Five Scary Facts about Roaches

Five Scary Facts about Roaches in Kalamazoo MI | Griffin Pest Solutions

Spotting these creepy critters at home is never good news, especially since they multiply fast, with female cockroaches not needing a mate. Don’t let these pests take over – act quickly and bring in a professional cockroach pest control expert, like Griffin Pest Solutions! Keep reading for five eye-opening facts about cockroaches.

Cockroaches Can Be Quite Fast

Cockroaches can scurry at speeds over 3 miles per hour, making them tricky to catch. This rapid movement is not just a nuisance; it’s a health concern too. These pests are known carriers of bacteria linked to serious illnesses such as dysentery, typhoid fever, Salmonellosis, and cholera. Their ability to dart around your home poses an increased risk of contamination, emphasizing the importance of professional intervention.


Cockroaches’ Have Nearly Indestructible Exoskeletons

No ordinary squashing will work – cockroaches have exoskeletons that can withstand pressure up to 900 times their body weight. This incredible durability is why attempting to handle an infestation without professional help is often futile. Their robust exoskeletons allow them to squeeze through the smallest crevices, complicating DIY extermination efforts. To effectively eliminate these resilient pests, it’s crucial to rely on the expertise of trained professionals armed with the right tools and strategies.

They Exhibit Cannibalistic Habits

Attracted by the scent of a deceased nest mate, cockroaches exhibit a creepy habit of cannibalism. This behavior not only adds a disturbing layer to their biology but also complicates eradication efforts. When a cockroach dies, the “death stench” attracts other roaches, leading to potential infestation hotspots. This social nature underscores the need for professional pest control measures that address not just individual cockroaches but the entire colony.

Cockroaches Can Live Without Their Heads

Even without a head, a cockroach can survive for weeks, relying on a sophisticated respiratory system. While it might seem like something out of a horror movie, this remarkable survival trait poses a significant challenge when trying to eliminate these pests. Their ability to persist without crucial body parts requires a targeted and comprehensive approach that only professional exterminators can provide.

Cockroaches Defy Suffocation

Contrary to popular belief, cockroaches can hold their breath for up to 45 minutes, making suffocation an ineffective control method. This surprising ability adds another layer of complexity to getting rid of them. Effective pest control requires a thorough understanding of their biology and behavior, something that professionals at Griffin Pest Solutions excel in.

Dealing With Cockroaches? Griffin Pest Solutions Can Help! 

If cockroaches have invaded your home, don’t wait. Griffin Pest Solutions in Kalamazoo, MI, offers straightforward pest removal services, including cockroach extermination! Contact us today for a free quote and take back control of your space from these resilient invaders.

Do Cockroaches Bite?

A cockroach on an apple with a bite out of it in Michigan.

There are cockroaches in Michigan. If you’ve spotted one in your home or your workplace – or anywhere – you probably have one pressing question above all others: Do cockroaches bite?

Yes, cockroaches in Michigan do bite!

And it’s gross and horrible like you’d expect. But they don’t bite often or in the way you’d expect.

The fact is cockroaches rarely bite humans. You’re much more likely to be stung by a bee or bit by a spider than a cockroach. That doesn’t make getting cockroaches out of your home or office any less urgent. It just means you won’t have red cockroach bite marks on your skin in addition to the constant fear of a small brown oval scuttling across your kitchen floor. We present the sometimes disturbing answers to your questions about nature’s perfect survivor – the cockroach.

What Do Cockroaches Eat?

Cockroaches are omnivores in the truest sense of the word. They eat nearly anything from fruits to rancid meat to book bindings and wallpaper. They are scavengers and opportunists who will raid any food supply they can get their grubby mandibles on.

With so little discretion for what they ingest, cockroaches rarely bother with potentially dangerous food sources such as humans. Why risk biting you when they can simply dive through your garbage? The fact that they can survive a month or more without food also means there’s no need for them to panic if they go a day or two without dinner leftovers.

Why Do Cockroaches Bite?

Most documented cockroach bite cases (and there aren’t that many) involve a large infestation of cockroaches with little to eat. Early accounts of this come from sailors on long sea voyages where they had to wear gloves and protective gear to fend off hungry roaches trying to get at their fingernails and eyelashes.

Other occurrences of cockroaches biting humans usually happen at night while the person is asleep. Cockroaches are nocturnal creatures that prefer quiet. If no other food sources are available, they may scavenge over your hands and face for traces of whatever you last ate. Even in these cases, the roaches are likely more interested in the food particles under your fingernails than your flesh. More terrifying than being bitten is the possibility of waking up to roaches using your face as a drive-thru window.

What Does A Cockroach Bite Look Like?

Cockroach bites don’t look much different than other insect bites. They appear as raised red dots along your skin. They are slightly bigger than bed bug bites and may itch in the same way. A tell-tale difference is that bed bug bites appear in clusters; cockroach bites will usually appear independently.

Cockroaches don’t transmit disease through their bites, but you do want to keep them clean. Like any animal or insect bite, if a cockroach bite becomes infected, it could become a health risk.

Do Cockroaches Carry Disease?

Roaches don’t carry specific diseases like a tick might carry Lyme disease. Instead, they are a health risk due to their behavior. Roaches often eat feces or rancid food found in sewers and dumpsters. They pick up harmful bacteria and germs and then spread them wherever they go.

If cockroaches contaminate your food with germs they’ve picked up, it could result in diarrhea, dysentery, cholera and other maladies. All the more incentive to keep a clean kitchen with food safely stored from prying insects.

Do Cockroaches Fly?

A cockroach flying mid air.

The bad news is cockroaches do fly. The good news is that they usually don’t like to. It seems that, despite having large prominent wings, most cockroaches are clumsy fliers and prefer to crawl. Makes sense when you realize that on land cockroaches are quite fast. They can run over 3 miles/hour. That’s equivalent to 100 miles/hour for a human when you account for size!

Some species of cockroach are more adept at flying than others. In warmer weather (over 85º) flying cockroaches will use their wings to glide as a means of conserving energy. They might glide down to your countertop if you left a midnight snack out for them.

What Do Baby Cockroaches Look Like?

Some cockroaches can get quite large and you may wonder if you’ve seen a baby or a full-grown adult.

A baby cockroach nymph

Baby cockroaches, also called nymphs, look like their adult counterparts. The three main differences between an adult and a nymph cockroach are:

  • Baby roaches are smaller in size (measuring about ¼ inch)
  • Roach nymphs are darker in color than adult cockroaches
  • Baby cockroaches don’t have wings yet. 

As cockroach nymphs grow, they go through several stages of molting. During each stage, they shed their exoskeleton in favor of a new, larger, one. Roach babies start out dark in color and become more reddish brown with each molt. They will eventually grow wings by adulthood.

Other Cockroach Facts

  • Cockroaches can live without their head for up to a week.
  • Female cockroaches lay their eggs in ootheca or egg sacs which can hold around 40 eggs.
  • Cockroaches have been around since the dinosaurs.
  • Cockroaches die on their backs because their thin legs can no longer support their heavy body mass.
  • Some cultures boil cockroaches and use the tea for medicinal purposes.

You Don’t Want Cockroaches in Your Michigan Home

Roaches may be fascinating but that doesn’t mean you want them in your home or business. If you’ve spotted a roach, it usually means there are others nearby. While they may not bite, they can cause health problems. Contact Griffin Pest Solutions for fast help when cockroaches show up hungry at your door.

What’s That Roach? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Roach close-up

Did you know that there are four different species of cockroach common in Michigan? Each of these four cockroaches look and act just a little differently. They’re active at slightly different times, want slightly different things, and live in slightly different places. Despite their differences, however, one thing they all have in common is being a pain for homeowners.

We know what you’re thinking: who cares? A roach is a roach, right? No matter what species it is, it’s not like you’ll want a cockroach in your home! While you’re certainly right about that, there’s still a good reason to be able to tell different roaches apart. If you know which roach you have, you’ll have a better idea on how to get rid of them. We want to help, which is why we put together this quick reference for which kind of roach you might have. Next time you see a gross bug creeping around, take a look at it and consult this infographic:

So: once you’ve identified your roach, what’s your next step? First, you can take some steps to prevent that specific roach. Once you know what it is, you’ll know what it wants and probably how it got in. Plug up their access point and deprive them of their needs, and you’ll go a long way toward solving your problem.

You could also always tell the experts at Griffin about which roach pests are plaguing you. Once we know which roach you have, then we’ll know exactly how to go about taking care of it. You’ll have helped us do our job, and we’ll be able to protect you all the more effectively! Don’t let your roach problem trouble you anymore. Instead, just give us a call today. No matter which roach you have, we’ll make sure they’re gone and can’t get in again.

What are the Cockroaches in my House?

Cockroache in the house

There are five species of cockroach in Michigan. Four of those species frequently infest Michigan homes and businesses. Despite their obvious similarities, there are distinct differences between each species of common Michigan roach. They look different, behave differently, and even eat different things. Most importantly, they come into your home in different ways.

Fighting roach infestations effectively means getting to know your enemy. Next time you have a roach problem, try to figure out which roach is troubling you, specifically. Once you know what you’re up against, you’ll know what your next move should be. Here are the four roaches you may have to deal with in Michigan, and what to do about them.

German cockroaches

what is a german cockroach

German cockroaches are the smallest, most common, and most important cockroaches in Michigan. They only measure around ½ an inch long, though long antennae may make them look larger. German cockroaches are tan or brown, except for two darker stripes running down their pronotal shields (backs). German roaches are considered the worst roach pest in Michigan for several reasons. They’re even more apt to attempting to get indoors than other roaches, and they also spread various diseases.

German cockroaches are common throughout Michigan, from Marquette to Detroit. They’re particularly common in urban and suburban areas, where they can access food easily. German roaches are particularly attracted to moist, warm environments. Like other roaches, German cockroaches are opportunistic foragers who feed on all kinds of detritus. Organizing and cleaning roach-vulnerable areas is the best way to keep German cockroaches away. Vacuum and clean your basement once a week, and make sure food doesn’t build up on eating surfaces.

American cockroaches

American cockroaches are the biggest cockroach found in Michigan

American cockroaches are the biggest cockroach found in Michigan. They measure around 1 ½ to 2 inches long, and they have slightly broader bodies than other roaches. Both male and female American roaches have prominent wings, but they don’t use them very often. Compared to German roaches, American roaches are more reddish-brown or than tan or dark and wider in shape. Like German roaches, American roaches may look larger than they are because of their long antennae.

American cockroaches are also frequently encountered throughout Michigan. They’re most common around food storage, making them a constant pest for restaurants, grocery stores, and other food-prepping businesses. American roaches often end up in homes after people inadvertently transport them inside on food boxes. Depriving these roaches of food sources is the best way to get them out of your home. Keep your pantry clean and crumb free, wipe up after meals, and keep food in airtight plastic containers.

Oriental cockroaches

Oriental cockroaches are often called “water bugs” because they love dark, damp, and cool areas near water sources

Oriental cockroaches are often called “water bugs” because they love dark, damp, and cool areas near water sources. These roaches measure about an inch long, and look slightly rounder than American or German roaches. They may look somewhat “pill-shaped.” They’re much darker than other common roaches, and appear very dark brown or nearly black. They may also look somewhat greasy or shiny. Both male and female Oriental roaches have wings, but they can’t use them.

Oriental cockroaches are a significant hygiene concern. They feed on all kinds of decaying organic matter, garbage, decomposing plant and animal matter, and waster. Their diets and affinity for humidity means they usually live in filthy areas. They’re frequently encountered in cesspits, sewers, trash dumps, or cisterns. Inside, they congregate toward humid areas such as basements and bathrooms, and they track their germs in with them. The best way to control for Oriental roaches is to control the humidity in your home carefully.

Brown-banded cockroaches

At ½ an inch long, Brown-banded cockroaches are nearly as small as German cockroaches

At ½ an inch long, Brown-banded cockroaches are nearly as small as German cockroaches, but they look quite different. Living up to their name, Brown-banded roaches have distinctive light brown bands across their backs. They’re also lighter brown or tan than the other roaches listed here, including the German roach. Brown-banded cockroaches have small, fully-functional wings and fly more frequently than most species. In addition to flying, these roaches are also generally more active than the others listed here.

Brown-banded cockroaches also differ from the other species listed here in their preferred habitat. Where most roaches prefer humid locations, brown-banded roaches want to stay dry. They tend to like living in cabinets, pantries, closets, and furniture where they can stay hidden, warm, and dry. Their ability to fly means you may find them higher up than most roaches. Controlling brown-banded roaches means keeping tight control over their food sources. Keep dry goods in airtight containers and clean regularly.

Each of these roaches are different, but they’re all bad news. You don’t want any roach infestations in your home. By figuring out which roaches you have, you can take the right steps to drive them out for good.

If you ever need some help in identifying or controlling your roaches, let Griffin know any time. We’re more than ready to wipe out your roach infestation, no matter which variety you have.