Roaches in Arizona

Black Cockroach - Oriental Cockroach

Written by Volia Schubiger

Published: October 25, 2022

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Those living in Arizona know how common it is to come across roaches. All over the state of Arizona, these pesky little insects can be found hiding in cracks and other small areas. They can also come in a variety of different sizes and shapes. In some people, cockroaches are an object of absolute fear, while in other people, they are just another inconvenience to deal with. Regardless, most people can agree that finding roaches in their homes can be very bothersome.

However you feel about these insects, it’s very important that you know how to identify them if they become a problem and how to get rid of them if they become a nuisance to you. In this article, we’re going to take a look at the most commonly found roaches in Arizona. As well as learning how to deal with an infestation, you’ll learn how to identify each type of roach and immediately recognize them.

The Most Common Species of Roaches in Arizona

There are several different species of roaches that can be found in Arizona. As a matter of fact, it is quite common to see roaches in most parts of the state, which makes them one of the most prevalent pests. While roaches tend to have a lot in common, they also have many differences that help you distinguish them. Below, we’ll go over the most common species of roaches in Arizona and their many differences. Using these breakdowns, you will be able to tell the difference between a German roach and a brown-banded roach in no time.

German Cockroach

German Cockroach

The German cockroach is the most prevalent species of roach found in the state of Arizona.

©7th Son Studio/

First up on our list is the German cockroach, which is the most prevalent roach in the state. As far as appearance goes, the German cockroach is a light brown to tan colored cockroach with two dark stripes down its back. It is also important to keep in mind that they are not particularly large. They range in size from around ½ inch to 5/8 of an inch long. Even though both males and females have wings, neither can fly. 

A variety of commercial and residential establishments in Arizona may contain German cockroaches, such as hotels, restaurants, homes, and grocery stores. The best places for them to live are warm, moist places. This is why you’ll often find them in places like the kitchen or the bathrooms of your home. Since they are so small, these roaches can often hide out for a while before you’ll notice them. They also hate the light and will scurry away as soon as you turn one on. Another downside is that German roaches can be the hardest ones to get rid of since they multiply so quickly. 

It is very likely that there will be many more German roaches to be found if you happen to see one lingering around.

American Cockroach

American cockroach

The American cockroach grows to be as huge as 2 inches long!

©Fajar Tri Amboro/

Another commonly found roach in Arizona is the American cockroach. The American cockroach dominates the common cockroach species in size, growing to a length of 1-1/2 to 2 inches. There is also another name for this species: sewer roach. The reason for this is that it loves to hang out in sewers, water pipes, and drains. Despite being reddish-brown, its head is surrounded by a bright yellow band. Although both sexes have well-developed wings, they rarely fly. Gliding is, however, possible for them.

As a result of Arizona’s warm climate, American cockroaches are often found living in alleys, yards, decaying trees, and on plants outside. They typically enter homes and businesses because they provide them with the perfect environment – free food and easy access to water! In fact, they often enter homes through drain pipes. In spite of the fact that the American cockroach is believed to have originated in Africa, it has now been found all over the world. It is prevalent in the southern United States and in other tropical and subtropical regions.

Turkestan Cockroach

The Turkestan cockroach is typically brown or reddish-brown in color.

©D. Kucharski K. Kucharska/

The Turkestan cockroach, one of the most common cockroaches in Arizona, can be found in a variety of locations. Originally found in 1982 in Phoenix and Tucson, the Turkestan cockroach continues to make its home in Arizona to this day. Alternatively, they are called red cockroaches or water bugs. The Turkestan cockroach is typically brown or reddish-brown in color, and it has wings as well. It is important to note, however, that they cannot fly. 

In general, the adults have a length of around one inch. This type of roach is normally found outdoors, but when it reaches its peak population in June, it can also be found inside. Due to their habit of living in houses and other buildings, Turkestan cockroaches can cause problems. In the summer, male roaches are attracted to lights, especially at night when it is warm. A poorly sealed door or window can, and often does, allow these roaches access to a home. Avoid an infestation by keeping water and food sources out of reach. They are immediately attracted to these sources.

Brown-Banded Cockroach

Brown-banded Cockroach on box

The brown-banded roach is one of the smaller species, coming in at only 1/2 inch long.

©Freedom my wing/

Brown-banded roaches are very small roaches compared to many of the other species. In fact, an adult brown-banded cockroach can grow up to 1/2 inch long. Because their abdomens are surrounded by two brown bands, these cockroaches are called brown-banded cockroaches. The species prefers warm, dry places in your home, such as attics and upper cabinets. However, that doesn’t stop them from hiding in other areas of your home. 

There is no such thing as a picky eater among them. A brown-banded cockroach, like many other invasive cockroaches, can be found eating almost anything in their path. Nevertheless, they eat books, draperies, and wallpaper, so you should take action right away to avoid any home damage. However, in Arizona, they tend to infest restaurants and bars more than residential homes.

Oriental Cockroach

Types of Cockroaches - Oriental Cockroach

Oriental roaches are usually dark brown or black in color.

©Yuliia Hurzhos/

Despite not being the most common roaches in Phoenix, Arizona metro areas, oriental cockroaches can infest homes and desert yards. Home and business owners often find these pests in their spaces, and they can be a source of irritation. A glossy body and dark brown or black color distinguish oriental cockroaches. The insects are about an inch long, and they can live up to two years. As a result, if you have an infestation, they might be around for a while. 

Both males and females have short wings, but neither can fly. It is common to find oriental cockroaches in basements, crawl spaces, and sewers because they are attracted to damp, dark places. The species is known for eating organic matter that has decayed and garbage. Despite Arizona’s hot temperatures, oriental cockroaches rarely infest indoors, but they can sometimes be found in damp basements in Phoenix and Scottsdale.

What Do Roaches in Arizona Eat?

Cockroaches are omnivorous creatures capable of consuming both plant and animal matter. Also, they are one of the few animals that are able to eat a wide variety of things and are dedicated scavengers. It is not hard to find foods of all kinds that roaches can eat, as well as a whole lot more. There is a good chance that cockroaches will eat anything that comes from an animal or plant. 

Cockroaches are not only attracted to human food, but they seem to prefer some of the foods we enjoy the most. Foods that are greasy, such as french fries and fried chicken, starches, such as bread and rice, potato chips, as well as meat products, are all popular food choices among them. A cockroach in Arizona, however, eats much more than foods we consider edible. Due to their ability to digest cellulose, roaches eat almost everything, including paper and clothes. It is not unusual for them to consume magazines, newspapers, and book bindings. There are some cockroaches that eat the glue on wallpaper as well as stamps.

Cockroaches, like the American cockroach, feed on leaves, twigs, and dead trees found outside. Anything that decays organically can be eaten. Additionally, fingernails, hair, and skin flakes are included in their diet.

What Attracts Roaches in Arizona?

baby cockroach closeup

Roaches are attracted to Arizona because of the year-round warm weather.


Arizona is home to several different types of roaches, including several species that are considered to be problematic. What is it about the state that attracts them there in the first place? It’s very warm in Arizona, which makes it an ideal place for cockroaches to live. Cold weather is difficult for cockroaches because they are cold-blooded. With the onset of cooler weather, the number of cockroaches declines. Many cockroaches will die during winter, but many more will seek shelter in a warm, humid area until the weather warms up again.

In a state like Arizona, where the weather is always warm, roaches don’t have to worry about dying or not reproducing. Instead, the warm weather in the state allows them to stay active all year round. In addition, Tucson and Phoenix are major cities in Arizona. Therefore, there is a greater human population. There will therefore be more food and water sources where people are. The combination of all of these factors has resulted in Arizona having a large number of roaches. 

Are Roaches in Arizona Dangerous to Humans?

Is it really that bad to have cockroaches around your home? There is nothing worse than finding a roach in your home and being terrified by it. Are there any grounds for that fear, though? It should be noted that roaches on their own aren’t particularly harmful to humans in Arizona. However, roaches do pose other harm to people. An infestation of roaches can spread disease, which is one of the biggest problems associated with them. 

They tend to be vectors of different bacteria and viruses. It is possible for bacteria that they pick up to contaminate stored food, food-preparation surfaces, dishes, silverware, and other sensitive areas. Among the diseases they can spread are Salmonella, E. coli, rotavirus, listeria, and even hepatitis. As well as spreading diseases, roaches also cause allergies in many people. The skin of cockroaches contains proteins. It’s possible to get sick from them when they shed their skin. 

There is an increase in hospitalizations for asthma-related symptoms in urban homes due to cockroach infestations. In some cases, these symptoms can be life-threatening. Rashes can also result from the proteins in the skin of cockroaches. It is possible to wake up with a strange reaction if you are crawled over by a roach while you are sleeping. As you can see, having roaches in your house can result in a variety of problems. This is why it is important to get rid of them as soon as you know you have an infestation. 

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About the Author

Volia Schubiger is a freelance copywriter and content editor with a passion and expertise in content creation, branding, and marketing. She has a background in Broadcast Journalism & Political Science from CUNY Brooklyn College. When she's not writing she loves traveling, perusing used book stores, and hanging out with her other half.

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