The Top 4 Roaches Commonly Found In Las Vegas

Types of Cockroaches - German Cockroach
© IrinaK/

Written by Peralee Knight

Updated: October 4, 2022

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While the approaching summer months often brings the heat and humidity that attract roaches, in Las Vegas, it is warm for much longer! So, what are the top four roaches commonly found in Las Vegas? The answer may surprise you! We will examine how to identify a cockroach, the common roaches found in Las Vegas, and how to deal with an infestation in the article below.

How To Identify A Cockroach

๋Juvenile brown banded cockroach isolated on white floor.

Cockroaches are most commonly identified by their beetle-like exoskeleton and body-length antennae.

©Chumrit Tejasen/

Before looking for the identifying characteristics of the top four roaches common to Las Vegas, it is important to make sure the insect is a cockroach. There are 4,500 species of cockroach that fall under the Dictyopteran order, but only thirty encounter humans. Cockroaches of all species are known to be one of the most adaptable animals in the world. They are also omnivores and scavengers that can consume any detritus, animal, or plant matter.

Common Physical Characteristics Of Cockroaches:

  • Medium-sized insects with exoskeletons like beetles.
  • Six legs
  • 2 Body-length antennae located near the top of the head
  • Deep brown, light brown, reddish-brown, mahogany, or amber in color.
  • Three life cycles, egg, nymph, and adult
  • Nymphs often molt more than once before adulthood

The Top 4 Roaches Most Commonly Found In Las Vegas

German Cockroaches

German Cockroach

The German cockroach is the most common species in the United States.

©7th Son Studio/

The king of the invasive roach species in the United States, German roaches are the most common species in Las Vegas too. German cockroaches are primarily found in urban areas with multi-level housing, as well as the food prep areas of businesses. They are commonly found in cluttered storage areas and damp, humid areas under plumbing fixtures.

German roaches are around ½ inch long and light brown with two darker bands behind the head. Males and females are indistinguishable from each other. German roaches produce an offensive, sticky fluid that visibly stains most surfaces.

American Cockroaches

American cockroach crawling

The American cockroach is over twice the size of the German species.


The second most common roach in Las Vegas, as well as the United States, is the American roach. This species prefers single-story homes and restaurants, particularly areas where food is prepared. They share the German species’ preference for moist, cluttered, or warm areas near plumbing.

The American roach is over twice the size of its more common cousin, up to two inches long. American roaches also have wings that span their body length that lack distinct markings. This species is reddish-brown over the body, with a distinct yellow band behind the head. Males and females are identical, and this species lives for up to 1 year as an adult.

Oriental Cockroaches

Black Cockroach - Oriental Cockroach

The Oriental cockroach is commonly found near waste, garbage, and sewage.


While a bit less common, oriental cockroaches are the third most common roach in Las Vegas. This species is both cold and hot weather hardy and is found mostly in the dirtiest of human areas. Oriental roaches prefer to live in or around garbage and sewage. They can thrive both indoors and outdoors and are the reason cockroaches are indelibly linked to filth.

Oriental roaches are 1¼ inch long on average, deep brown, almost black over the entire body. Sometimes, their lack of obvious markings may be mistaken for beetles. Like the German species, they also produce an unpleasant odor, but it is worse. The odor of an oriental cockroach can overpower even the worst smells produced by garbage!

Australian Cockroaches

Australian Cockroach (Periplaneta australasiae) laying eggs.

Australian Cockroaches are actually believed to be native to Africa by most experts!

©Vinicius R. Souza/

While this species is less common than the top three United States roaches, it is the most common outdoor species in the Southern U.S. The name Australian cockroach is misleading since experts think the species originates in Africa. Common names for this species include shad roaches and waterbugs. It thrives in heat and humidity and is rarely a threat of infestation.

The Australian roach looks remarkably like its American cousin, around 1½ inch long with a reddish-brown coloring overall and yellow heads. To tell them apart, look for unique markings common to the Australian roaches. They have yellow body markings, two square brown head markings, and a tan vertical stripe down each wing. Males and females are identical and live 18 months once they mature. Adults have functional wings and can fly, while nymphs do not.

Heat, Humidity, And Invasive Roach Species

Many of the invasive species of roaches that infest human homes are drawn by heat and humidity. Preventing roaches in urban areas can be a challenge, especially when the ideal climate for them is basically Las Vegas. However, if you suspect an infestation, there are common locations and signs to look out for, like the ones listed below:

Common Signs Of Possible Roach Infestation:

  • Deep brown or rust-colored droppings.
  • Shed exoskeletons.
  • Egg casings, which look like small light brown or tan seed pods.
  • Sticky liquids or visible staining (German Species).
  • Unpleasant, foul, or musty odor that lingers after cleaning.
  • Clusters of nymphs, which share adult markings.
  • Signs of an infestation are most often found in warm and humid locations, like attics, basements, and crawl spaces.

Checking locations where cockroaches are found frequently for signs of an infestation is crucial. The best prevention against cockroaches is to make sure these preferred locations are dry, clean, and climate-controlled. If these areas are well maintained, but that smell remains, you might want to call an exterminator. This is an ominous sign the infestation is on the floor or wall!

Remember, when in doubt, exterminate!

All roach infestations should be handled as soon as possible! Cockroach infestations can rapidly become out of control. Roaches breed and increase their numbers quickly. If not promptly addressed, a single home with an infestation can spread to multiple homes.

Whether you opt to handle pest control yourself with commercial bombs and sprays or decide to get an exterminator, quicker is better. Not only can cockroaches destroy your home or business, but some species can also cause deadly illnesses. The presence of cockroaches can also lead to more invasive pests, as well.

There are many effective ways to not only get roaches out of your spaces but to prevent them. For more on getting rid of cockroaches, check out this article!

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