The Cockroach (Blattellidae) is a small species of cockroach, measuring about 1.3 cm (0.51 in) to 1.6 cm (0.63 in) long; however, they are known to get bigger. They may be brown, reddish-brown, tan or black in color. They have chewing mouth parts, long, hairlike flexible antennae and a broad saddle-like plate that partially covers the head. In some species the males are winged and females are wingless. Most cockroaches are capable of developing on a wide range of food, and their flattened body form allows them to move into most areas.

Cockroaches can enter buildings and containers of all kinds. They can be carried into homes on grocery sacks, cartons, food packages, laundry and beverage cartons. The also may enter around loose-fitting doors and windows and through utility lines, and they may travel through sewers. Once within a home, cockroaches prefer warm, dark, moist shelters and are often found near kitchens and food-handling areas. Since cockroaches are nocturnal, they are rarely seen during the day. However, if they are seen during the day or when hiding places are disturbed, there is usually a heavy infestation. Other signs of infestation may be dead cockroaches, cast skins, empty egg cases, fecal droppings, fecal stains, and smell.


  • German Cockroach: Most frequently found cockroach species in Nevada.
  • Brown-banded Cockroach: The smallest cockroaches found in Nevada (half an inch in length)
  • Oriental Cockroach: Usually found around moist, dark sites. Common habitats include storm drains, water meter boxes, around garbage, sewers, and moist crawl spaces.
  • American Cockroach: Fond of starchy materials, meat products and sweetened or syrupy substances.
  • Field Cockroach: Feed on decaying vegetation.


The control of cockroaches requires a great deal of care and planning by the pest control operator. Several steps and techniques are involved in effective control, and these must be used in a coordinated manner. Cockroach control also usually requires a great deal of cooperation from the client to change environmental conditions that contribute to infestations.

Sanitation is fundamental to cockroach control. Any methods that can be used to deny cockroaches the food, water and shelter they need will greatly aid in control. Cleanliness and good housekeeping are essential. Food should be kept in tightly closed containers and should not be left exposed. This includes spilled materials, garbage, food scraps left in sink areas, and pet foods. Water is an important need of cockroaches. Dripping faucets, leaking pipes, and other sources of moisture should be eliminated. Bottles and cans to be recycled should be stored outdoors, if possible. Sewer openings should be screened.

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