Learn How to Identify the Most Common Cockroaches in Illinois

cockroach Cockroaches are nasty little bugs that no one wants to find in their house. Seeing one in your home doesn’t necessarily mean that your house is dirty because it could have come from a neighbor. But seeing one in your house does mean that you have a lot more. Illinois is home to four common types of roaches. If you can ID the type that is in your house, the exterminator will be much more prepared when they come.

American Cockroaches
The American cockroach may also be called the water bug because they are most commonly found around water and in damp places. They are about 1 1/3–1 1/2 inches long. These roaches are also a brownish-red color. If you look at the back of their head, they have a shape like a figure eight that’s a yellowish color. The American cockroach is the largest of the roaches infesting homes in IL.

One way to tell if you have American roaches is to place sticky traps near water lines, boilers, water heaters, or under your sink. If any are around, they will get stuck on the trap. The best way to get rid of them is to block them off from the water by sealing and caulking any gaps and leaks. You can also place bait stations that will attract the roaches, which they can take back to their nests.

Brown Banded Cockroaches
This species of cockroach is a small one. They are only about 1/2 inch long. They are brown with a lighter band across the wings on their back. These roaches aren’t as common in houses, but they will show up in your house under the right conditions. You can find these roaches in warm, dry places that are high up. Places like the tops of cabinets or molding are good places to look.

You can try sprinkling a light layer of borax in areas where you have seen these roaches. The powder gets into their joints and under their carapaces, breaking them apart and drying the insect out. They will track the powder into their nests, which will help to kill off others. They do have a long hatching period, so you will need to check for re-infestation frequently.

German Cockroaches
The German cockroach is probably the most common one found in houses. They are another small species, only about 1/2–5/8 inches long. The adults are generally brown, with two brown stripes on their body just behind the head. Nymphs, non-adults, have no wings and look black. German roaches like to stay close to their food source, so you can find them around your cabinets, sinks, and refrigerator. They also reproduce very quickly.

In order to get rid of this species of roaches, one of the first steps you should take is to put all your food in plastic or glass containers to cut their access. Bait placed anywhere that you see their feces is a good way to kill them because they congregate there. Their feces look like little black dots; the more roaches in your house, the more feces you will see.

Oriental Cockroaches
This species is another large species. They are also another water-loving species and are also called water bugs. They are dark-colored insects, generally dark brown or black, and are often very shiny. They are around 1–1 1/4 inches long. Oriental cockroaches are more cold-resistant than other species, so they may live outside your house, especially during mild winters.

Because oriental cockroaches like water and can live outside, it is a good idea to move things away from the foundation of your house, especially if they harbor water. You will also want to have the outside of your house treated so that it can act like a force field to keep the roaches out. 

You don’t want to have cockroaches in your house. But if you see any, we can help. Call our professionals at A-Alert Exterminating Service, Inc. We will verify which kind you have and get rid of the insects for you.

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