Roaches In Virginia

Types of Cockroaches - Oriental Cockroach
© Yuliia Hurzhos/

Written by Volia Schubiger

Updated: October 28, 2022

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Over the course of millions of years, cockroaches have evolved into some of the most resilient insects the planet has ever seen. As a matter of fact, they lived alongside the dinosaurs. It is said that roaches are so resilient, that they can even survive for up to a week without their heads. Additionally, they can survive without food for almost a month and without water for nearly two weeks. A total of 4,000 species of cockroaches are known to exist in different parts of the world. In the United States alone, there are thought to be somewhere around 70 species of roaches living in the country. 

It doesn’t matter where you live, roaches are everywhere. In this article, we’re going to take a look at the state of Virginia in particular. This article will help you identify some of the most common roaches you can find in Virginia to quickly identify and prevent them from spreading.

Most Common Types Of Roaches In Virginia

The roach population in Virginia is pretty diverse. Therefore, you may encounter several different types of cockroaches in the state. Despite their similar appearance, roaches do have some characteristics that distinguish them from others of the same species. Because of this, we’re going to look at the five most common types of roaches in Virginia. These are the types that you are most likely to find entering your home or out in the wild.

1. Pennsylvania Wood Cockroach

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

The Pennsylvania wood cockroach is found throughout the United States, from the East Coast to the Midwest.

©Melinda Fawver/

The Pennsylvania wood cockroach is common throughout the United States and can be found in many different environments. Their most common locations are in Virginia’s eastern and western regions. Is it possible to identify a wood cockroach by its appearance? Yes, they do have a unique appearance. 

In males, the chest between the head and abdomen is dark brown, and the front part of the wings is yellow. Females, on the other hand, are all brown without any distinguishing colors. Additionally, the male wood cockroach has fully developed wings and a longer abdomen compared to the female. However, females are shorter and cannot fly because their wings are not fully developed. 

So where will you find the wood cockroach living? In the evening, these cockroaches usually hide out in tree-lined areas, on trees’ trunks, and on the lower branches of oaks and elms in wooded areas after dark. They can also be found in brush piles and fallen leaves, as well as in piles of wood, stumps, and hollow trees. Most Pennsylvania wood cockroaches gain access to your house through the firewood you bring into the house. This species, however, does not like living with other roaches, which makes it unique. In addition, they cannot survive indoors for long because they rely on decaying organic matter for their diet.

2. American Cockroach

American cockroach crawling

Among all the species of roaches that infest homes, the American cockroach is the largest.


The American cockroach is one of our least favorite ones to run across! This is because they are actually one of the largest roaches that you can find in Virginia. The American cockroach can reach a maximum size of about one and a half inches in length when it is an adult. As far as appearance goes, their wings are reddish brown, and their neck is paler with two darker reddish brown spots. Despite having wings, they can’t fly – phew! However, it’s not all good news yet. 

A humid and warm environment is ideal for the survival of these roaches. If they have those conditions then they can be active all year round. In other words, if they happen to find a way into your home, they will stay there and remain active all the time. They often enter homes and apartments through sewer lines and plumbing systems or air ducts. There’s no need to worry about how you can detect their presence in your home, you’ll smell them! The American cockroach releases foul-smelling secretions. You will be able to smell them if there are a lot of them.

3. Asian Cockroaches

Blattella Asahinai - Asian cockroach on weeds. Oriental cockroaches are also known as water bugs because they belong in or are found in drains.

Asian roaches are great fliers that primarily hang around outside.

©Ujung Lensa/

The Asian cockroach is a species that is similar to the oriental cockroach, though it is typically smaller and lighter in color, ranging from tan to a dark brown shade based on its size. On the edge of the thorax of this species, there is a yellow or light brown band that covers the edge. 

As a result of their long, narrow wings, Asian cockroaches are capable of flying more than 120 feet high! In addition to being strong flyers, Asian cockroaches are attracted to light and are attracted to heat sources. It is common to find them near the doors and windows of buildings. 

In the southeastern United States, Asian cockroaches are usually found in grass, mulch, and shrubbery areas that are shaded and moist. In spite of their preference for living outside, these insects can invade and establish populations inside the home. 

4. German Cockroach 

German Cockroach

The German cockroach is one of the most common species of cockroaches in the world.

©7th Son Studio/

Among Virginia’s roach species, the German cockroach has the highest population density. Virginians have to deal with them all year round, as they are a pest all throughout the year. These roaches usually grow to be about ½ an inch to ⅝ an inch long. There are two dark streaks on the heads of the males, making their skin tan or pale brown in color. Additionally, males have yellowish undersides and slender abdomen. Compared to the males, the females have a darker brown color and a broader abdomen.

During the night, German Cockroaches search for food and water, and if disturbed will bolt away if a light is turned on. It is for this reason that German Cockroaches are usually found in kitchens and bathrooms, where food and water are readily available. During the day, these cockroaches live near refrigerators, stoves, sinks, and inside the walls to hide out. During the daytime, they hardly ever come out. A daytime sighting of one, however, is a sign of a serious infestation.

5. Brown-Banded Cockroaches

๋Juvenile brown banded cockroach isolated on white floor.

Brown-banded roaches are an incredibly small and invasive roach species.

©Chumrit Tejasen/

Another common roach found in Virginia is the brown-banded roach. Among the roaches in the state, this one happens to be the smallest. In terms of size, they only reach about a half-inch in length. On the wings and abdomen, there are two light-colored bands that are ranging from tan to light brown in color. Males have wings that cover their bodies and are generally slender. Females, on the other hand, are darker in color. They also have shorter wings and larger bodies. 

It is not possible for brown-banded cockroaches to fly, but they are capable of climbing walls and ceilings. Apartment complexes, offices, and homes are often infested with these cockroaches. There is no need for them to live in a humid environment or to consume as much water as other types of roaches. This means they won’t just live under sinks or behind refrigerators. These little creatures will take up residence in cupboards and other areas of your home that are dryer. They will, however, avoid light, similar to most other roach species.

Are Roaches Common in Virginia?

There is no doubt that roaches can be found in every corner of the world. Insects such as these do not have a very high level of pickiness. In most cases, they are able to adapt to most environments and make them work for them. The question is, however, whether roaches are common in Virginia. The answer is yes, it is pretty common to come across roaches in the state of Virginia. A number of pests live in the state, including roaches.

Several factors contribute to the prevalence of roaches in Virginia. The warm climate in Virginia is one reason for this. Virginia’s warm climate makes roaches happy as they can survive there all year round. A second reason for their attraction is that roaches are attracted to food sources. The presence of food will attract roaches. Homes and businesses around will attract roaches to feed and live in these places. Virginia is also home to many people. Roaches are more likely to enter homes and businesses when there are more people around. This is because there will be more food available. 

What Do Roaches Eat?

Cockroaches are what is known as omnivorous, which means that they are able to eat both plants and animals. Roaches are not picky eaters, but they particularly enjoy starchy foods, sweets, fatty foods, and meat. Usually, they eat anything and everything they can come across. There have been instances where cockroaches ate cardboard, hair, feces, soap, and even other cockroaches. Their resilience makes it possible for them to make almost anything useful as a food source.

Are Roaches In Virginia Dangerous?

Cockroach on a piece of wood

Although they don’t bite, roaches are dangerous because they can spread disease.


The prevalence of roaches in Virginia makes it reasonable to wonder if they are dangerous. The fact is that roaches themselves pose no threat to humans. People are not known to get bitten by them or be attacked by them. It does not, however, mean that they are not dangerous. 

We all know that cockroaches prefer to shelter in dirty places in order to avoid being detected. This includes the sewer system, dumping sites, garbage bins, and drainpipes. Before moving into a home, they are most likely to live in these areas. Living in dirty conditions exposes them to hundreds of different parasites and pathogens. When this happens, they become the worst possible carriers of disease. 

It is possible for cockroaches to transmit disease by carrying it externally, spreading it across surfaces, or by contaminating food with parasites and bacteria they carry. Some illnesses that roaches are capable of spreading include cholera, E. coli, salmonellosis, listeriosis, typhoid fever, and dysentery. In spite of this, there are other issues associated with roach infestations.

When large groups of cockroach carcasses are present, asthma and allergy attacks are common, particularly in young children and the elderly. Cockroach populations can create huge health concerns for homeowners and their families for these reasons.

How To Prevent A Roach Infestation In Virginia 

When it comes to roach infestations, prevention is the best course of action. Cockroaches will not stay in your home if you don’t give them a reason to. To prevent cockroaches from entering your home, deny them food, water, and shelter, as these are the primary factors attracting them. You’re also going to want to make sure to inspect your home for any entry points. It is important to seal all of these entry points up in order to prevent the roaches from finding a way into your home. Make sure to also inspect the baseboards, the utility pipes, and the crawl spaces for any gaps that can be filled in and seal any cracks. 

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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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