Pest invasions happen every day, and for most homeowners, it happens right under their noses.

According to scientists, a cockroach can travel up to 3 miles in an hour–meaning they can spread through your home quickly.

Unfortunately, cockroaches are very social creatures, which means that the presence of one indicates many are close by.

So if you have recently spotted a cockroach in your home, here’s what to do.

cockroach can travel up to 3 miles in an hour

Common Types of Cockroaches

First, it’s important to differentiate between the two most common types of cockroaches in Maryland and the United States.

The German cockroach is probably what you think of when you picture a cockroach. These brown roaches are about half an inch long and have dark lines that run from their heads to their wings.

American cockroaches are similar but typically larger (up to 2 inches in length!) These roaches have more of a reddish hue than their German counterparts and yellow faded thorax edges.

Both cockroaches love to hide in warm wet places in your home and can run very quickly. However, German cockroaches may be more readily spotted in kitchens and bathrooms, while American roaches hide in basements and crawl spaces.

Identifying which type of cockroach you’re dealing with will give you a better idea of where to look for roaches and inform your exterminator so they can devise a plan.

Are Cockroaches Dangerous?

One question you might be asking yourself is whether or not cockroaches are dangerous.

While they are not known to bite, they do spread bacteria and disease, which can cause illness. Since German cockroaches are more numerous and tend to spend their time in dwelling areas, you are more likely to get sick from a German roach–though both have the ability to spread germs.

That’s why it’s important to act early if you spot a cockroach in your house.

Why Cockroaches Are Attracted to Your Home

Newborn cockroaches can grow to full size in as little as 35 days. For this reason, it’s very easy for an infestation to spread like wildfire through your home.

The main variable at play will be the availability of food sources for these roaches.

The four main things that cockroaches seek out are:

  • Food: Primarily garbage.
  • Water: Primary standing water.
  • Darkness: Think basements and crawl spaces.
  • Heat: Anywhere in your house.

So by eliminating the food and water elements, you can reduce your risk of a cockroach infestation.

Cockroach Prevention Tips

Preventing cockroaches is the most effective way to deal with an infestation and will help you cut down on pest control costs.

Here are some tips to prevent cockroaches from entering your home:

  • Seal off entry points with caulking or spray foam.
  • Repair any broken windows or doors.
  • Remove any standing water from your property.
  • Ensure gutters are properly channeling water away from your home.
  • Clean up any food or trash from your home.
  • Remove clutter from your yard.
  • Store any leftover food and seal any garbage receptacles.
  • Perform routine inspections.

What To Do If Cockroaches Invade

Finally, it’s time to answer what to do if you spot a cockroach infestation.

While you may find some DIY methods online, the best route is to contact professional cockroach control.

You will not be able to diagnose the degree of an infestation without an inspection, and treating cockroaches is notoriously difficult.

DIY methods, like diatomaceous earth and boric acid, may be effective, but difficult to eliminate cockroaches entirely.

Pest Czar uses integrated pest management methods that are safe for you and your family and guaranteed to be effective. The next time you spot a cockroach, do not hesitate to contact one of our experts to schedule an inspection and treatment ASAP.


Should you step on a cockroach?

Cockroaches carry allergens that can trigger an allergic reaction, whether they are alive or dead. So stepping on cockroaches is largely seen as ineffective.

Does one cockroach mean an infestation?

In rare cases, one cockroach could just be a single cockroach. However, cockroaches are social creatures, meaning there is usually more than meets the eye.

What smell keeps cockroaches away?

Some essential oils, like peppermint, cypress, and cedarwood, may be effective at keeping cockroaches at bay.