Creepy as they may be cockroaches are a reality for many Long Island homeowners. Understanding their behavior, risks, and how to identify these pests is key to protecting your home and family.
Commonly Seen Cockroaches on Long Island
On Long Island, we typically deal with four key types of cockroaches, and even if your house is clean, it’s possible you’ll still see these pests pop up. Extremely opportunistic, cockroaches will find a way to thrive under a variety of conditions. Here are some facts about each of the common types of roaches we see on Long Island, and what sort of environment they’re most often found in:
German roaches are one of the most common species of cockroach found living not only in the Long Island area, but throughout the entire United States. Adult German roaches are around 1/2 to 5/8th an inch in length, and a tan to light brown shade. These roaches have unique lines running from behind their head to their wings, and while their bodies have wings, they aren’t actually able to fly.
German roaches often enter Long Island homes through any small cracks and crevices tthey can find while foraging for food, however it’s very common for these roaches to make their way into homes via packages, bags, or even luggage.
Inside residences, German roaches are typically found hanging out in warm, dark environments like basements, kitchens, crawl spaces, and underneath sinks. They’ll eat nearly anything they can find in your home, from breadcrumbs to toothpaste and glue.
German cockroaches have the potential to be dangerous. They’re known carriers of salmonella, E. coli, and pinworms, and will spread pathogens, urine, and feces throughout your entire home. Left untreated, the feces and shed skins that German roaches leave behind will build up and trigger asthma attacks in people, especially children.
American cockroaches are one of the larger species of cockroaches seen in Long Island homes. An adult American roach can grow as large 1.5 to 2 inches in length. This type of roach has a unique, yellow figure-eight marking on the back of its head. The body of an American cockroach is typically dark reddish-brown in color, and much to the horror of many Long Islanders, not only do American roaches have wings…they can fly.
Compared to other species of roaches seen on Long Island, American cockroaches aren’t inside homes as often, and instead, these big roaches are commonly found inside places that store and process food, such as bakeries, restaurants, hospitals, and grocery stores. American cockroaches also gravitate toward sewers, basements, crawl spaces, and any other place that provides them with a warm, moist environment. In homes, specifically, they’re usually found on the first floor.
While they won’t cause structural damage to your home, like German roaches, American cockroaches are unsanitary and pose health risks to humans.
Oriental roaches are another common type of cockroach we see on Long Island. These roaches grow to be around an inch in length, and have a shiny, black color. Females have wider bodies and shorter wings; males have narrower bodies and longer wings. Much to the relief of many Long Islanders, Oriental roaches have wings, but they don’t fly!
If you’ve ever heard “water bug” used as a catch-all term for roaches of any kind, Oriental roaches are actually the original water bugs! They have this name because they can be found crawling out of pipes and drains, and love living in moist areas like sewers, in and under leaves, and underneath rocks and firewood.
If the weather becomes unfavorable for Oriental roaches, which in their case, means it gets too hot or dry, they’ll move inside homes and buildings through vulnerable spaces like underneath doors, through floor drains, and via utility pipes. Inside, they enjoy chillin’ in basements, crawl spaces, and near washing machines, where they’ll snack on any type of starchy or organic matter they can to feed on.
If you end up with an Oriental roach situation in your home, know that these roaches can easily contaminate your food and spread disease throughout your home, and because they’re super into technology, or more specifically, the warmth of electronic gadgets, they can even damage electronics like computers and TVs.
If you guessed brown-banded roaches have brown bands, just as their name suggests, you’re right! Adults grow up to ½ an inch in length, so they are one of the smaller species we see on L.I. While male brown-banded roaches have fully developed wings that extend out past their abdomen and are capable of flight, females, on the other hand, have short, underdeveloped wings and cannot fly.
Unlike other cockroach species we’ve covered, brown-banded roaches prefer to live in areas that are warm and dry. Inside your homes, you’ll likely find them living in the attic, on the ceiling, inside furniture, in kitchen and bathroom cabinets, and near the motors of large household appliances like your refrigerator.
Brown-banded roaches are hungry—once inside your home, they’ll feed on a variety of unconventional snacks for some of us, including: wallpaper, stamps, book bindings, draperies, and even nylon stockings, among other foods found in kitchen and pantry areas.
Like other roaches, aside from being creepy and crawly, you don’t want brown-banded roaches in your home, because they’ll likely contaminate your food and damage your personal items.
9 Quick Tips on How to Prevent Roaches
- Put leftover food away in your fridge or containers with secure lids.
- Put pet food and water bowls away at night.
- Wash your dishes as soon as possible.
- Wipe up spills.
- Vacuum floors and all cracks and crevices to get rid of crumbs.
- Take garbage out regularly.
- Repair leaky water pipes or faucets.
- Give your trash cans a thorough cleaning.
- Eliminate clutter like cardboard boxes, newspapers, and bags.
How to Get Rid of Cockroaches in Your Long Island Home
To get rid of roaches, contact an exterminator like Suburban Exterminating. The health risks simply aren’t worth it. Treatment plans can vary depending on the type of roaches you have, but Suburban’s experienced pest control professionals can do a thorough evaluation, and help you choose a comprehensive treatment plan that works for your home and budget.
For help choosing the right pest control plan to protect you and your family from cockroaches, call or text (631/516) 864-6900.