The cockroach is a species of insect belonging to the Blattodea family, which includes all members except termites. The human habitat is home to about 30 cockroach species out of the 4,600 species known to exist. As a matter of fact, some species are well-known to be pests. That’s essentially how most of us view roaches, isn’t it? We’re almost ready to pack our bags and leave when we see cockroaches in our homes!
It is interesting to note that cockroaches have lived on the planet for longer than we have. Cockroaches originated during the Carboniferous period, some 320 million years ago, and their ancestors are known as “roachoids”. Nowadays, roaches are known to be a common insect throughout the world. It is also known that they are extremely hardy insects able to survive all kinds of weather conditions. This is why you’ll find them in both Arctic climates and in tropical weather.
Throughout this article, we’ll look at roaches common to Alabama, where they’re found, and how to recognize them. So, are roaches common in Alabama? Let’s find out!
Common Species of Roaches in Alabama
It is estimated that there are thousands of species of cockroaches around the world, with over 30 species found in Alabama alone. It should be noted, however, that most of these insects are nocturnal in nature. As a result, you will only see them at night. In spite of the wide range of sizes, shapes, and colors of cockroaches, there are a few shared characteristics that all cockroaches have in common. It is a general rule that cockroaches are oval-shaped and have flat bodies with long, spiny legs and two antennae that extend beyond the length of their bodies.
In this article, we’ll examine five of the most common types of roaches you can find in Alabama:
Even though the German cockroach is named after Germany, it actually originated in Southeast China. As a result of their origin in warmer climates, German cockroaches are highly sensitive to cold temperatures. In Alabama, these roaches are considered to be a pest all year round due to their constant presence. German cockroaches are most active at night, seeking food and water, and will flee if disturbed.
They also aren’t picky about where they’ll live. These bugs will invade homes, rental units, cafes, hotels, and other kinds of buildings, too. How can you tell if you’re dealing with a German cockroach? The males are tan or pale brown, with two dark streaks on their heads. Meanwhile, the females are darker brown, and their abdomens are broader.
It is known that these roaches like to hide in tight spaces. It’s likely that they’ll live between the fridge, stove, and even in the walls. It is rare for these roaches to come out during the day, so if you see one during that time, you have a serious infestation. In that case, it may be time to look into some professional help!
As far as we’re concerned, the American cockroach is by far the creepiest cockroach on the list. Aside from this, it is one of the most prevalent roaches in Alabama. The question is, what exactly is it about this roach that makes it so creepy?
To begin with, American cockroaches have one of the largest body sizes of any cockroach found in Alabama. It is possible for them to reach a length of three inches. However, that’s still not the worst part. They are also capable of flying, although they are considered weak fliers. It is also known as one of the fastest-running insects in the world. It might surprise you to learn that American Cockroaches are actually an exotic species in the United States. The species originates in Middle Eastern and African countries. These cockroaches were brought over by a ship hundreds of years ago.
These cockroaches enter homes and apartments through the plumbing and sewage systems, as well as through air ducts and pipes. Also, they aren’t picky eaters, and all kinds of food are acceptable to them. How can you tell if you’re dealing with an American cockroach? In general, they have shiny, reddish-brown wings, as well as patches of darker reddish-brown on their necks.
Like their American cousins, Asian cockroaches are very capable of flying, despite their relatively small size of about 0.5 inches. Typically, this species lives outdoors in places that are mulched with fallen leaves, compost heaps, and other damp areas. Asian cockroaches, unlike all other cockroaches in Alabama, are both attracted to light and can fly. As a result of their attraction to light sources, they are often found in residential homes and even restaurants. Once they find a warm, damp place to live, these cockroaches can form in hordes of 250,000 per acre. That’s a lot of roaches in one place!
Asian cockroaches are omnivores, meaning that they eat any food they find, just like other cockroaches. They’re often found in soybean and cotton crops, finding prey to eat. They have also been observed to feed on other fruits and vegetables, such as cabbage, lettuce, and berries. Generally, they are smaller in size, brown or tan with two dark stripes on the back of their head, and have smaller wings.
Easily recognizable by its shiny tan or dark brown coloring along with two dark bands on the back, the oriental cockroach is very hard to miss. There are also some pretty noticeable differences between male and female oriental roaches. Females have wings that are almost invisible, covering only a quarter of their abdomens. Meanwhile, the wings of the males cover three-fourths of their abdomen. As a result of their preference for dark, moist environments, oriental cockroaches are also referred to as waterbugs.
You’ll often find this species of roach hanging out in damp piles of leaves, sewers, drains, and other damp locations. Among household pests, the oriental cockroach is a major concern. Among Alabama’s worst cockroaches, this species leaves behind a strong smell. An oriental cockroach is capable of spreading germs and viruses from its legs to food, cookware, and even kitchenware. This is one species of roach that you definitely don’t want hanging around in your home!
Among Alabama’s cockroaches, the brown-banded cockroach is the tiniest. Its wings and abdomen are covered in two light-colored bands, and its colors vary from tan to light brown. It is important to note that males and females exhibit different characteristics. The females have a darker color, shorter wings, and a broader abdomen. In contrast, the males have slender wings that cover their stomachs and are slender in shape.
It is important to note that this species of roach does not require as much moisture as the others. This fact makes them able to inhabit spaces that other cockroaches would not dare to infest. Since they don’t need a lot of moisture, they don’t need to hide under the sink or near the fridge. You might find these little guys around your bedroom or even in your living room. As with other cockroaches, brown-banded cockroaches do not often appear during the day since they avoid light. Once again, they are not picky eaters. They will eat whatever they can find around your home.
Are Roaches in Alabama Dangerous?
For the most part, many of us are incredibly averse to the idea of roaches in being in our homes. For starters, roaches are not pleasant to look at. It is no secret that even the toughest of us tremble at the sight of their spiky legs, staring eyes, and the ability to fly that most of these insects possess. The question remains, do roaches pose any real health risks besides being gross to look at? What are the health risks associated with these roaches in Alabama?
It is impossible for a cockroach to harm you on its own. As a pest, cockroaches rarely bite and rarely attack directly. The real danger with cockroaches lies in other reasons.
The truth of the matter is that roaches can be a health hazard. There are many species of roaches in Alabama that are capable of spreading disease. For example, the oriental cockroach is capable of spreading diseases such as E. coli, dysentery, and even salmonella. If an infected roach happens to be around your food and kitchenware, you can easily get sick. Another roach that is known for spreading bacteria is the brown-banded roach. They can carry microorganisms and pathogens.
Aside from this, cockroach waste and discarded shells can also trigger allergic reactions in some people. The presence of cockroaches can exacerbate asthma in some individuals, particularly those who are young. In a nutshell, cockroaches are harmful to the health of your family in the long run.
How To Get Rid of Cockroaches in Alabama?
You might be wondering how to get rid of roaches in Alabama now that you know how harmful they can be. Every homeowner and apartment renter should know how to eliminate roaches from their homes. Generally speaking, if there is one roach, there are probably a lot more of them around as well. The reason for this is due to the fact that roaches reproduce quickly, so one roach can quickly develop into a whole colony of them.
You should always start by cleaning and sanitizing your home on a regular basis once you notice that there are roaches in your home. It is a good idea to clean up any dirty dishes that are lying around, take out the garbage, and clean up any spilled food or crumbs that are around. You don’t want to leave around any food for them to find. The areas where you have seen roaches will also need to be disinfected in order to prevent further infestations. It is important to disinfect and dispose of any contaminated food in order to avoid spreading bacteria that can infect you or your family members.
Following a thorough cleaning, walk around your house and look for any cracks or holes that may be letting roaches into your house. You can hopefully prevent roaches from infiltrating your house in the first place by closing up any holes or openings in your house.
The first line of defense is to seal any holes in your house and remove any gaps. The colony can also be removed using DIY methods, poisons such as boric acid, and glue traps. In the event that all else fails, hiring a professional exterminator who uses top-notch insecticides can help.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © PitukTV/Shutterstock.com
Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.