Common Cockroach Species

There are over 3000 different species of cockroaches - some are considered pests while others are beneficial in their natural environment. Pest cockroaches can be carriers of various diseases and the German cockroach, Oriental cockroach, American cockroach and Brown banded cockroach species are common to the UK.

Spotted a cockroach scurrying across the kitchen? Learn to identify between cockroach species to address an infestation more effectively:

German cockroaches

(Blatella germanica)

German Cockroach

Appearance

Notorious for their world-wide distribution, German cockroaches are easily identifiable by 2 dark stripes across their thorax. Adults grow to approximately 12 – 15mm in length.

Habitat

Most commonly found indoors, German cockroaches prefer wet, humid conditions and are typically found within the home in areas such as kitchens and bathrooms.

Oriental cockroaches

(Blatta orientalis)

Oriental cockroach

Appearance

A uniform dark brown or black in colour, adult Oriental cockroaches are approximately 20 – 30mm in length.

Habitat

Highly adapted for surviving in the natural environment, Oriental cockroaches thrive in cool, damp areas such as basements, drains and openings beneath porches. Known for their preference for feeding on garbage and decay, these insects can most commonly be found in rubbish tips and leaf litters.

American cockroaches

(Periplaneta Americana)

American cockroach

Appearance

One of the largest pest cockroaches to invade homes, adult American cockroaches are approximately 20 – 30mm in length and a red-brown in colour.

Habitat

Also known as the ‘Palmetto bug’ because they live on trees, the American cockroach prefers dark, humid and undisturbed areas and can be found in basements, kitchens and bathrooms of homes.

Brown Banded cockroaches

(Supella longipalpa)

Clemson University - USDA Cooperative Extension Slide Series, Bugwood.org

Appearance

One of the smallest pest cockroaches, brown banded adult cockroaches are approximately 10 – 15mm in length and characterized by yellow-brown stripes across their abdomen.

Habitat

Brown banded cockroaches mostly stay on ground, but may fly in very warm climates. Their preference for warm, humid environments leads them to harbourages within heated buildings - ceilings, attics, inside and around appliance motors. Primarily active at night, these opportunistic feeders particularly enjoy materials with high starch contents.