ½ -5/8 inch
Color: Brown with light brown to yellow bands
Region: Throughout the United States

The brownbanded cockroach is similar in size and shape to the German cockroach but lacks the two parallel bands. This species originated in Africa and is believed to have been introduced to the United States from Cuba. It was first collected in Miami in 1903 and is now thought to inhabit all states except for Alaska.

These roaches like to keep indoors and are common in residential houses, apartment homes, hotels, and even hospitals. They are easily transported in furniture and are much less likely to settle in kitchens or restaurants since they do not require as much moisture as other cockroaches.

Brownbanded cockroaches do not like light and are rarely ever seen during the day. Once they reach adulthood, they can survive anywhere from 130 to 315 days with about 200 days being average. When fully grown, they are brown in color with light brown to yellow banding.

5. Smokybrown Cockroach

Smokybrown cockroach
Image Credit: eye-blink, Shutterstock
Scientific Name: Periplaneta fuliginosa
Size: 1 ¼ – 1 ½ inch
Color: Dark brown, mahogany
Region: Southeastern United States

The smokybrown cockroach is a larger species of cockroach that is believed to be native to Asia. They are common in the Southeastern United States, including Oklahoma, though they aren’t as common here as they are elsewhere. They are a species that lives outdoors in leaf litter, wood piles, and around shrubs, trees, and other vegetation.

If these roaches make their way indoors it’s commonly into areas like garages, attics, and greenhouses. They are commonly carried into the house on firewood or other outdoor materials. They feed on a variety of plant material, organic decaying matter, bird feces, and garbage. They are very sensitive to the weather and prefer humid, warm climates.

Adults reach up to 1 ½ inch when fully grown and exhibit a glossy dark brown to a mahogany color. It takes about 320 days for a smokybrown cockroach to go from egg to adult and they will be about 2 to 6 months once they reach adulthood. They are strong fliers and will gravitate toward outdoor lights at nighttime.

6. Pennsylvania Wood Cockroach

Pennsylvania wood cockroach
Image Credit: Melinda Fawver, Shutterstock
Scientific Name: Parcoblatta pennsylvanica
Size: ¾ – 1 inch
Color: Dark chestnut brown
Region: Central to the Eastern United States

The Pennsylvania wood cockroach is a species that is native to the Eastern and Central United States, found east of the Rocky Mountains. They are primarily outdoor insects and often make their way indoors when transported on firewood or other materials.

This species very much resembles the American cockroach, reaching ¾ to 1 inch in length with a dark chestnut brown color. They are highly adaptable and are found in areas of dense leaf litter, wood piles, and around shrubs, trees, and vegetation.

These cockroaches are more often a problem for those that live in more rural environments or have yards that contain friendly areas to nest. The nymphal stage alone can last up to one year and these roaches will often live for several months once they reach adulthood.

divider 4 How to Keep Cockroaches Away from Your Home and Yard

Keep Your House Clean and Tidy

One of the best ways to prevent a roach infestation is by keeping your house clean. Problematic roach species will typically gravitate toward the kitchen and any other area that provides ample food sources. Do not leave food out for any reason and always wipe down counters and surfaces. Sinks, stove tops, kitchen counters, cabinets, the pantry, and any areas where food is prepared should get special attention.

Keep Food in a Central Location

Roaches are going to enter your home looking for a food source. Once they find one, they will want to stick around for the foreseeable future. In addition to keeping things clean up, you will also want to keep your food centralized within the home. Don’t eat food all over the house, instead, only eat in one room and pick up after yourself when you’ve finished. Keeping any crumbs and leftovers from being strewn about the house makes it much easier to eliminate their food sources.

Clean Up Your Yard

Several species of cockroach like to remain outdoors but tend to find their way in either when the temperature drops or they wander in on firewood or other outdoor materials. These species will inhabit wood piles, leaf litter, and places with lots of clutter that provide cover. Keeping your yard clean, your leaves picked up and any wood or other materials organized will eliminate their prime habitat and deter them from your yard.

Keep Things Dry

Cockroaches are highly attracted to moist areas within the home. This includes leaky pipes, underneath sinks, around bathtubs, and in damp basements. Keep an eye out for any leaks or excessive moisture near the plumbing in your home. The drier you keep things, the less appealing these areas are to the cockroaches.

Close Off Entry Points to the Home

Do a thorough inspection of your home to make sure any entry points are closed off. Cockroaches can fit into tiny spaces, so this will take attention to detail. The best way to keep them out is to prevent them from getting in. This especially goes for species like the American cockroach, the Smokybrown cockroach, and the Pennsylvania wood cockroach.

Cockroach looking out from radio set
Image Credit: Vadim Kozlovsky, Shutterstock

Seal Off Potential Hiding Spots

Cockroaches will spend their days hiding in cracks, crevices, and holes within the home and will emerge at night to feed. Seal off anything you can and do regular checks of areas that will commonly house the cockroaches. This includes areas like underneath appliances, under the sink, light fixtures, outlets, and more.

Keep Your Home on the Cool Side

Cockroaches are fans of warm, humid environments and do not take to the cold very well. Certain species are even intolerant to cold conditions. Keeping it chillier in the home may not work for everyone, and it won’t get rid of a current infestation, but it can help deter roaches from using your home as prime habitat. The cold will also slow them down, restrict flight, and stunt their movement.

Use Repellents

Peppermint oil, cedarwood oil, and cypress oil are just a few of the common essential oils that help deter roaches. These are more natural remedies that are cheap and easy to use, just be careful when using essential oils around pets and children.

You can even try to eliminate them by using a mix of powdered sugar and boric acid. The cockroaches will be drawn to the sugar, but the boric acid is toxic to them. You can even try spraying them with soap and water, which can work by suffocating them.

Use Roach Traps for Infestations

There are plenty of traps, baits, and devices available in stores that can help you get control of the infestation. Make sure to research these products and use them as directed for the best chance of success. We recommend looking at the reviews of other customers to see how the products held up against infestations.

Call Pest Control

Last but not least, you can always call in professionals to help you handle a cockroach problem. This is highly recommended for heavy infestations, as they can be quite challenging to eliminate. A pest control professional will be able to detect and eliminate the infestation by going over the different options with you and giving you advice on how to prevent further issues.

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There are 6 types of cockroaches you can run into when living or staying in Oklahoma. Most of these species are very widespread and cause a nuisance throughout most of the country. Some species like to remain indoors near food sources, while others like to remain in damp, dark areas or even outdoors.

Regardless of species, it’s a good idea to take preventative measures to keep cockroaches out of your home. If you find yourself suffering from an infestation, there are ways you can get control. You can always call professional pest management if you have an extensive cockroach problem that won’t seem to go away.

See Also: 10 Types of Cockroaches in Alabama

Featured Image Credit: Erik Karits, Pixabay


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