Cockroaches. La Cucaracha. Waterbug. Roach. The insect, that when brought up in conversation, always leads to someone saying, “Did you know they can live for a week without their head?” While that interesting fact is decidedly true, it’s not the only thing there is to know about cockroaches.

Today we’ll be taking you on a guided tour through all the information you need to know about cockroaches. We’ll start with an overview of their main characteristics and the varieties most commonly found in New York. We’ll end with the sort of tips you need to make sure they never disrupt your business. Here we go.

Introduction to Cockroaches

Cockroaches are six-legged insects, typically ovular in shape, that have been around for a long time. There is fossil proof of roaches going back millions of years. While there are over 4,500 species of cockroach found on Earth, only around 30 are found near human habitats. Even fewer are considered to be pests.

Cockroaches are small, between a fraction of an inch to a few inches in length for the biggest. Their bodies are divided into three segments and all varieties have antennae. Some have wings, but many don’t use them. They’re social insects that are mostly motivated by their desire for food anywhere they can find it.

Which roaches are most common in New York?

Cockroaches are widespread creatures. They can be found on every continent save for Antarctica and in a wide variety of climates. When it comes to the roaches most commonly found in New York, however, there are a few standout varieties. These include:

  • American Cockroaches. American cockroaches are the largest of the commonly found New York cockroaches. Adults can grow to be over two inches long. Their coloring is reddish-brown with varying shades of each intermixed. Their distinctive features are a thick yellow band at the base of their head and fully developed wings.
  • German Cockroaches. These are the most easily and commonly found variety of cockroach in the world. Their coloring is light brown with two darker brown, nearly parallel stripes at the base of their head. They can measure between 1/2 and 5/8 of an inch on average. They do have wings, but unlike their American cockroach counterpart, prefer not to use them. When it comes to commercial cockroach problems, these guys are most commonly associated with restaurant and food service infestations.
  • Oriental Cockroaches. Despite its distinctive name, this variety of cockroach was first found in Africa. Typically around an inch in length, they’re larger than a German cockroach, but smaller than an American one. Also referred to as  “black beetles,” these shiny black and ovular insects are common in the American northeast.

Cockroach Elimination Tips

  • Like with most insects, cockroaches are motivated by the need for food, water, and shelter. Remove access to these and your likelihood of any type of infestation will go down dramatically.
  • Roaches in particular love filth. To keep them out, make sure you keep your space consistently clean, clear, and secure. Take out the garbage regularly, wipe up spills as they happen, and make consistent sanitation a habit.
  • Oriental cockroaches are particularly good at getting in through cracks. Create a perimeter management plan to avoid this risk. This means making sure that, at least weekly, someone is walking around the outside of your building. Have them look for any broken brick, cracks in concrete, ripped screens, or gaps in door frames. Catching these problem areas right away will help you repair them and keep pests from getting in.


Our final tip is to contact a professional commercial pest management company as soon as you suspect an infestation. A team like the one at Assured Environments will know exactly what to do to. Not only to remove existing infestations but to prevent future ones, too. If you need any additional cockroach questions answered, give us a call today.