The Unstoppable Cockroach

August 7, 2019

Cockroach and Invincibility. Those two words are beginning to be attached to each other. Of course filthy is still the best word to describe this creepy crawlies, but they have become so invincible now that it is almost impossible to stop them. Well, how do you top something that has been around much, much longer than humans have? They have probably rubbed elbows with the dinosaurs during the Jurassic era. The primitive cockroaches first appeared 350 million years ago, while the modern type appeared 200 million years ago.

Cockroaches are known to be very filthy, and that they enjoy dirty conditions. However, that is only true for a few species. In fact, here in the United States. There are around 4,000 species of cockroaches, and they are found in all places throughout the world, except for Antarctica. Most live in rainforests, in caves, and burrows. These cockroaches help the ecosystem by consuming organic wastes. A few of them are those that we find in sewers, garbage bins, and in all places where there is dirt. Here in the United States, there are 4 common types of cockroaches and they are all considered pests. 

Cockroaches Are Hardy Insects

The reason cockroaches have survived this long despite our best efforts to eliminate them is due to the fact that they are physically indestructible. They can survive any situation, any type of weather, and can even survive nuclear explosions. For one, their bodies are like hard shells. It would really take one big stomp of the foot to kill it, perhaps even two stomps.

Cockroaches can survive one long month without food, and one long week without water. They can simply hide inside small cracks and crevices when they sense danger and hide there until its safe. They can even survive with its head cut off for one week. They can breathe using the tiny holes found throughout their body segments. They die simply because the would not be able to drink water.

Their ability to squeeze through cracks and crevices also contribute to their survival. When they sense danger, they can quickly squeeze through these cracks to stay out of danger.

Cockroaches are nocturnal. They go out of their nests at night so we do not get to see most of them. They just quietly go on their way to look for food undisturbed, until before the owners of the house wake up the following morning. 

Cockroaches Are The Bacteria’s Best Friends

Cockroaches harbor bacteria inside their bodies. They live within special cells inside these cockroaches called mycetocytes. These are then passed down from generation to generation. In exchange for the “rent”, these bacteria pay in the form of providing cockroaches with the nutrients and amino acids they need. These bacteria are called Bacteroids. 

Disease Carriers

Cockroaches like to live in dirty surroundings and are filthy nature. They simply thrive in the dirtiest places on earth. Because of this habit, they carry with them a lot of bacteria and viruses, particularly in their legs. They are known to transmit diseases like typhoid fever, amoebiasis, cholera, shigellosis, allergies, and asthma. Transmission happens when they get to our food. Contamination is through their droppings, vomit, saliva, or urine. Simply crawling on our food and kitchen utensils is also enough to transmit diseases to humans.

Common Types Of Cockroaches In The United States

Not all cockroaches can be found in the United States, but the common ones found here can be such pests. They are more than a nuisance because they can spread diseases. Here are the most common type of cockroaches:

American cockroach - The American cockroach is the largest of common peridomestic cockroaches. They are the most common species found inside houses and also the largest as they can reach up to 4 cm in length on average. They are oval in shape and reddish-brown in color. They have well - developed wings but cannot use them well and are not very good flyers. They did not really originate from America, but instead came from the Middle East and have spread throughout the world by commerce, as people from different nations began trading with each other centuries ago. Adult female cockroaches can have as many as 150 offspring per year. They are next only to the German cockroach in terms of abundance. They thrive in steam heat tunnels and institutional buildings. They like dark, wet places like sewers and pipes in homes too. Outdoors, American cockroaches can be found in moist, shady areas. They can be found under woodpiles, trees, and worst of all, in garbage bins. But even when they dwell outside, they will still wander indoors to look for food. Though we do not intend to, it is us humans who tend to feed them. 

German cockroach - The German cockroaches are usually found in restaurants, hotels, warehouses, and apartment houses. I personally used to find them crawling inside soda dispensers, feeding on the sweet residue coming from the sodas, which is weird because that was during the daytime. If you see them during the day, it only means there is a severe infestation. They are small cockroaches, about 1.1 to 1.5 inches long, but are considered the most troublesome. They prefer sweet, fatty, and starchy foods. They are usually brought inside establishments by hitchhiking inside boxes, packages, and even luggage and bags. They are real health hazards in restaurants.

Brown-banded cockroach - They are named as such because of the brown band that is found across their bodies. The brown-banded cockroach is similar to the German but is slightly smaller. They are half an inch long and are brown to light brown in color. They usually dwell in warm dry places, and they hide their eggs under your furniture, clothes, cracks on the floor, or wood. The adult life span is about 200 days. These roaches are equipped with wings. Male cockroaches can fly when disturbed, but the females cannot. They eat organic matter and are very good scavengers. They eat rotten meat, excrement, and body fluids.

Oriental cockroaches - The Oriental cockroach is said to be the filthiest of all cockroaches. They are smaller than the American cockroach but larger than the German cockroach. The male adults can grow to an inch, but the females are larger at 1 ¼ inch. They come in dark brown to black in color. Both males and females have wings but cannot fly. They are also not as fast as the other cockroaches. They also cannot climb walls with smooth surfaces. They like to eat garbage and organic material. Oriental cockroaches are larger and darker compared to other cockroach species. They dwell in dark, moist, dirty, cooler places and create a strong smell. In general, they like staying outdoors, but they can go indoors, especially when looking for food. 


Having these creepy creatures is unsightly. They are more than just a nuisance indeed. The diseases they are known to spread can be very serious. Here are some of the things you can do to stop them from ruining your household. 

1) Seal off cracks, crevices, and holes by caulking. Cockroaches can squeeze in and make these as their possible entry points.

2) Cleaning up around the house is a good deterrent. Always make sure you maintain good sanitation. This will help diminish their numbers. 

3) Wipe off food and drink spills. Clean stovetops and kitchen sinks. If you notice, cockroaches are quick to detect them as these are a good food source to them.

4) Do not leave unwashed dishes and other kitchen utensils in the sink overnight. Obviously, they can eat the food residue, and then they contaminate the dishes at the same time.

5) Put your food inside sealed containers. This will keep your food from being contaminated by cockroaches. 

6) Regularly dispose of your garbage. Put a tight cover on your trash cans. The garbage bins offer a lot of food sources for the cockroach.

7) The clutter around your house can be used in hiding places for cockroaches. Do not keep old and useless boxes, cardboards, newspapers, or magazines around the house.

8) You can use cockroach baits and poisons along with the said control measures above. 

These measures are effective. However, if the infestation is heavy, you may have a bigger problem in your hands. If all else fails, do not worry. You can always count on the best pest control management in the Carolinas, Go-Forth Pest Control.

Why Go For Go-Forth Pest Control? 

Go-Forth Pest Control is a family-owned company that has been around since 1959; specializing in the extermination of pests like cockroaches, mosquitoes, rats, mice, flies, wasps, weevils, moths, termites, silverfish, and many others. We have a team of expert technicians who use only the state of the art equipment that is available in the business. We also employ family-friendly and pet-friendly methods of extermination, so you can be assured of your family’s safety.  

Go-Forth Pest Control has earned the trust of residents and businesses in North Carolina for more than 50 years.  For more information, or to set an appointment, just dial 336-841-6111. Our friendly operators are standing by.

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