NYC Cockroaches

Cockroach Control


Size: Cockroaches can get as big as 3.5 inches in length but the average roach measures between 1 and 2 inches in length and no more than 30 grams in weight. 

Features: Roaches have spiny six legs and two long antennae which they use to detect odors and to navigate in the dark. They have two sets of wings that fold over their thorax. 

Color: All cockroaches come in varying shades of reddish-brown.

A cockroach on a white background.

Signs of Infestation

Signs of a roach infestation include:

  • Discarded exoskeletons or egg casings
  • Black specks (feces) lying everywhere
  • Musty odor

As with most infestations, visible confirmation is also common. Unfortunately, this may mean turning the light on at night and seeing them scurry across the floor.Roaches caught in a sticky trap.


Behavior and Diet

Cockroaches are omnivorous. They’ll eat just about anything and don’t require much. In fact, roaches can survive for up to two or three months without eating. However, they do need water to live, which is why humid buildings are often targets for roach infestations.

Roaches live to burrow, dig, and roll around in any filth they can find. Because they can slip through cracks mere millimeters in size, roaches are capable of reaching every conceivable space in your business.

Reproduction and Life Cycle

The average natural lifespan of a cockroach is up to a year. A single female can give birth to eggs eight different times during her life. With each of those egg cases holding up to 50 eggs, a single cockroach can quickly turn into a big problem. In favorable conditions, a single female cockroach will produce anywhere from 3 to 400 offspring.

Once a cockroach egg hatches, the nymph inside seeks out food to grow. As its size increases, a nymph will shed its exoskeleton and grow a new, larger one. This may happen up to a dozen times before they reach full adulthood and gain their wings. You may see these discarded shells in areas where they travel. Baby cockroaches begin white in color and eventually darken to a reddish-brown.

Other Characteristics

Cockroaches have surprisingly flat bodies, which enable them to fit under and inside of small nooks and crannies where you might not expect them. Roaches tend to spend a lot of their time hunkered in tight spaces.

Many people are allergic to cockroaches. Cockroaches can secrete a protein allergen called tropomyosin that has been linked to asthma complications. If you have a cockroach allergy, seek professional cockroach control immediately.

Cockroach FAQ

What does a cockroach look like?

Cockroaches are easily identified by their flat, oval-shaped bodies, long antennae and spiny legs. They are almost always reddish-brown except for nymphs which are lighter in color.

What do cockroach eggs look like?

Cockroaches lay their eggs in small, brown casings called ootheca that look like small beans. Despite being 5 mm in length, these ootheca can hold 40-50 cockroach eggs.

Where do cockroaches lay eggs?

Roaches prefer to lay their eggs in warm, dark areas that are left undisturbed. These locations will usually be proximate to a food source so that hatchlings can eat soon after emerging. A mother cockroach might “glue” the ootheca to a hard surface to protect it.

How long does it take for cockroach eggs to hatch?

Incubation under ideal conditions–warm, dark, humid–takes about 50 days. This can extend up to three months in lesser conditions.

What do flying cockroaches look like?

While they do have wings and are capable of flight, cockroaches are not confident flyers and prefer the ground. If you see a rare flying cockroach, it will likely appear slow and clumsy, swerving and dipping.

How long do cockroaches live?

The average lifespan of a cockroach is about one year. They spend the first couple of months as nymphs, molting multiple times until they reach adulthood. Roach lifespan can depend on access to food and water as well as exposure to the elements.

How big is a cockroach?

The types of cockroaches in New York that you’ll typically encounter average about one inch in length. The largest cockroach ever discovered was in Japan and measured nearly four inches long and three inches wide.

Do roaches serve a purpose?

Hard to believe, but in the wild cockroaches do serve several purposes. They’re food for other animals and birds, they help the decomposition of organic matter and they restore nitrogen into the soil.