Cockroaches are brown to brownish-black insects that range from about inch to 1 1/2 inches long; they have long antennae, and most species have well developed wings. The large American cockroach and the small German cockroach can fly a short distance; the oriental cockroach (or waterbug) has short wings and can not fly.


The American and oriental cockroach often live outdoors around the perimeter of buildings and in cool, damp basements. The German and brownbanded cockroach occur indoors, and are common in kitchens and bathrooms. These insects are scavengers and feed on a variety of household material. Females produce an eggcase a month and each may contain from 14 to 40 eggs; females live for six months to about one year.


Limiting the amount of food and water available to cockroaches will help in reducing household and perimeter infestations. Sticky traps help to locate sites of infested harborages, and these can be eliminated or treated with residual insecticide. Bait stations and gels are an effective means of reducing infestations.