Roaches are common pests and no one enjoys encountering them. Cockroach infestations are a serious health hazard, causing complications for adults and children with asthma and other allergies.
They contaminate food and increase bacteria in the home. Cockroaches need four things for their survival, which results in them making their way into your home. They are searching for water, food, heat, and shelter.
If you live in the South of North America, you are more likely to encounter roaches than anywhere else in the country. On average, cockroach sightings in the South are 24%, while they are only 11% elsewhere.
Continue reading for a list of the 18 most common cockroaches you can encounter in Georgia, from the most popular to the least popular.
1. Smoky Brown Cockroach
Smoky brown cockroaches (Periplaneta fuliginosa) are uniform mahogany and glossy. Their color is consistent on their underside and back. They are a similar shape and size to the American cockroach, but they lack yellow accents.
They can grow to one and a half inches in length with long wings, that stretch past their abdomen. They fly in search of food and to find a suitable mate. They have very long antennae, usually longer than the length of their body.
They are common where there is high humidity and warm temperatures for some of the year. These roaches are often encountered in Georgia. They are outdoor species that live in woodpiles, leaves, and planters usually found near the home in garages, sheds, rain gutters, and roof shingles.
They are attracted to light, which results in them often making their way into homes at night. When they go get into a home, they find a small crawl space, where the temperatures and humidity levels are higher.
2. American Cockroach
The American cockroach (Periplaneta americana) is not native to North America and is believed to have been introduced on ships from Africa. They are common in Georgia where they live in moist areas. They can survive in drier areas, as long as they have access to water.
They do not tolerate the cold, preferring warmer temperatures. They will die when temperatures reach 15ºF. As a result, they often take up homes in restaurants, groceries, hospitals, and bakeries, where they infest food storage and prep areas.
They are also found in homes but are more common outdoors in the summer months. In Georgia they are often found in the sewer systems, entering structures as they come in through drains.
The American cockroach grows to around 53mm in length with a red to brown coloration and a pale brown to yellow band around the shield. They are fully winged, which spans beyond the abdomen in males. They are moderate fliers.
3. Pale-bordered Field Cockroach
Pale bordered field cockroaches (Pseudomops septentrionalis) are pretty roaches with a bright-colored red head shield and yellow markings around the border of the pronotum and wings. They have an orange band at the tip of their antennae and red on their face.
This cockroach can grow to around half an inch, feeding on plant sap and flowers. They prefer the outdoors and are not common indoor pests. They are often encountered in open and wooded areas, often found in ivy, landscaping mulch, and woodpiles, which offer heavy ground cover.
4. German Cockroach
German cockroaches (Blattella germanica) are common urban pests in Georgia. They have been introduced to the United States, believed to have originated in Southeast Asia. They prefer tropical and temperate environments where there are warm and humid conditions.
These roaches inhabit a range of habitats from scrub to rain forest and chaparrals. They are found in caves forests and rural, urban, and suburban areas. They are large roaches that can grow to 16mm and weigh around 0.105 grams.
They are oval and flattened in body shape with spiny legs and long antennae. Males are more slender than females. They are light brown with two wide stripes on the dorsal side of the body.
5. Banana Cockroach
The banana cockroach (Panchlora nivea) is also known as the Cuban cockroach, a small species that is common in Georgia. It prefers tropical and subtropical climates with females growing to 24mm and males to 15mm in body length.
These are winged roaches and strong fliers. Their color ranges from a pale green to a yellow/green with a yellow line that runs up the sides. They are not commonly found indoors, preferring outdoors, so they are not considered pests.
They are common in plants, shrubs, and trees. They are popular pets, due to their green coloration and the fact they are not invasive indoor species. They are also commonly used as food for other pets.
6. Surinam Cockroach
The Surinam cockroach (Pycnoscelus surinamensis) is also known as the greenhouse cockroach. They are burrowers and common plant pests. They can be found in tropical and subtropical areas throughout the world. The Surinam cockroach populations are almost completely females, growing to 25mm in body length.
These roaches are dark brown to black with pale brown wings. There is a white band on the head shield (pronotum). Males are very rarely produced and have longer wings that cover their abdomen. Both the male and female are poor flyers.
These roaches are common in Georgia where they burrow into loose soil, mold, composite piles, under rocks, in the trash, and more. They do find their way into homes occasionally, though are not a common household pest. They are garden pests, problematic in heated greenhouses, where they gnaw at the soft parts of plants.
7. Cryptocercus garciai
Cryptocerus garciai is a wood roach, which was named after Jerry Garcia, an American musician. This roach was discovered in 1998 in Chattahoochee National Forest in North Georgia.
These roaches can range from brown to black with large head plates. The segments on the head plate are larger than those on the abdomen. Their antennae are about half the length of the roach.
8. Oriental Cockroach
Oriental cockroaches (Blatta orientalis) can be found indoors and outdoors. They are often seen in trash cans sewers or hiding under leaves or stones in warmer weather. They often move in large groups to unheated buildings during the fall, as they prefer a cool environment. They are found in basements, close to water pipes, and leaky drains.
These cockroaches are dark brown to black with the male being smaller than the female. Males grow to 2.6cm, while females can grow up to 3.25cm in body length. Males are more slender and their wings reach their abdomen.
The female doesn’t have wings, but pads. Neither the male nor female can fly.
9. Asian Cockroach
The Asian cockroach (Blattella asahinai) was first recorded in Japan in 1981. It is a small species, which grows to 1.6cm in body length. They are dark brown to tan with dark parallel stripes on their heads.
This cockroach is often confused with the German cockroach, as they are similar and found in and around Georgia homes. They are mostly found outdoors in shady compost areas with fresh plant litter and plenty of moisture.
These pests will dominate a location where they are comfortable, forming hordes of up to 250,000 cockroaches per acre. They are attracted to artificial lights at night, flying into homes through indoor windows and doors.
10. Turkestan Cockroach
Turkestan cockroaches (Shelfordella lateralis) are rusty-colored roaches that live outdoors. They can grow to 3cm in length with males being more brown/orange or red and more slender than the female. They have yellow wings, which are used to attract females and help them glide.
Females are dark brown, sometimes black with cream markings on the shield and edge of the wings. They have short wings. They prefer the outdoors but can get into homes, where they will inhabit areas that meet their shelter requirements.
Males are mostly found indoors, as they can fly and their attraction to artificial lights. They were first introduced to North America in 1978 and has rapidly replaced the oriental cockroach in both Georgia and other southern urban areas.
They are known to inhabit water meters, irrigation, electrical boxes, hollow block walls, and cracks and crevices in concrete.
11. Florida Woods Cockroach
This is a large cockroach species, growing to 40mm in body length. They eject a foul-smelling spray, which they can shoot up to one meter when alarmed. This has given them other names such as the Florida stink roach and Florida skunk roach (Eurycotis floridana).
They look similar to a female oriental cockroach, but this roach is a dark to black brown or red/brown. They have short fore wings and no hind wings. They live in holes in trees and stumps, in woodpiles, and sometimes in amongst leaf litter.
They do enter buildings on occasion and are known to become established in attics.
12. Dark Wood Cockroach
The dark wood cockroach (Ischnoptera deropeltiformis) prefers living outside and is seldom seen inside homes and buildings. They are dark brown, often almost black in color with long legs, which maybe orange.
They are attracted to artificial lights, which is how they accidentally wander indoors. Always check your firewood before you bring it indoors to ensure there isn’t a dark wood cockroach hiding inside.
13. Small Yellow Texas Cockroach
The small yellow Texas cockroach (Chorisoneura texensis) is native to the United States, measuring 7mm in length. They are often found in leaf little, grass, and pine needle litter in forests in Georgia.
14. Australian Cockroach
Australian cockroaches (Periplaneta australasiae) are common in Georgia, growing to 35mm in body length. These brown roaches have a pale lateral stripe on the tegmina and the head shield has a pale or yellow margin.
They look similar to American cockroaches, though they are smaller with a yellow margin on the thorax and streaks near the base of the wings.
These roaches prefer a warm climate, though they can survive colder climates if they make their way indoors. They also prefer moist conditions, though they can thrive in dry conditions, as long as they have access to water.
These cockroaches are usually found around the outside of buildings, where they eat plants and decaying matter. They are known to come indoors to get warm or look for food.
15. Virginia Wood Cockroach
This small cockroach (Parcoblatta virginica) only grows to around one centimeter in length. The males have full wings and are orange in color, while females are black to rusty brown. The male is also larger than the female, growing to 15.4mm in length, while females grow to 12.5mm in length.
16. Tawny Cockroach
The tawny cockroach (Ectobius pallidus) is a medium-sized roach with a white head and transparent pronotum and tan abdomen. They usually have red to brown spots with females having larger spots in two rows over her tegmina. Both males and females are fully winged and can fly.
This roach was first recorded in North America in 1948. They inhabit woodlands, meadows, sandy dunes, heathlands, and areas with leaf litter, bushes, and trees. They are known to be attracted to artificial light, which often sees them in a home, as they fly through an open door or window.
17. Western Wood Cockroach
The good news is that the Western wood cockroach (Parcoblatta americana) prefers living outdoors. They are seldom encountered, being nocturnal and preferring chaparral, grasslands, wood, and dried-up river banks.
These roaches hide under leaf litter and rocks, scavenging at night. Males have wings, while female does not. This means that sometimes you may encounter a male in your home, as they are attracted to artificial lights at night.
These wide-bodied and brown roaches are glossy with thin antennae and are mostly active from spring to late fall.
18. Small Yellow Cockroach
The small yellow cockroach (Cariblatta lutea) is native to the United States, growing to 7mm in body length. The males are slightly smaller than the females. They are mostly found in pine needles and leaf litter. They can also be found in grasses behind beaches, open pinelands, and hardwood hammocks.