There are about 4500 different types of cockroaches in the world. Of those only 9 are a menace or pose significant health issues. You can find cockroaches outside around your home, in your basement near the furnace or in your kitchen or in sewers. The fact that they can scurry from a sewer line to a food preparation area is one of the major reason they pose a significant health issue. Some of these cockroaches consume the feces of other cockroaches. Cockroaches can transmit salmonella, e-coli, and listeria and will travel with commerce from different parts of the country so there is always a possibility of seeing different cockroaches from other areas.

Cockroach Identification


The most common in our part of the country are the German and American cockroaches. There is a type called the Pennsylvania wood roach. They are sometimes confused with German cockroaches but they are tanner than brown and can be found on walls in different parts of your home. They are never going to live inside our homes and kitchens like other cockroaches. The best way to control the Pennsylvania wood roach is to exclude them from your home as they want to be outside under a pile of leaves or bark mulch.

The German cockroach is about 5/8” long, 2 dark stripes and have wings but do not fly. Adults live about 200 days and females will produce about 320 eggs over that time making the German cockroach the highest reproductive insect in any pest cockroach. German cockroaches will be found in your kitchen or bathroom in a crack or crevice because they like the dark. They will expand away from these areas when populations expand but will always have access to your food and water. The most common way infestations start is in cardboard or paper products bought from a food delivery establishment or a friend’s home that currently has cockroaches.

American Cockroaches are found in sewers, plumbing or mechanical rooms with furnaces or elevator shafts. They are large, about 2” long with long antenna and have reddish-brown wings but not great fliers. They can as adults live up to 18 months. They can spoil food in commercial kitchens by tracking diseases food in sewers to food preparation tables.

Cockroach Control

Jem Intercontinental Services utilizes a 4 step plan for treating cockroaches in your home. The first step is inspection and education. This is where we identify the correct type of cockroach and develop a plan to correct any conditions which help to control cockroaches. We will also discuss treatment options and start our monitoring program. The second step is the treatment which will include treating with baits that cockroaches eat, liquid and aerosol treatments for heavier infestations and installation of monitoring devices. The third step is to return in 3-5 weeks and treat again for cockroach nymphs and inspect. Finally, we will return again to inspect and ensure complete cockroach control.