In New Jersey, the most common roaches include the German Roach, American Roach, Brown Banded Roach and Oriental Roach. Nothing creates an "unsanitary" image with the public better than seeing cockroaches scurry around. This tiny insect has evoked fear and disgust in homeowners. Click on one of the cockroach species below to learn more about that roach.
The American Roach is the largest roach species of the four common roaches and commonly referred to as water bugs. It measures approximately 1” to 1¾” in length at maturity. The American Roach have a dark brown to reddish brown coloring and lighter yellow coloring bands behind the head. Males and females have wings and are capable of flying short distances.
Typically, American Roaches live in moist areas, but can also survive in dry areas if water is nearby. American Roaches prefer warmer temperatures around (84° F) and do not tolerate colder temperatures. In residential homes, American Roaches can be found in basements, crawl spaces, cracks and crevices of porches, foundations, sewers lines and may migrate outside during warm weather.
The American Roach is a scavenger in that it will typically feed on decaying organic matter and a variety of other foods.
Brown Banded Cockroaches
The Brown Banded Roach is a small species of cockroach. It measures approximately 5/8” long at maturity. It has a light tan to brown coloring. The Brown Banded Roach has two lighter colored bands that run across the abdomen and wings. The Female Brown Banded Roach has a reddish brown to darker brown wing coloring. Only the male species of the Brown Banded Roach are capable of flight. The male Brown Banded Roach has a more slender shape.
The Brown Banded Roach in New Jersey can often be found in homes. Generally, this species of roach tend not to be found in the daytime, since they avoid light. When disturbed, it will jump.
The Brown Banded Roach will eat a wide variety of items. But like other roach species, it is a scavenger, causing it to eat a wide array of items.
The German Roach is the most common and likely to be seen in your home. It measures approximately 1/2” to 3/4” in length at maturity. It has a pale brown to coloring and two darker brown parallel streaks running from the head to the base of the wings. The German Roach has wings but is unable to fly.
In ideal conditions (86° Fahrenheit & 80% humidity) a female cockroach can grow from an egg capsule to an egg-laying adult in as little as 45 days. Moreover, an egg capsule can contain up to as many as 50 cockroaches and on average, two-thirds of the new roaches will be female. As such, in ideal conditions, in just one year, roach populations can reach into the billions.
The German Roach is typically seen during the day time occasionally. However, this typically means that population is large or they have been disturbed. Most German Roach sightings commonly occur in the evening hours, as they are most active during the night. The German Roach is smaller in size than many other roach species. As such, its smaller size allows it to more easily hide and fit into very small cracks and crevices to evade humans.
The Oriental Roach, sometimes also referred to as a water bug, is a larger species of roach. It can measure approximately ¾” to 1” in length at maturity. It has a very dark brown to black coloring. The body also has a very glossy appearance. The female species has a slightly larger body than the male. The male species has longer wings that cover a majority of the body. The male is capable of very short flight bursts.
Oriental Roaches prefer dark and moist places with higher humidity. This species can be found near sewers, drains, damp basements, porches and other damp locations. Oriental Roaches primarily feed on decaying organic matter.
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American Cockroach Facts
Has shown a marked attraction to alcoholic beverages, especially beer. Also known as the “water bug.”