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4 Types of Cockroaches in Virginia (With Pictures)

Cockroach looking out from radio set

Cockroaches are among the most hated insects, and with good reason. They are creepy-crawly and can fly; many people view them as a sign of a dirty household. Additionally, cockroaches can spread diseases such as salmonella, dysentery, and gastro issues. They also increase the risk of an enzyme and asthma outbreak.

Their ability to preserve in most conditions and quick reproductive capacity means they can be found in large numbers. Not only that, they come in different species too. There are at least four different types of cockroaches in Virginia alone.

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How to Identify Different Types of Cockroaches

Most people don’t take the time to identify a cockroach when they spot one, which is why they aren’t aware that they come in different types. You can tell the difference by looking at the cockroach’s size, color, and habits.

german cockroaches
Image Credit: IrinaK, Shutterstock


The largest cockroach in the world is around six inches long and has a wingspan of one foot. Typically, most house cockroaches range around ½ and to 2 inches long. The smallest can grow less than ½ an inch in length.

Difference in Color

Most cockroaches have a dark reddish brown with a yellowish shade on their back. The wings are usually brown, and very few species have markings of a different color.


Cockroaches will often enter the house in search of food and water; each species has its own unique hiding spot. Some prefer to hide in bathrooms and kitchens under debris, leaves, and rocks, while others prefer places with temperatures higher than 80 degrees.

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The 4 Most Common Types of Cockroaches in Virginia

1. American Cockroach

american cockroach
Image Credit: Guentermanaus, Shutterstock
Color: Yellow coloring at the back of the head and reddish brown body
Size: 2 inches in length
Hiding Spots: Warm, dark, moist spaces such as bathrooms and storage spaces

The American cockroach is the most common household cockroach in Virginia. Despite its name, it’s found worldwide and is originally from North Africa. It’s often referred to as the water bug and is the largest cockroach species in the world.

It has a flat, oval body that allows it to crawl in and out of tiny, tight spaces without struggling. Although they have wings, they don’t usually fly. Instead, they use their wings to glide for short distances.

2. German Cockroaches

German Cockroach
Image Credit: Brett Hondow, Pixabay
Color: Generally tan with two darker stripes on their back
Size: ½ and 5/8 inches
Hiding Spots: Warm and humid areas such as bathrooms and between piping

Although these cockroaches have wings, they rarely fly and prefer running instead. They are scavengers and can feed on almost any food source in their environment, including the binding on books, soap, toothpaste, and crumbs on dirty dishes.

They lay around 30 to 40 eggs that take 1 to two days before hatching. German cockroaches are known for their ability to reproduce quickly, and it only takes a female mating experience to fertilize her eggs.

3. Oriental Cockroaches

Image Credit: Liz Weber, Shutterstock
Color: Shiny black
Size: 1 inch in length
Hiding Spots: Moist spaces

The female oriental cockroaches have short and triangular wigs, while the male cockroaches have long wings that run through their body. The adults tend to peak during summer, so most infestations happen from spring to fall.

The easiest way to tell whether a cockroach is an oriental cockroach is by observing whether it can climb walls. If it can climb a vertical wall, then it probably isn’t.

4. Asian Cockroaches

Color: Tan with two dark stripes on their back and behind the head
Size: 1 inch in length
Hiding Spots: Under rocks, debris, and leaves

Asian cockroaches are often mistaken for German roaches since they are both tan and tend to have smaller bodies. The best way to tell them apart is by observing their behaviors. Asian cockroaches are mostly found outdoors and rarely make their way inside human settlements. Unlike the other types of cockroaches, they can fly and also use their wings to run from danger and fight predators.

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Common Signs of a Cockroach Infestation

If you can see the signs of a cockroach infestation, then you have a cockroach problem. They are very good at hiding, and it may take a while for you to spot one. The first sign that most homeowners see is the feces of the cockroaches. They can be found in drawers, pantries, behind appliances, kitchen drawers, and other hidden corners.

The color and texture of the droppings vary depending on the type of cockroach. They can look like coffee grounds or rat droppings. The second and most prominent sign of an infestation is the musty smell, often due to the droppings and dead roaches.

Cockroaches at home
Image Credit: RHJPhtotoandilustration, Shutterstock

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How to Prevent Cockroaches in Your Home

Getting rid of cockroaches in Virginia can be a bit challenging. The weather there is very conducive for them to live and breed. Preventing is often easier than removing them once they infest your house. Some prevention tips include:

1. Remove All Traces of Food

Calm female sorting organic trash in kitchen in light room
Image Credit: SHVETS production, Pexels

If you can remove all food and water sources from your home, the cockroaches will also follow. You can do this by:

  • Not leaving dirty dishes in the sink
  • Avoid dumping food in unclosed bins
  • Rinse out all recycled items before storing them
  • Keep food in tightly sealed containers
  • Keep the shelves in cabinets and pantries clean and organized
  • Take out all the trash often and empty the bins daily

2. Ensure Your House Is Clean Throughout

Cockroaches can be found in dirt houses, especially in the kitchen. Cleaning with detergents is one of the most effective ways to discourage and get rid of them. Vacuum your home and furniture regularly, remove any uncovered pet food, wipe down any food preparation surfaces and the dining table after use and ensure that the microwave and fridge don’t have spilled food.

3. Declutter

stacks of Newspaper
Image Credit: Pexels, Pixabay

Cockroaches release a pheromone that signals to other cockroaches that they have found a suitable habitat to live in. They are primarily attracted to dark spaces, and clutter provides them with the right kind of environment to live, breed, and repopulate. Ensure you remove excess clutter from your house, including stacks of newspaper, empty containers, and food wrappers.

4. Look Out for Any Cracks and Gaps

The more cracks and gaps you have in your home, the more cockroaches you are likely to have. Seal any cracks and crevices, especially around pipes, lights, and wall fixtures.

5. Seek Professional Help

pest control
Image Credit: Elnur, Shutterstock

If you have many cockroaches in your house and all the other methods have not worked in getting rid of them, it might be time to call an exterminator. Calling professional pest control is the fastest and most effective way of getting rid of cockroaches.

Consult a PEST-CONTROL expert

Find a pest-control specialist in your area, and get free, no-commitment estimates for your project.

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How to Prevent Cockroaches From Entering Your Home

If your neighbor has cockroaches, they will also get into your house. Luckily, there are several ways you can prevent this from happening; inspect all the items entering your home and use screens on your windows and doors. You can also seal off the space between the door and the floor.

There are different ways to get rid of cockroaches, and various methods are more effective than others depending on the species. Knowing which type of cockroach is present in your home and their habits enable you to pick the best and most effective prevention method.

See Also: 5 Types of Cockroaches in Colorado (With Pictures)

Featured Image Credit: Vadim Kozlovsky, Shutterstock


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