When Is Cockroach Season in New Jersey?

roach infestation
© IrinaK/Shutterstock.com

Written by Kyle Glatz

Published: April 13, 2024

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Cockroaches are widespread throughout the world. Thousands of species of this insect exist. New Jersey is no exception. Like everywhere else, these insects are not a welcome sight in the Garden State, especially near homes. When do you need to worry about cockroach season in New Jersey, though?

We’ll show you what kinds of cockroaches are most common in New Jersey and tell you about the time of year you can expect to see them.

What Kinds of Cockroaches Inhabit New Jersey?

The german cockroach (Blatella germanica)

German cockroaches are the most common urban roach.

©Erik Karits/Shutterstock.com

Before we look at when cockroaches begin to appear in New Jersey, it’s important to know about what kinds reside in the state. According to Rutgers University, New Jersey has 7 pest species of cockroaches. Take a look at each of these species and learn how large they grow and more.   

1. American Cockroach

American cockroach crawling

The American cockroach’s body is made up of three sections: the head, thorax, and abdomen.


The American cockroach is one of the common cockroach species in the Garden State. These brown and reddish insects can grow anywhere from 1 to 2.1 inches long as adults. They’re the largest species on this list, averaging 1.6 inches in length. They look to inhabit moist areas inside and outside of buildings. Their presence can be a clear indicator of cockroach season in New Jersey.

2. German Cockroach

A lot of cockroaches are sitting on a white wooden shelf.The German cockroach (Blattella germanica). Common household cockroaches

An infestation of German roaches.


The German cockroach is smaller than the American species, typically measuring about half an inch long. However, these light brown insects are the single most common urban roach. These roaches are easy to differentiate from others because they have two dark bands running between their heads and the base of the wings.

3. Pennsylvania Wood Cockroach

Pennsylvania Wood cockroach is light, yellowish brown in colour with pale colouration along the wing margin.

The Pennsylvania wood cockroach is light yellowish brown in color with pale coloration along the wing margin.

©Melinda Fawver/Shutterstock.com

The Pennsylvania wood cockroach is a somewhat large insect. They can reach 1 inch in length as an adult. These creatures are especially prevalent in the eastern United States. Males tend to be dark brown and females are reddish brown. The species is often found near piles of wood and in hollow trees, hence their name.

4. Oriental Cockroach

Big female oriental cockroach (Blatta orientalis)

This type of cockroach can appear shiny and black.


The oriental cockroach is another large pest. Males can reach measures of 1.25 inches long. Their color varies from black to reddish brown. These insects are most likely to appear in sewers, pipes, and home basements where they seek decaying animal and plant matter.

5. Surinam Cockroach

Greenhouse or Surinam cockroach (Pycnoscelus surinamensis)

Surinam cockroaches are often found near garbage cans or sewers and usually live in decaying organic matter.

©iStock.com/Luis Serrano

The Surinam cockroach lives throughout the eastern part of the United States. They are dark brown or black in color, and they may grow up to an inch long. In New Jersey, though, residents typically won’t see them unless they’re transported to their homes in the soil of potted plants.  

6. Spotted Mediterranean Cockroach

Miracle-Gro Plant Food next to a potted plant.

These roaches may hitch a ride to your home in potted plants.

©A-Z-Animals.com/Larissa Smith

As their name implies, these roaches are a light yellow or tan color with many dark spots decorating their wings. These roaches are small, growing less than half an inch on average. These roaches are more likely to spend time outside, but they will infest homes to escape poor weather conditions or to seek food.

7. Brown-banded Cockroach

Brown-banded Cockroach on box

Brown banded cockroaches get their name from the two light bands they have across their dark brownish bodies

©Freedom my wing/Shutterstock.com

The brown-banded cockroach grows a bit of half an inch long at its biggest. These insects can be light yellow or reddish brown as adults. They have a light-colored band at the base of their wings near their heads. These roaches usually inhabit bathrooms and kitchens.  

Having looked at the different roaches one may expect to see in the Garden State, let’s consider the time of year they’re most likely to appear.

When Does Cockroach Season Start in New Jersey?

Golden sunset at Cape May New Jersey

Summer is the time when roaches are most active in New Jersey.

©Mike Ver Sprill/Shutterstock.com

Cockroaches are active in New Jersey throughout the entire year. There is no specific season for them. However, they are more active at some points in the year than others.

For example, cockroaches tend to be most active in the spring and summer months when the weather is warm, and food is plentiful. Roach activity will usually peak in summer. Another thing to remember is that many species of cockroaches, including the American and German species, are most active during the nighttime hours. If you see them in your home during the day, then you probably have a serious infestation.

However, spring and summer are not the only times that you may see these critters. Once fall and winter come, these insects will move into homes to survive the harsh weather.

Unfortunately, there is no cockroach season in New Jersey. These insects are active throughout the year, and they can be serious pests. Fortunately, humans have battled these pests for ages, and many pest control methods exist to fend off an infestation.

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About the Author

Kyle Glatz is a writer at A-Z-Animals where his primary focus is on geography and mammals. Kyle has been writing for researching and writing about animals and numerous other topics for 10 years, and he holds a Bachelor's Degree in English and Education from Rowan University. A resident of New Jersey, Kyle enjoys reading, writing, and playing video games.

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