Bug Blog

How Arizona’s Cockroach Pest Species Differ In Terms Of Appearance And Habits

Several cockroach species are common indoor pests in Arizona, including American, German, Oriental, Surinam, Turkestan, brown-banded and field cockroaches. Of these species, the American cockroach is most distinctive in appearance due to its large size, which ranges from 1 ¼ to 2 inches in length, making it twice the size of most other cockroach pest species in the country. Oriental cockroaches are between ¾ and 1 ¼ of an inch in length, making them similar to Turkestan and Surinam cockroaches in size, but Oriental cockroaches can usually be identified quickly by their slow and sluggish movements and for the foul odor they emanate. However, Oriental and Turkestan cockroaches exhibit similar habits and few people can tell them apart with the naked eye. Surinam cockroaches remain relatively rare in Arizona, and while field cockroaches are similar to German cockroaches in size and appearance, German cockroaches dwell primarily indoors, while field cockroaches dwell primarily outdoors. However, despite stark differences in their behaviors, brown-banded and German cockroaches are frequently mistaken for one another, as both are indoor dwelling species that are similar in size.

German and brown-banded cockroaches are the only two roach pest species in the US that dwell primarily indoors, but in Arizona, the former is far more prevalent than the latter. These two species are between ½ and ⅝ of an inch in length, but the brown-banded cockroach has two light colored bands around its wings and abdomen, while the German cockroach has two dark colored bands behind their head. While the German cockroach prefers to remain in warm hidden areas where moisture levels are high, such as bathrooms and kitchens, brown-banded cockroaches prefer to establish harborages in hot locations throughout homes, particularly in attics, the upper portion of wall voids, ceilings, and beneath furniture. However, German cockroaches are beginning to exhibit habits that are similar to those of brown-banded cockroaches, such as nesting within TVs, appliances and other electronics, and dispersing throughout homes.

Have you ever encountered one or more cockroaches on your ceiling?