Roaches in Ohio

Written by Brandi Allred
Published: April 20, 2022
Image Credit 7th Son Studio/
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Humans everywhere have to deal with the one pest that just won’t die, the cockroach. There are even roaches in Ohio. There, they live in homes, apartment buildings, restaurants, and just about any other manmade structure you can think of. Cockroaches are the ultimate survivors; they’ve been around for over 300 million years, so they ought to be.

Here, we’ll take a closer look at the types of roaches in Ohio. Then, we’ll find out whether or not any of these roaches fly, how common each species is, and when they’re most active. Finally, we’ll touch on the different methods you can use to get rid of a cockroach infestation in your home or business.

Types of Roaches in Ohio

There are five common roaches in Ohio; German cockroaches, American cockroaches, brown-banded cockroaches, oriental cockroaches, and Pennsylvania wood cockroaches. Of these, the German cockroach is the most common and most likely to be encountered in a home infestation.

Let’s take a closer look at each species of roaches in Ohio.

German Cockroach (Blattella germanica)

Types of Cockroaches - German Cockroach
One of the dirtiest cockroach species, German roaches famously leave behind odors and stains wherever they go.


The German cockroaches are one of the most common roaches in Ohio. These pesky invaders aren’t as big as some species of cockroach, growing only to ½ inch long. But, they are one of the fastest reproducing cockroaches and one of the foulest. A German cockroach infestation usually starts around plumbing fixtures. They may take up residence either in single-family homes, multi-unit apartment buildings, or commercial kitchens.

American Cockroach (Periplaneta americana)

American cockroach on wood
These cockroaches are not native to the Americas.


Another of the most common species of roaches in Ohio are the American cockroaches. These roaches grow up to 2 inches long, significantly longer than any other roach in Ohio. They can run very fast and scurry away when the lights go on. They’re most common in restaurants or food preparation areas. Adults are red-brown, with yellow markings on their pronota. The pronotum is the hard shield just above the head.

Brown-banded Cockroach (Supella longipalpa)

๋Juvenile brown banded cockroach isolated on white floor.
The brown-banded cockroach has a particular love for shelves with knickknacks to hide behind.

Chumrit Tejasen/

Brown-banded cockroaches get their name from the brown bands on their abdomens. Males have narrow bodies with amber coloring, while females have wider bodies with dark brown coloring. These roaches have short lives, living for about a year. Unlike other cockroaches, brown-banded roaches jump when startled.

Oriental Cockroach (Blatta orientalis)

Types of Cockroaches - Oriental Cockroach
The oriental cockroach is one of the most cold-tolerant of all pestilential roaches.

Yuliia Hurzhos/

Oriental cockroaches are one of the less common roaches in Ohio. Both males and females are very dark brown, while nymphs (baby cockroaches) start out amber-colored. These roaches are particularly fond of sewers, garbage, and damp basements. They’re most likely to be found in single-family homes and can survive cold temperatures. Oriental cockroaches are one of the strongest smelling roaches in Ohio; infestations can quickly lead to property damage.

Pennsylvania Wood Cockroach (Parcoblatta pennsylvanica)

cockroach nymph on woodgrain background
These roaches can damage wood roof shingles or siding.


Known simply as the wood roaches, they spend most of their time outside. They prefer forested areas and only come into homes through firewood or open windows and doors. They’re relatively harmless, though they can cause damage to wooden structures. Males are about one inch long, while females tend to be smaller. Unlike other types of roaches in Ohio, the wood roach does not mind the light and may even make itself at home in unused light sockets. They prefer to stick to rotting logs and damp vegetation outside rather than coming into buildings.

Are There Flying Cockroaches in Ohio?

Yes, there are a few species of flying roaches in Ohio. To start, male Pennsylvania wood roaches are capable of true flight. Females of both species have only rudimentary wings and cannot fly. American, German, and brown-banded cockroaches do not fly. If you’re not sure whether or not the cockroach you’re looking at can fly, take a look at its wings. Only flying cockroaches have two sets of body-length wings; non-flying roaches have much shorter wings.

Are Cockroaches Common in Ohio?

The Florida Woods cockroach is large, slow and land-based, unable to fly.
Cockroaches live on every single continent.


Unfortunately, yes, cockroaches are common in Ohio. Roaches in Ohio are just a fact of life, like ants at a picnic or seagulls at the beach. There are over 4,000 species of cockroaches living all over the world, likely numbering in the billions. With such overwhelming numbers, it’s no surprise that humans will never be rid of these sometimes pestilential insects. You’re most likely to see roaches in Ohio wherever there are conglomerations of people and manmade dwellings.

When are Cockroaches in Ohio most Active?

Roaches like the warmth and dislike the light. So, the best times for seeing roaches in Ohio (if you do want to see them, that is) are at night, during the warm summer months. If you don’t want to see them, keep the lights on, and don’t give them places to hide.

How do You Get Rid of Cockroaches in Ohio?

Cockroach Eggs and Egg Sacks - Egg Case
Licensed pest exterminators should be able to take care of cockroach infestation for you.


Cockroach infestations are many homeowners’ worst nightmare. Roaches in Ohio are no exception. Infestations can be dealt with either by yourself or with the help of a licensed pest exterminator. If you decide to take care of the roaches on your own, start by cleaning up and decluttering. Then, do your research on the best roach killers, which generally include roach traps and insecticides, to exterminate the cockroaches.

German Cockroach
The cockroach can also go by the name Palmetto bug or wood roach.
7th Son Studio/
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About the Author

Brandi is a professional writer by day and a fiction writer by night. Her nonfiction work focuses on animals, nature, and conservation. She holds degrees in English and Anthropology, and spends her free time writing horror, scifi, and fantasy stories.

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