5 Cockroaches in Virginia

cockroach control
Image courtesy of David Monniaux CC by SA 3.0
Cockroaches can be a serious problem and it only takes a few to start a serious infestation in your home. Once a cockroach wanders in looking for food and water, it can only take a few weeks for it turn into a full-blown insect infestation. Here are five types of cockroaches found in Virginia.

American Cockroaches

The American cockroach is large and grow up to one and half inches long. It can fly. It is also known as the Palmetto bug or water bugs. These roaches are a reddish brown and may have pale marking along the sides. These cockroaches tend to come in your home during the winter or after a rainstorm. The prefer the temperature to be around 84 degrees. American roaches will eat a variety of food including cheese, beer, hair and glue.

Brown-banded Cockroaches

These small cockroaches look similar to German cockroaches, but they have white bands across the body. These cockroaches may be found in your home. These cockroaches do not need as much water and so they will spread out into your living room and bedrooms. They will feed on a wide variety of things including trash and even nylon. When they invade your home, they can live for up to 206 days.

German Cockroaches

German cockroaches are light brown and small. They are different from brown-banded cockroaches because they have distinct dark parallel streaks that run down the back starting at the head and moving down to the base of the wings. German cockroaches will not survive outside and need warm weather. They are usually found in homes, restaurants or institutions like nursing homes. The German cockroach reproduces the most rapidly out any cockroach and likes sweet, fatty foods, starches and meats. They will eat glue or toothpaste if other food is not available.

Oriental Cockroaches

Oriental cockroaches are another common cockroach found inside homes. These are darker in color than German cockroaches and can be dark brown to almost black. They prefer areas that are damp and can be found around pipes that leak and in sewers. They move more slowly than other cockroaches but can prove difficult to kill since they may wash the insecticide off when they travel through water.

Wood Roaches

Wood roaches are unlike the other cockroaches listed. While they are the most common roaches in Virginia, they primarily live outside. It is not easy for a colony to be established inside of your home, and so you usually do not need to treat for these roaches. You can find wood roaches around heavily wooded areas. These roaches will fly, and have a white margin just behind their head.The experts at EcoTek can help you correctly identify and treat any cockroaches that you may have in your home. It is important to work quickly to eliminate any roaches with cockroach control treatments to prevent an infestation from taking hold.

5 Things That Attract Cockroaches

cockroach on counterIf you are worried about roaches in your home, or that you may get them in the future, there are things you can do to make sure that your home is not as attractive to cockroaches. If you get rid of these things, you can reduce the chance of having roaches in your home.

1. Leaky Pipes and Moisture

Cockroaches need easy and steady access to water. They tend to congregate in areas where there is water like your kitchen, laundry room and bathroom. Making sure to mop up any spills as soon as they happen or cleaning up after a bath or shower can help. However, fixing any leaking pipes can make a big difference. If you discover a leak, be sure that the area around it dries out completely.

2. Cardboard and Paper

Cockroaches eat cardboard and paper. If you are storing boxes in your home, you are more likely to attract cockroaches to your home, especially where you store things. If you use cardboard boxes to store old clothes or books, you can change the containers. Instead of holding onto moving boxes  you may want to recycle them or pass them onto someone else to use.

3. Food and Its Smells

Roaches are looking for food and so anything that is giving a strong smell may attract them. Food that is left out on the counters or in the sink can attract them as well as the trash that you leave in an uncovered garbage can overnight. You can remove these elements by doing your dishes as you use them and by taking out your trash each night. Be sure that you do not have trash especially with food on it around your home.

4. Pet Food

Pet food can attract a number of pests because it is made up of high protein. The best way to deal with this is to store your food in an airtight container. If you have a real problem with roaches, you may want to feed your pets and then put up their bowls.

5. Clutter and Mess

Cockroaches like places where they can hide and small spaces. Clutter can create that and make it easier for them to find places to hide. Clutter also makes it more difficult to keep a room or space clean. If you live in townhomes or apartments, you may be fighting off roaches if your neighbors have issues with too much clutter or a messy home.Cockroaches are known carriers of diseases ranging from samonella to dysentery, so it’s important to exterminate cockroaches as soon as you notice them in your home.

Life Cycle of Cockroaches

cockroach exterminationCockroaches are some of the hardiest creatures on the planet. They are known to survive in difficult conditions and as a result they can be difficult to eliminate them from your home. Many roaches will wander into your home looking for food and water and if they find it they will stay. Understanding the life cycle of roaches can help you understand the steps that you need to take to eliminate them.


Roaches will lay eggs in pouches called ootheca. Each of these pouches can hold between 16 to 50 eggs. The number of eggs is determined by the species of roach. Some roaches will deposit this in an area that is close to food while others will carry it on their backs until the roaches hatch. The ootheca are flat and the same color as the roaches.


The eggs hatch about thirty days after they are laid. The nymphs will grow into adults. During this time they will molt and get bigger. You can spot a nymph because they are smaller and often have a white spot in the center of their backs. It can take three to six months for this phase.


Adult cockroaches can live up to a year. During this time, they will mate multiple times. Some cockroaches will lay eggs up to 90 times. The adult cockroaches may crawl over your dishes or food. Cockroaches live in nests in small spaces. They like refrigerators and rooms that have water.Since cockroaches can multiply so quickly. A severe infestation can cause issues with people who have allergies or asthma. They can also spread disease. The nests are difficult to find on your own. A professional can help you effectively eliminate the roaches in your home. Contact the experts at EcoTek to learn about the different treatment plans available to you.Learn more about cockroach extermination from Ecotek Termite and Pest Control of Virginia Beach.