What Are the Different Species of Cockroaches?


Quick Answer

Some of the most common types of cockroaches include American cockroaches, German cockroaches, Oriental cockroaches, brown-banded cockroaches and Madagascar hissing cockroaches. Less prevalent cockroaches are death head, flying, Asian, woods and sand cockroaches.

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Slightly more than 3 inches in length, American cockroaches are reddish-brown with yellow bands around their heads. When an American cockroach becomes an adult, it grows wings that allow it to fly. Opting to live in warm, damp areas such as mulch, they are frequently seen in American sewage systems. Outside, they eat bugs, fungi, algae, leaves and tiny wood particles. While inside, they eat pet food, scraps of food and crumbs.

As one of the largest cockroach species, Madagascar hissing cockroaches live in damp, tropical areas and forests. By releasing air through the slits in their abdomens, they hiss when frightened or bothered. Their loud hiss serves as a warning to other cockroaches within the colony and also serves a purpose for communication, courtship and colony hierarchy. They are unique in that they have horns instead of wings.

Relatively small among invasive cockroach species, brown-banded cockroaches only grow from 11 to 14.5 millimeters in length. Preferring to live in temperatures of 80 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer, they often gather in attics, on ceilings and around appliance motors.

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