Everything You Need to Know about Cockroaches

Cockroaches are some of the most hated pests the world over—and for good reason. These insects ruin foodstuffs, spread diseases, and—frankly—just creep people out!

Today, we’re covering what you need to know about cockroaches to keep your home safe.

Keep reading to find out everything you need to know—from the dangers of a roach infestation, to which cockroaches to look out for, to how to get rid of them.

Why You Don’t Want Roaches in Your Home

Cockroaches are an ugly sight, to be sure. But that’s not the only reason you want to keep them out of your home. These pests are a health hazard!

There’s a long list of diseases that cockroaches can carry, but here are just a few:

  • Salmonella
  • Streptococcus
  • Staphylococcus
  • E.coli
  • Giardia
  • Parasites

Cockroaches are omnivorous scavengers. They are happy to crawl on your floor, counters, and pantry, eating anything and everything—from dead insects, to grease, to meat, to cheese, to sugar, and beyond. They’ll also eat things you wouldn’t think of as food, like glue and toothpaste.

As they crawl around your home and through your foodstuffs, they are spreading disease and contaminating your food. Most commonly, cockroach infestations can cause food poisoning and diarrhea. Not good!

What’s more, cockroaches themselves can cause health issues, even if they carry no diseases or parasites. The saliva, feces, and skin casings of cockroaches can cause allergic reactions and aggravate asthma—especially in children.

Finally, on top of the health and safety risk, a cockroach infestation can result in ruined fabrics, stained surfaces, and terrible odor.

Which Cockroaches Are In Ohio?

There are thousands of species of cockroaches throughout the world. Fortunately, only five are common in our area: the German cockroach, the American cockroach, the oriental cockroach, the brown-banded cockroach, and the wood cockroach.

All cockroaches are nocturnal—active at night. This is when they seek out food. During the day, they typically hide in dark spaces. This pest doesn’t live in a group like ants or termites do; however, they do tend to congregate together.

All roaches have oval-shaped, flat bodies with a smaller head, six legs, and two antennae. Younger roaches are paler in color than adult roaches. However, the different species of roaches vary in size and color.

Let’s go into each in more detail.

German Cockroach

The German cockroach is one of the most common cockroaches plaguing our area.

This type of cockroach:

  • Is brown
  • Has dark stripes behind its head
  • Is about half an inch long

The German cockroach prefers warm, humid areas near food. For that reason, it’s often found in cupboards, behind appliances, near plumbing fixtures, inside pantries, and under kitchen sinks. This type also reproduces the fastest of any cockroach.

American Cockroach

Like the German cockroach, the American cockroach is one of the most common cockroaches in the Ohio area.

This type of cockroach:

  • Is reddish-brown
  • Has wings
  • Is larger, up to 1.5 inches long

The American cockroach prefers dark, humid places like basements and crawl spaces—often in floor drains and near laundry areas.

Oriental Cockroach

While Oriental cockroaches are less common than German and American cockroaches, they are still prevalent in our area.

This type of cockroach:

  • Is dark brown to black in color and shiny
  • Has short wings (but doesn’t fly)
  • Is 1-1.5 inches long

The Oriental cockroach is also called the “water bug” because of its strong preference for water and cool spaces. Unsurprisingly, this roach is often found in bathrooms and near plumbing fixtures, as well as in basements and crawl spaces.

Brown-banded Cockroach

Like the Oriental cockroach, this type is somewhat less common.

This type of cockroach:

  • Is dark brown
  • Has light brown bands down its body
  • Has wings
  • Is half an inch long

The brown-banded cockroach likes warm and dry areas. They can often be found in higher places than other types of roaches: places like the top cabinets of kitchens and bathrooms, the higher areas of walls, and ceilings.

Wood Cockroach

This type of cockroach:

  • Is brown
  • Has wings and can fly
  • Is 1-1.75 inches long

Unlike the other roaches on this list, the wood cockroach lives outdoors. However, they can become a big problem if large numbers of them wander inside or if they are brought inside on firewood. Sometimes, they take up residence in rain gutters and crawl spaces.

How to Get Rid of Cockroaches

If you have cockroaches in your home, you want to get rid of them ASAP! How can you do that?

First, it helps to know what you’re dealing with. Knowing which cockroach you have can help you figure out where they’re hiding. (Remember, different cockroaches prefer different areas of your home.)

If you’re not sure which cockroach has invaded your home, that’s where we come in. The pros at ScherZinger are happy to help identify the pest!

When you’ve determined the source of the infestation, then you can eliminate it. Getting rid of cockroaches requires a multi-pronged approach


While cockroaches can invade even clean homes, they thrive in messy ones. Part of combatting a cockroach problem must include taking away their food sources.

We recommend sealing pantry items in airtight containers, wiping up crumbs and spills immediately, putting all leftovers in the fridge, cleaning around appliances and cabinets regularly, and taking out the trash daily. Also, don’t forget things like pet food, which should be put away at the end of the day.

Home Improvement

Some cockroaches—like the wood cockroach—come in from outside. To keep more cockroaches from entering your home, it’s important to do a bit of home improvement. This includes things like installing screens on windows and sweeps under doors, as well as using caulk to fill gaps around plumping pipes, wires, doors, and windows.


To get rid of a cockroach infestation once and for all, it’s almost always necessary to treat with insecticides. This might include sprays, dusts, or baits. When using these treatments, proper placement is key.

When it comes to cockroach elimination, we do not recommend essential oils, rubbing alcohol, or insect foggers. These methods are ineffective at best and dangerous at worst!

Need Help with a Cockroach Problem?

If your home has cockroaches, we’re here for you. We have the knowledge, experience, and tools needed to get this nasty pest out of your home!

Contact Scherzinger Pest Control, a trusted pest control company in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas, including Dayton, OH, and now Columbus, OH. We’ve been pioneers, engineering new standards for ways of eliminating and controlling bugs and pests. Contact us by phone at 1-877-748-9888 or through our websiteFacebook, or Twitter.