Cockroaches can be major pests in restaurants, hospitals, warehouses, offices and buildings with food-handling areas. Cockroaches are known to carry human pathogens, such as Salmonella and E. coli, which can result in human diseases, such as food poisoning or diarrhea. Occasionally, they will destroy fabric and paper products. In large numbers, cockroaches secrete a substance which can result in stains on surfaces and produce disagreeable odors. Products of cockroach infestations, including saliva, feces and cast skins, are a source of allergens and can irritate allergies and asthma in people, especially children.

German cockroach
The German cockroach generally inhabits kitchens and bathrooms where it is found near plumbing fixtures, in cracks or crevices in cupboards, under drawers and kitchen sinks, and similar locations. The adult is about ½ inch long, light brown or tan, and has two dark longitudinal bands or streaks on the prothorax behind the head.

American cockroach
The American cockroach is occasionally found in homes, although it is more common in restaurants, grocery stores, and bakeries and other sites where food is prepared. It is 1½ to 2 inches long, reddish brown and possesses long wings that cover its abdomen

brown-banded cockroach
The adult brown-banded cockroach is about ½ inch long. An adult male is golden brown and has a narrow body with its wings extending beyond the tip of its abdomen. A female adult is dark chestnut brown, has a teardrop-shaped body, and its wings do not completely cover the abdomen. Both sexes have distinctive horizontal yellow bands.

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Identification and Control Information

[Photos, left to right: Clemson University - USDA Cooperative Extension Slide Series,; Gary Alpert, Harvard University,; Clemson University - USDA Cooperative Extension Slide Series,]