Roaches In Missouri

Written by Volia Schubiger
Published: October 26, 2022
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It is no secret that roaches are one of the most common household pests in the world, as well as one of the hardest to get rid of. In fact, roaches can be found almost anywhere in the world, regardless of climate. It is estimated that 30 species of cockroaches out of the 4,600 that exist have adapted to human habitats. In addition, they are one of the oldest insect species on the planet. Their ancestors, known as “roachoids”, first appeared around 320 million years ago during the Carboniferous period. In Missouri, these ancient critters are still hanging around your house and other buildings today. 

Whether you’re terrified of roaches or find them irritating, knowing and recognizing the different kinds in Missouri will help if you happen to become infested. We’ll look at the main roach types you’ll find in Missouri, as well as helpful information about them, below. 

The Most Common Species Of Roaches In Missouri

There is an abundance of cockroaches throughout the world and they can be found in a wide variety of environments, mainly in tropical and subtropical climates. However, they are extremely adaptable and have even been known to live in Arctic temperatures. It’s common to come across a few different species of roaches in Missouri. Let’s take a look at the most common types of roaches you’ll come across while in Missouri.

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Smokybrown Cockroach (Periplaneta fuliginosa)

Smokybrown cockroaches caught in a highly adhesive trap.

The smokybrown cockroach is an outdoor roach that hangs out in the woods.

© Ide

A smokybrown cockroach is one of the most common roaches in Missouri, and you can usually find these roaches outside. Smokybrown roach exoskeletons have a shiny finish and are dark brown mahogany in color. You can see that the wings of both males and females extend past their abdomens. Generally, it is found living outdoors in piles of leaves or near drains or sewers. As with other cockroaches, they scavenge organic or decaying matter for food. As a result, they will eat whatever they can find in order to survive.

A common characteristic of this species is that they tend to dehydrate faster than other species of cockroaches in Missouri. Because of this, they require water every two to three days in order to survive. Unlike other cockroaches, the smokybrown cockroach can’t tolerate cold temperatures. It is likely that they will seek food indoors when the weather gets cooler. At this time, they are more likely to attempt to enter your home. Other than that, they typically stay outdoors, since woodlands are their preferred food source.

Brown-Banded Cockroach (Supella longipalpa)

Brown-banded Cockroach on box

The brown-banded cockroach is so tiny that it only grows to about a half-inch long.

©Freedom my wing/

Brown-banded cockroaches are among the tiniest roaches you can find in Missouri. A brown-banded cockroach is about 1/2 inch long. Also, they have tan bands across their bodies and are predominantly dark reddish brown. Their name comes from these bands. A male’s wings extend beyond the tip of his abdomen, while females are shorter. It is interesting to note that this species of cockroach needs fewer water resources than other species. Due to this fact, they are able to live in places where other cockroaches won’t. 

Consequently, brown-banded cockroaches do not only inhabit warm, humid areas. Sometimes they’ll make a home out of your closets, behind picture frames, and in other areas around your home. You can sometimes even find them living behind different appliances in your home. These roaches also aren’t picky eaters, so they will eat anything that they can find. They have even been known to eat wallpaper, book bindings, and other random objects around the house.

German Cockroach (Blattella germanica)

Types of Cockroaches - German Cockroach

The most common roach throughout the United States is the German roach.


There are many species of roaches in Missouri, but one of the most common is the German cockroach. German cockroaches are tan or light brown in color and measure about 3/4 inch long. Wings are present in adults, as well as two dark, horizontal stripes in front of and behind the wings. In spite of its name, the German cockroach comes from Southeast China, not Germany. Due to their origin in warm climates, these cockroaches are sensitive to cold.

In addition, this species of roach is one of the most commonly found in homes as well. It is most common for German cockroaches to be found in the kitchen. The majority of them will seek refuge under or around sinks, appliances, cupboards, and baseboards in your home. During the night, German cockroaches emerge to search for food and water. If you turn on a light or disturb them, they will quickly leave. As scavengers, they eat both plants and meat. It’s also not uncommon for them to help themselves to soap, toothpaste, and laundry detergent if food isn’t available.

It is common for large colonies of these roaches to gather in cracks and crevices in humid, warm areas of your home. It’s hard to control these populations that build up in huge numbers with insecticides.

Pennsylvania Wood Cockroach (Parcoblatta pensylvanica)

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

Pennsylvania wood roaches are the most common wood roach in Missouri.

©Melinda Fawver/

The wood cockroach is a common pest in Missouri. Several species exist, but Parcoblatta pennsylvanica is the most common. In most cases, they live their entire lives outdoors, primarily around wooded areas or in stacks of firewood stacked in the open air. As adults, they are about one inch long, dark chocolate brown with a narrow tan line on their wings and behind their heads. 

In addition to having well-developed wings, the male wood cockroach is attracted to light sources. In many cases, they enter houses by falling to the ground after seeing porch lights, crawling under the door, and then entering the house. Unlike male wood roaches, female wood roaches have short wings. In most cases, females do not enter homes. 

Moreover, this species cannot survive indoors for more than a few weeks as the air is too dry and it depends on eating organic matter that has decomposed. In the end, there is nothing more enjoyable than a cockroach that prefers to spend time outdoors.

American Cockroach (Periplaneta Americana)

close up of an American cockroach

You’ll find American roaches hanging out in a lot of food-related businesses.

©Guillermo Guerao Serra/

Despite its name, the American cockroach is actually an African species. Cockroaches of this species are the largest species that infest homes in North America. They are about 1-1/2 inches long and are reddish-brown over most of their bodies aside from the edges of their wings, which are tanned. It is possible for adult American roaches to remain active throughout the year. Especially if they are living in a humid, warm environment, such as your house. 

This species of cockroach lives in damp basements but is most commonly in restaurants, supermarkets, pastry shops, and other food-related businesses. Buildings in the industrial sector are frequently affected by this pest. In addition to steam tunnels and sewers, it also inhabits storm drains. In commercial buildings and large apartment houses with easy access to garbage, severe infestations can occur. 

Being a huge species of roach, they require a lot of food to survive. In other words, they don’t have a particular diet preference. It has been reported that they eat hair, beer, dead skin flakes, and even other roaches! It doesn’t matter what they find, they’ll eat it.

Are Roaches In Missouri Dangerous?

Even though roaches can be gross and unpleasant to live with, do they pose any real health risks? We can actually have health problems from roaches, so yes, they are a health risk. A roach can carry a variety of diseases, for starters. At least 30 different types of bacteria have been found to be carried by cockroaches on a daily basis. A few of these diseases include E.coli, cholera, dysentery, typhoid fever, and other illnesses. It only takes one breath of air infested with cockroaches to inhale any of the bacteria they carry.

The other major issue associated with roach infestations is that they can trigger severe allergic and asthmatic reactions in people who have been exposed to them. When asthmatics are exposed to cockroaches and their allergens, their symptoms worsen. Cockroaches will also trigger more severe allergy symptoms for allergy sufferers. There is evidence that their saliva can cause rashes on the skin and cause sneezing. The elderly and children are the most vulnerable to these issues. 

Roach Predators: What Eats Roaches In Missouri?

Cockroaches in Car - Cockroach in Front of Instruments

There are many animals that eat roaches, including humans.


The roach is a pretty notorious pest throughout most of the country, as you now know. That means that the state of Missouri is not immune to the problem of roach infestations. Considering how prevalent roaches are in the state, are there any natural predators of this insect? To put it simply, roaches play a very important role in the food chain. Many animals, including humans, benefit from their protein content! Among the animals that eat cockroaches are spiders, fish, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds. 

There are many ways in which these predators attack roaches. It is possible for toads, frogs, and lizards to crush roaches in their jaws using their long, sticky tongues. The eggs of wasps, however, are laid in cockroaches and larvae. As soon as the wasp eggs hatch, they will begin feeding on the roach, destroying them completely. It is also common for human beings to consume roaches in other parts of the world as well. As a cheap source of protein, cockroaches can be cooked in a variety of ways, including stir-fries, boils, and deep-fried.

How To Get Rid Of Roaches In Missouri?

In order to get rid of roaches, a combination of spraying insecticides, using baits to catch the roaches, and cleaning is not enough to eliminate them. As a result of their ability to get into almost anything and multiply quickly, roaches are capable of surviving for several months without food and for up to two weeks without water. It is definitely a challenge to deal with these little pests. However, there are three main things that you can do to help get rid of roaches in your home. 

The three steps include: 

  1. Ensure that food and water are removed, as well as hiding spots are sealed up. In order to eliminate roaches and prevent their return, it is essential to eliminate the food, water, and hiding places that attract them. Make sure to clean all of your kitchen appliances, empty and clean cabinets of any crumbs, and clean your floors frequently. In addition, you must make sure to seal all cracks and holes in your home and make sure that your doorframes and windows are tightly sealed.
  2. For roach control, rely on professional-grade products only. For roach control, an insecticide must be used to kill active cockroaches, bait is needed to eliminate hidden roaches, and an IGR must be used to prevent reproduction.
  3. With the help of glue boards, you can monitor cockroaches in your home. Getting rid of roaches completely can take anywhere from three weeks to six months depending on the severity of the infestation.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © luis2499/

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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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