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Is There a Difference Between German and American Cockroaches?

Dark brown cockroach.

There’s no shortage of cockroaches in Arizona. In fact, there are several species common to the area. All roaches are cringe-worthy and send many people running for their brooms, but when you see a roach in your home, it’s helpful to know exactly what to expect and how to deal with the problem. The most common roaches found in Phoenix and Tucson are German cockroaches and American cockroaches. Here’s a comparison of the two species, so you’ll know your enemy’s name.

The American Cockroach

The American cockroach is sometimes called a water bug or a palmetto bug. You’ll usually see them outside in moist environments like sewers, drains and trash cans. Reaching up to two inches in length, they’re the largest and arguably the most intimidating of domestic roaches. They’re reddish brown to dark brown in color and possess the ability to suddenly take flight. The infamous water bug is a lifelong source of horror to most people who are even a little squeamish. Like other roaches, it carries bacteria and other contaminants, which can be spread easily into the home environment. When American cockroaches venture indoors, it’s often to find food or water. Large indoor infestations are less likely than with other species.

The German Cockroach

German cockroaches are much smaller than their American counterparts, but they’re more likely to infest an indoor environment. A single female and her offspring can produce up to 30,000 more roaches within a year. German roaches hide in food storage areas and any place that contains waste materials. The adult roach can be identified by its relatively small size and light tan or brown coloring. Special markings include two dark, horizontal stripes down the insect’s top-side. Like American roaches, German roaches have wings, but they rarely fly. If you spot a German cockroach in your home, there are likely many more in hiding.

Why Identification Is Important

Knowing the species of roach involved in an infestation helps determine probable entry points. It also tells pest control experts what types of treatments to use and where to place them, and it helps you prevent roaches from coming back once they’re gone. If you haven’t seen a live roach, or you’re not sure what kind of bug you’re dealing with, don’t worry; a professional can spot signs and symptoms that you may have missed.

Regardless of Origin, Burns Pest Elimination Can Get Rid of Your Roaches

Whether you have American or German cockroaches, Burns knows how to send them packing. If you’ve spotted roaches of any type in your home, let us help you get rid of them and prevent their return. Our Phoenix and Tucson pest control specialists can quickly evaluate your home or business, and treat your infestation with an effective, intuitive and affordable protocol that addresses your specific needs. Contact us for more information.