14 Types of Cockroaches (With Pictures)
To most people, a cockroach is a cockroach. However, there are many different types of cockroaches out there. These are generally all treated the same. But there are some important distinctions between them. Some species are common, while others are not.
Before treating an infestation, the type of cockroach must be determined. Some are treated better with some methods, so this step is vital. Usually, a professional will determine the cockroach species.
However, if you’re going with a DIY infestation treatment, you’ll need to ID the cockroaches yourself. While most poisons and controls work on all types of cockroaches, there are some that only work on a few select species.
Let’s take a look at each species below.
The 14 Types of Cockroaches
1. German Cockroach
|Size:||13 – 16mm|
The German Cockroach is one of the most common types of cockroaches out there. Most infestations will fall into this category for this reason. Usually, these bugs are around 13 to 16 mm long and are pale brown. They have two stripes behind their head, which helps identify them.
These bugs live for 12 months. Furthermore, they also produce more eggs than any other species. Therefore, they tend to infest homes and businesses more often (and they are harder to eliminate).
However, because they are so common, there are many methods for getting rid of them. Most generalized control methods will work on this species, and you should have no issue finding a poison.
2. American Cockroach
|Size:||Up to 55 mm|
|Lifespan:||Up to 2 years|
The American Cockroach is pretty standard, as well. However, these grow much larger than German Cockroaches. They are the largest cockroach in the world. They also live longer than other species—up to 2 years. Usually, they are found where household foods are stored.
Both males and females have wings and can fly a short distance. They are reddish brown in color. However, their wings are easily their most distinguished property.
3. Brown-Banded Cockroach
|Size:||Up to 13 mm|
|Lifespan:||3 – 11 months|
These cockroaches are not nearly as often as other cockroaches. However, they aren’t very long and don’t live very long. Plus, they reproduce less than other species (which is likely why they are less common).
This cockroach jumps when disturbed. The males have wings and can fly, usually when disturbed. They only grow up to 13 mm. The females are reddish brown and have dark-brown wings, though they cannot use them. The wings of the male are banded and lighten towards the tips.
4. Oriental Cockroach
|Size:||25 to 32 mm|
|Lifespan:||Up to 6 months|
These cockroaches are glossy black or dark brown in color. They tend to be darker than most other types of cockroaches, making them pretty easy to ID. They don’t live very long—only up to 6 months.
They can grow quite large. However, females are much larger than males. Neither gender can fly, though they do have visible wings. Mostly, this species feeds on decaying matter, so they aren’t commonly found in homes.
5. Albino Cockroach
Albino Cockroaches are not their own species. However, all species may appear white at different points. For instance, German Cockroaches shed their skin and may appear white for a few hours as their skin hardens. Therefore, you may see an “albino” cockroach that isn’t albino.
However, seeing a white cockroach does mean that the ones in your home are growing and that the infestation is growing. Therefore, it is important to seek treatment if you see these cockroaches.
6. Australian Cockroaches
|Size:||Slightly smaller than 55 mm|
These cockroaches are common in Australia. However, they are less common in other areas. They are mostly found in the United States in Florida and other coastal states. They are slightly smaller than the American Cockroach.
They feed mostly on plant materials. However, after infesting a home, they will feed on starchy materials.
7. Asian Cockroaches
|Size:||13 to 16 mm|
These cockroaches are very similar to German cockroaches. However, they can fly and aren’t turned away by light. Therefore, if you turn a light on and the cockroach doesn’t run away, it is probably an Asian cockroach. Furthermore, these cockroaches tend to remain outdoors, so they rarely result in infestations.
8. Lobster Cockroach
|Size:||1 ½ inch|
Lobster cockroaches aren’t super common. However, they are a grey color, which makes them pretty easy to identify. They have wings, but they cannot fly. Furthermore, they have a lobster-like shield that helps cover and protect their head.
This species was first identified in Tampa, FL. Therefore, they are most common in this area. They aren’t usually the result of infestations, as they tend to keep to themselves.
9. Cuban Cockroach
|Size:||1/3 to 1 inch long|
|Lifespan:||Around a year|
The Cuban cockroach is mostly found in Florida and Gulf Coast states. They follow the banana shipment, so infestations are most common in banana processing cities. This species is native to Cuba, but it does spread with ships.
They are usually not found living indoors. Instead, leaf piles, logs, mulch, and similar areas usually function as a nest. They may even live in trees or shrubbery.
10. Field Cockroach
|Size:||½ inch long|
This cockroach looks extremely similar to the German cockroach, so it is often misidentified. However, it has black stripes on its face, while the German cockroach does not. This species does not shy away from the light like other species. Therefore, they usually stay outside, as they are attracted to the sun.
Usually, outdoor areas, like leaf litter and plant debris, are the most common nesting sites.
11. Florida Woods Cockroach
These cockroaches are sometimes called palmetto bugs, as they usually hide under palmetto leaves. They are similar in appearance to oriental cockroaches. Probably one of the most troublesome cockroaches, they can release a smelly chemical to repeal predators (including humans). Therefore, they aren’t very common; they can be quite troublesome, though. Luckily, they eat mostly decaying plants, so infesting a home isn’t very common.
12. Green Cockroach
|Lifespan:||Less than 3 months|
These cockroaches are quite rare. They are usually found outside and feed mostly on fruit, leaf litter, and moldy bark. They are a pale green color—hence their name. They also have a yellowish band around their wings, and younger cockroaches can be brown or black.
Because of their green coloration, these cockroaches are extremely easy to identify. There aren’t many cockroaches that look like them.
13. Madeira Cockroach
|Size:||1 ½ to 2 inches|
|Lifespan:||Up to 2 ½ years|
This species is rarely found in the United States, but it is possible. They usually come from shipments, though, and breeding populations are rare. They can emit an odor from their abdomen, which makes it very unpleasant for anyone dealing with an infestation. They are commonly used as research animals, as they are not native.
14. Pacific Beetle Cockroach
This species isn’t very common. However, it is one of the few that involves nurturing parents. The female nurtures the babies, and the male protects the female. They mate soon after they become adults.
These cockroaches usually eat trees. However, they can become serious pests of certain trees. Therefore, they are considered troublesome in many areas. They are also called cypress cockroaches, as they commonly eat this tree.
There are many types of cockroaches out there. Luckily, many of these are easy to identify. Plus, even if they aren’t identified correctly, most respond to the same treatments. Therefore, you can sometimes treat cockroach infestation without actually identifying the cockroach species.
However, it is often easier if you do identify the species. Therefore, we highly recommend that you take the time to look at what cockroach you’re dealing with.
Featured Image Credit: Liz Weber, Shutterstock
- 1 The 14 Types of Cockroaches
- 1.1 1. German Cockroach
- 1.2 2. American Cockroach
- 1.3 3. Brown-Banded Cockroach
- 1.4 4. Oriental Cockroach
- 1.5 5. Albino Cockroach
- 1.6 6. Australian Cockroaches
- 1.7 7. Asian Cockroaches
- 1.8 8. Lobster Cockroach
- 1.9 9. Cuban Cockroach
- 1.10 10. Field Cockroach
- 1.11 11. Florida Woods Cockroach
- 1.12 12. Green Cockroach
- 1.13 13. Madeira Cockroach
- 1.14 14. Pacific Beetle Cockroach
- 2 Conclusion