Despite the excessively arid climate in the Sonoran Desert, moisture-loving cockroaches are abundant in southern Arizona. Four cockroach species have achieved pest status in virtually every area within the contiguous US. These species include German, American, Oriental and brown-banded cockroaches, and each of these species have been known to establish infestations within homes and buildings in southern Arizona. However, Arizona is home to at least 20 documented cockroach species, half of which can appear in large numbers within homes in the state.
Oriental and brown-banded cockroaches are responsible for a small minority of reported infestations in southern Arizona, and some pest control professionals in the region have claimed that American cockroaches are the most commonly encountered roach pests within homes in the state. Although American cockroaches are certainly abundant within urban sewer systems in southern Arizona, they are not necessarily the most common roach pests of homes in the region.
The German cockroach is likely the most common roach pest of homes in all areas of Arizona due to their natural preference for dwelling primarily indoors. That being said, American cockroaches may be the most frequently encountered roach species within southern Arizona homes, but they typically establish lasting infestations only within large urban buildings in southern Arizona as opposed to residential homes. It is important for residents to note that two non-native cockroach species have been introduced into Arizona, and both are commonly mistaken for more well known cockroach pests. These recently introduced species are commonly known as the Turkestan and the Surinam cockroaches, and the latter has become prevalent in Tucson and Phoenix where it is now known to proliferate rapidly within and around homes.
Before the Turkestan cockroach became known to pest control professionals in the US, they were commonly mistaken for German cockroaches, as the two species are slightly similar in appearance. However, unlike German cockroaches, Turkestan cockroaches are slightly larger than 1 inch in length and they are well controlled with granular baits. Insecticide barriers are also frequently applied to the perimeter surrounding homes in order to prevent repeat infestations of this species.
Have you ever witnessed a cockroach emerge from a drain?