Roaches in Michigan

Written by Brandi Allred
Published: April 19, 2022
Image Credit suriyachan/
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Let’s say you live in Michigan, and something small, dark, and scaly just crawled over your foot in the dark. What is it? Well, chances or good, you just felt the tiny, disease-carrying feet of a roach in Michigan. Yes—not even Michigan is immune to these crawling pests. Cockroaches can invade homes, businesses, or even outdoor areas. 

Here, we’ll learn about the most common types of roaches in Michigan. Then, we’ll determine whether there are flying roaches in Michigan, how common cockroaches are in Michigan, and when these roaches are most active. Finally, we’ll go over a few steps you can take to rid yourself of a cockroach infestation.

Types of Roaches in Michigan

Around the world, there are about 4,500 known species of cockroaches. That’s a lot! But, not every species of cockroach bothers humans. In fact, greater than 95% of all cockroach species never come into contact with people. Instead, they live their lives out in the wild, quietly cleaning up dead plants and animals and keeping the cycle of life moving forward. There are only about 30 species of cockroaches that cause problems for humans.

Let’s take a look at the most common types of roach in Michigan.

Brown-banded Cockroach (Supella longipalpa)

Brown-banded Cockroach on egg box
Of all the cockroaches in Michigan, the brown-banded roach is the most likely to jump when startled. 

Freedom my wing/

Brown-banded roaches in Michigan are almost always found in residences. They’re easily recognizable by the brown stripes running across the back half of their bodies. Like all cockroaches, they have six legs and two long antennae. More so than other species of roach in Michigan, the brown-banded cockroach likes the warmth. You’re most likely to find them near warm, running electrical appliances, hiding behind objects on shelves or behind framed pieces on the wall. 

Brown-banded cockroaches can live up to a year. Adults grow up to ½ inch long, and females glue their egg cases to the insides of furniture or appliances.

German Cockroach (Blattella germanica)

Types of Cockroaches - German Cockroach
The German cockroach may be the most social of all cockroaches in Michigan.


German cockroaches are the most common type of indoor roach in Michigan. They’re particularly fond of multi-unit housing structures, like apartments and hotels. They can also be found near food preparation areas, like commercial kitchens. These roaches in Michigan grow to ½ inch long and have two dark brown bands running from head to thorax.

German cockroaches reproduce exponentially, with 30-50 eggs inside every egg case. Female German cockroaches can each produce up to eight egg cases in their lifetime, which lasts around 200 days. If you’ve found a roach hanging out around your plumbing, the chances are good that it’s a German cockroach.

American Cockroach (Periplaneta americana)

American cockroach crawling
One of the fastest roaches in Michigan, the American cockroach can reach speeds of 3 mph.

American cockroaches are one of the most common roaches in Michigan. They’re far bigger than either brown-banded cockroaches or German cockroaches, with adults growing up to two inches long. They’re the largest roach in Michigan, though they prefer places like restaurants over private homes. American cockroaches are also long-lived, with some living up to three years.

These roaches are also known as water bugs. They prefer to stick to either basements or ground floor buildings but are almost always found in urban areas. American cockroaches are reddish-brown, with a yellow band on their pronotum (the hard shield that protects the head).

Oriental Cockroach (Blatta orientalis)

Types of Cockroaches - Oriental Cockroach
The oriental cockroach prefers damp areas, like basements and sewers.

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Oriental cockroaches are generally known as the strongest smelling roach in Michigan. They’re incredibly dirty and spread dirt and filth wherever they go. These cockroaches grow up to 1 ¼ inches long. Nymphs are amber colored, while adults are dark brown. Oriental cockroaches spend a long time as nymphs but live only a few months once they reach adulthood.

Pennsylvania Wood Cockroach (Parcoblatta pennsylvanica)

Wood Roach vs Cockroach - Pennsylvania wood roach
In Michigan, the wood roach is most likely to be found in or near firewood or fireplaces.

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The wood roaches are the most outdoor roaches in Michigan. These cockroaches only come inside by accident, on firewood, or through open windows or doors. They grow up to one inch long and live for only a few months. Unlike other roach species, the wood roach has no problem with the light and often forages during the day. These roaches present little threat to humans and are most likely to be seen outdoors in the woods.

Are There Flying Cockroaches in Michigan?

Yes, there are flying roaches in Michigan. This includes the male Pennsylvania wood roach. American cockroaches can’t fly, but they can glide, and neither German nor brown-banded cockroaches can fly at all.

Are Cockroaches Common in Michigan?

Cockroach Eggs and Egg Sacks - Egg Case
If you see one cockroach, there are almost certainly many more that you’re not seeing.


Roaches in Michigan are most common in urban and suburban areas. They’re particularly likely to be seen near sewer lines or uncollected garbage. Roaches are less common in isolated areas or far from human dwellings.

When are Cockroaches in Michigan most Active?

Roaches in Michigan are largely nocturnal and come out when the lights go down. The one exception to this is the wood roach, which may be seen at all times of the day and night.

How do You Get Rid of Cockroaches in Michigan?

Cockroach Exterminators - Close up of Exterminator
Cockroaches of all types are drawn to garbage, leftover food, and nooks and crannies to hide in.

LightField Studios/

If you’ve got a roach infestation, the first thing to do is decide whether or not you want to call an exterminator. Exterminators require less work on your part but generally cost a little more money. Regardless of what you decide, you should ensure that your home or business is clean and tidy. Clean up any spilled or leftover food, remove all garbage, and clear clutter. Then, if you’ve decided to take care of the roaches on your own, start laying out the roach killer.

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