oriental cockroach

Catch of the Week: Oriental Cockroach

June 10, 2019

One of our pest technicians caught an oriental cockroach in a Des Moines home recently. While they were at the house, they saw a roach scurrying across the kitchen floor, but our exterminator trapped this pest under the plastic cup pictured above. Read on to learn more about cockroaches and which species Iowa residents need to look out for.

Most Common Types of Cockroaches in Iowa

German Cockroach: This species is the most common type of cockroach. It lives in warm and damp places, such as kitchens and bathrooms. German cockroaches eat sweet and floury foods, which is why homeowners will usually find them in the kitchen.

Oriental Cockroach: This pest gets its name from being transported around on trade ships, but it actually originates from Africa. It is known as one of the dirtiest cockroaches and has a terrible stench. Oriental cockroaches typically live in cool, wet spaces like sewers, basements and crawl spaces. They eat garbage and other decaying materials.

American Cockroach: Despite the name, this roach is also native to Africa. It is one of the biggest cockroaches found in houses, and will grow to an inch long. American cockroaches prefer to live in warm, dark and wet environments, so they’re often found in sewers and basements. They are very adaptable to their surroundings and will eat almost anything, including plants and other insects.

Interesting Facts About Cockroaches

There’s a lot of information to know about roaches, but we’ll cover some of the crazy facts about this type of insect:

  • Cockroaches have been around since the time of dinosaurs.
  • There are about 4,000 species of cockroaches in the world, and around 70 species can be found in the United States.
  • The average size of a cockroach is 0.5-2 inches long, but the largest roach is 6 inches long. It’s found in South America and has a wingspan of one foot!
  • Cockroaches can run as fast as three miles per hour, so they can spread diseases quickly.
  • One-day-old roaches can run almost as fast as their parents.
  • These pests can cause allergies, trigger asthma attacks and spread up to 33 different diseases.
  • Cockroaches can live for an entire week without their head. Their unique circulatory system and ability to breathe through tiny holes in different body segments allows them to survive. The only reason they cannot survive longer without a head is because they have no way to drink water without it.
  • Because they are cold-blooded, cockroaches can go about a month without food, but cannot go more than a week without water. This is why they typically live in wet or damp settings.
  • These pests can hold their breath for about 40 minutes, and can survive underwater for about 30 minutes at a time.

Why Are Cockroaches So Resilient?

With the ability to grow detached legs back and survive without essential body parts, many think the American cockroach is basically indestructible. It’s true, they can survive very extreme conditions, but why is the cockroach so resilient? NBC reported a study that says scientists found something in their DNA that allows them to create their own antibiotics to assist in the healing process. They also have an incredible sense of smell, which could lead to their ability to survive extreme settings, since they could sense dangerous smells and avoid them. Since they can survive such extreme conditions, it’s best to contact a professional if you spot an infestation.

Des Moines Pest Control Experts

If you notice any cockroaches inside your home, contact the experts at Preferred Pest Control! We have trained pest control professionals to get rid of cockroaches and other difficult pests. Call us at (515) 415-5550 or schedule an appointment online today.


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