How Many Species of Cockroaches Are There

How many species of cockroaches are there? Worldwide there are about 3,500 species of cockroaches. The United States alone is home to more than 50 different varieties. Of those species, there are about four kinds of cockroaches that are considered pests.

German Cockroach
While the name implies a Germanic origin, the German Cockroach actually comes from Asia. In fact, it is related to the Asian Cockroach.

The German Cockroach is small, measuring just over half an inch long. Its body color varies from light brown to dark brown, with two dark streaks running from the head to the base of its wings. Although it has wings, it cannot fly.
Found throughout the world, the German Cockroach is the most common cockroach species. It inhabits everything from homes to hotels, although it prefers restaurants and businesses that provide an ample supply of food. This cockroach is a scavenger. It will eat almost anything, including other cockroaches.

The German Cockroach is very hardy, which makes it hard to control. It produces a large number of nymphs in each egg case; the mother protects the eggs by carrying the egg case with her.

American Cockroach
The American Cockroach is also called a Palmetto Bug or Water Bug. Although it is called the American Cockroach, this species originated in Africa.

The American Cockroach is most commonly found in the Southern United States. It is one of the largest species of cockroaches, growing to an average length of 1.6 inches. It has a reddish-brown body with a yellow margin behind the head.

The American Cockroach shuns the light and is very active at night. It is extremely fast and is considered one of the fastest running insects.

The female carries her eggs around in an egg case. The eggs hatch in six to eight weeks, and the cockroaches mature in 12 months. An adult lives for over a year. Because of its size and slow growth cycle, the American Cockroach is not usually found in large infestations.
Oriental Cockroach
Also known as a Waterbug, the Oriental Cockroach is a large species. It measures about one inch long. Its body coloring varies from brown to black.  

The female differs from the male, as she has two short wings behind her head that are not used for flight. The male has a longer set of wings and can fly for short distances. 

Oriental Cockroaches move slowly and prefer dark, moist places. Indoors they are found in basements, porches, sewers and drains. Outside they are often found under leaves, mulch and around damp spots.

Each female carries 16 individual eggs in her egg case. The egg cases are dropped and left to hatch, usually in about two months. Because of this habit, they are harder to get rid of than other species of cockroaches. It can take an exterminator several months to completely eliminate an Oriental Cockroach infestation.

Asian Cockroach
Almost identical to the German Cockroach, the Asian Cockroach measures about two thirds of an inch long , with color ranging from tan to brown. The Asian Cockroach has longer wings then the German Cockroach. It can fly, and it is attracted to light.

The Asian Cockroach likes warm, tropical locations and prefers to live outdoors. It is found in most southern states, including Florida, Texas and Georgia.

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