Where Roaches Come From and How to Keep Them Out

Rose Morrison

Oct 25, 2022


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Cockroaches are pesky insects that love to set up shop in homes. Once you get them, it’s hard to get rid of them, so it’s good to know where roaches come from so you can keep them out. 

Types of Cockroaches

There are many different types of cockroaches, with around 450 separate species in Australia. There are 50 cockroach species in North America, with only four seen as household pests. 

  • German Cockroach – A small–under two centimeters–insect that ranges in color from tan to dark brown. Aside from its small stature, the German cockroach gets identified by two nearly parallel lines running along the shield of its thorax. 
  • American Cockroach – Also known as a “waterbug,” the American cockroach is the largest of the four species, with its average size landing at 1 1/2 inches. 
  • Brown-banded Cockroach – As its name suggests, the brown-banded cockroach has two light-colored bands, one across the wings and another across the abdomen. It’s a small insect, averaging 12mm long. 
  • Oriental Cockroach – The oriental cockroach is a “waterbug” known for its glossy appearance. It’s around 20 to 30 millimeters long and is dark brown or black. 

Cockroaches are social insects, so when there’s one, there are likely others nearby. 

Once a cockroach discovers a food or water source, it will leave a scent trail for its comrades to join them. 

You can find cockroaches in a variety of environments, with some species capable of surviving at nearly 120 degrees Fahrenheit. In nature, you can find them in matted vegetation such as leaf stems. They also abide in and under rotting wood, such as log piles or under the bark. Aquatic roaches live near water bodies and dive for their food. 

Cockroach Life Cycle

The cockroaches you see may look very different from one another. That doesn’t mean they’re other species. They might be in various stages of their life cycle. 

There are three stages in the cockroach life cycle. It first begins as an egg before hatching into a nymph. Eventually, the nymph grows into an adult, which lays more eggs. 

Nymphs look distinctly different than their elders, appearing almost as small worms instead of cockroaches with separate heads and bodies. You’re more likely to encounter nymphs than a fully-grown roach. 

Roaches lay their eggs in small sacks that look like dry kidney beans, each holding up to 50 eggs. 

Where Roaches Come From and How to Avoid Them

Roaches come from many places. Generally speaking, they like to camp in human homes. While they won’t damage your home, they’re unsanitary and can exacerbate asthma and allergies. 

The creatures are hardy and can survive heavy impacts, and yes, they can live for weeks without their heads. You can do several things to keep cockroaches away from your home. 

  • Remove Clutter – Cockroaches nest in newspapers, bags and cardboard boxes. 
  • Leave Space – Roaches like to hand out in tightly-packed areas, so it’s best to leave space between stored boxes and containers. 
  • Seal Cracks – When cockroaches enter a home, they like to hide in cracks and crevices throughout the home. To keep roaches away, seal any cracks in your walls, floors or ceilings. Ensure your toilet, bathtub, and other areas have caulking. 
  • Don’t Leave Out Food or Water – Cockroaches can’t survive without food or water sources. Don’t leave dirty dishes in your sink overnight and put away pet food and water sources when not in use. Sweep up any crumbs and mop up any spilled water. Without these sources, a roach is less likely to leave a trail for others to join them. 

If you’re concerned about potential cockroaches, taking the proper steps will minimize their interest in your home. 

Knowing About Cockroaches

When you know where roaches come from, you can be more aware of what might cause them to gather in your home. By keeping roaches out of your home, you can keep it a cleaner, happier place. 

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