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There are 4,000 species of Cockroaches throughout the world and at least 70 species in the United States. Roaches can be especially harmful because they carry disease pathogens and bacteria like Salmonella (food poisoning), Escherichia Coli (diarrhea), Shigella dysenteriae (dysentery), and others that can cause allergic reactions in many people.

There are several species of cockroaches found in Oklahoma including the American Cockroaches, German Cockroaches, and Oriental Cockroaches.

  • They are oval shaped

  • They have a flattened body

  • They are various shades of brown and black (varies by species)

Behavior, Diet & Habits

Cockroaches have been around millions of years and have changed very little in that time. There are 4,000 species throughout the world and at least 70 species in the United States. They are generally found in groups but are not considered social insects. They are nocturnal by nature but when their harborage spots become overfilled they will be found out during the day. Not all species invade households and commercial establishments, but the ones that do are more than just a nuisance. They carry disease pathogens and bacteria like Salmonella (food poisoning), Escherichia Coli (diarrhea), Shigella dysenteriae (dysentery), and others that can even cause allergic reactions in many people.


Cockroaches produce eggs in masses called an oothecae. These egg cases contain up to 60 eggs, depending on the species. The female glues these in a sheltered area near a food source. Some species drop oothecae immediately while other species, such as the German cockroach, carry them until 24-48 hours before they hatch. Depending on the species, the female can lay up to 90 of these egg cases in her lifetime. When cockroaches hatch they are white but quickly turn into their coloration within a couple of hours. The metamorphosis of a cockroach is egg, nymph, and then adult. Complete metamorphosis lasts between 53 days to 2 years depending on species. You can find all stages together, but sometimes they are segregated by size based on their hiding place.

Signs of an Infestation

Since cockroaches are nocturnal and spend about 75% of their life in harborage spots it is easy to miss their initial infestation period. Most people detect them when they turn on a light and see them scurry into hiding. You’ll typically find them in humid areas near their food source. Other signs include roach feces, on or around harborage spots or a foul smell.


To prevent a roach infestation, it’s important to keep your home or business clean and sanitized. We recommend reducing moisture, food sources and possible harborage spots as well as sealing entry points.

Many homeowners try the do-it-yourself approach. While this can reduce the number of roaches you see, it does not effectively kill the eggs or the roaches you don’t see. To treat an infestation thoroughly and properly, we recommend that you contact your pest management professional. They will identify the type of cockroaches, then, develop a specific treatment plan that is most effective for your situation. This typically involves, a combination of spray and bait application techniques.

American Cockroach

  • 1 3/8 to 2 1/8 inches in length

  • They are reddish brown with a yellowish band at bottom of prothorax

  • Both sexes are fully winged

German Cockroach

  • They are 1/2 to 5/8 inches in length

  • They are light brown to tan with 2 darker parallel streaks

  • The females are darker and have a wider abdomen

Oriental Cockroach

  • They are 1 to 1 1/4 inches in length

  • They are shiny black or sometimes dark reddish brown in color

  • The males have wings that cover about 75% of their abdomen while the females are much smaller

  • The adults do not fly

  • They are often referred to as water bugs

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