The German cockroach is the most common and thrives in all types of buildings, including hotels, hospitals, and restaurants. It will enter in food supplies, laundry deliveries, and even employee or guest handbags and luggage. This species prefers dark shelters near food and moisture. It carries disease organisms and can cause allergic reactions in people. The German cockroach is considered the strongest cockroach because of its small size and ability to breed in great numbers.
This cockroach gets its name from the yellowish brown bands that run across its forewing. These pests prefer starchy foods and have lower water requirements than other cockroaches. They are found in all parts of a facility and prefer to hide in places up off the floor. Brown-banded cockroaches are especially troublesome because they do not confine their activities to well-defined areas in buildings.
The brown cockroach is medium sized and lives in hot and humid conditions. So it is very common in the south from Florida to Texas. It is sometimes found further north when transported with people moving from the south. Common hiding places include crawl spaces, sewers, garbage areas, food storage areas, ground cover, and palm trees. Brown cockroaches are capable of flight and eat plant material.
The American cockroaches are the largest of the species and are abundant in grocery stores, restaurants, hospitals, office buildings, housing authorities, prisons, and apartment buildings. These pests like warm, damp locations and can also be found by the thousands in sewers, steam tunnels, and boiler rooms. They fly and therefore migrate between buildings. In Florida and other parts of the south, they are often referred to as palmetto bugs and can survive outdoors quite well, living in trees.
The Australian cockroach lives in the southern states where it feeds primarily on plant materials. It is a severely damaging to young plants in greenhouses, but rarely infests homes because it requires such hot and humid conditions. It can be found in large numbers in commercial buildings, such as restaurants because they have areas of high temperature and humidity. They also inhabit buildings that have tropical plants in their decor. The habits of the Australian cockroach are very similar to the American cockroach.
The Smokybrown cockroaches are usually found outdoors commonly in the south. They prefer moist, warm, dark habitat so they are often found around ground cover ivy and vines, loose mulch, and woodpiles. They can fly and are attracted to lights at night. They enter buildings through cracks and crevices and will infest any warm and humid areas not exposed to air currents. These cockroaches will feed on anything of nutritious value.
The Oriental cockroach is a common indoor pest that prefers very damp, secluded places such as crawl spaces, basements, and drains. They commonly enter buildings through door thresholds, utility pipes, ventilators, and floor drains. Unlike most cockroaches, these pests cannot climb smooth surfaces, so they are often found trapped in bathtubs and sinks. They thrive outdoors in planters and ground cover and surviving even in freezing weather. They feed on filth and produce foul odors.
The Surinam cockroach is a tropical insect that is usually found in humid, hot areas. They are common in Florida and south Texas and live in potted plants in malls, zoos, and greenhouses. Surinam cockroaches are all female and produce eggs without having to mate with males. These insects burrow into soil and often go unnoticed for some time because they are active at night. Surinam cockroaches are plant feeders and can severely damage plants in greenhouses.