When Is Cockroach Season in New York?

Written by Kaleigh Moore
Published: April 12, 2023
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Cockroaches are a real problem in New York City, as evidenced by the statistics. An American Homes Survey revealed that 17% of NYC residents have reported seeing cockroaches inside their homes – indicating that this species is an even bigger nuisance than rats! Although cockroaches are not as prevalent as rodents, they remain a formidable threat that requires swift and effective action. NYC’s summertime climate is the ideal environment for these pesky critters to flourish. The warmth and humidity attract them in droves – however, if temperatures become too extreme (either hot or cold), they naturally feel uncomfortable.

The world is home to an astonishing 4,600 species of cockroaches, yet the United States only hosts 70 of these. Out of those, 46 are regularly found in human dwellings. As for New Yorkers specifically? You likely have encountered four cockroach varieties: American, German, Oriental, and Brown-banded roaches. Of course, if you reside there long enough, it’s hard not to get acquainted with the most noticeable pestilence–the American and German Cockroaches.

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American Homes Survey

revealed that 17% of NYC residents have reported seeing cockroaches inside their homes.

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How Do You Identify a Cockroach?

Spotting a cockroach is simpler than you think! Have you ever noticed those scuttling black or brown bugs darting around in the night? That’s them. Cockroaches have an oval-shaped bodies, lengthy antennae, and six legs; some of them can even fly with their small wings or nobly without any at all.

What makes these pests distinctive is how quickly they move and their ability to hide away in tight gaps. You might notice a musty or oily smell when cockroaches are around. They like warm, dark, and damp areas, such as kitchens, bathrooms, and basements.

If you spot small dark specks, pellets, or oval-shaped capsules that could be eggs in hidden spots, those are signs of cockroach activity too. If you suspect you have cockroaches in your home or business, it’s best to seek help from a pest control professional to properly identify them and find an effective solution.

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

Cockroaches have an oval-shaped body, lengthy antennae, and six legs.

©Melinda Fawver/Shutterstock.com

The History Of Cockroaches In New York

In the 1840s, New Yorkers noticed an alarming rise in cockroach numbers, which they termed ‘croton bugs.’ The nickname was derived from the newly constructed Croton Aqueduct and Water System. Reports from newspapers linked its popularity to an influx of German cockroaches. Therefore, many locals were convinced that it was responsible for these pest invasions by supplying their homes with water pipes alongside unwelcome hitchhikers!

Cockroaches have a long history in the United history and an even longer lineage. They are believed to be over 300 million years old. They started arriving in the US when European settlers landed in the New World. In no time, the cockroaches that had been transported to the nation via ship had propagated throughout all of its areas. Initially, they infiltrated major cities like New York and other provinces.

Black Cockroaches - Common Cockroach Species

Cockroaches started arriving in the US when European settlers landed in the New World.


Where to Find Them

Roaches inhabit all continents besides Antarctica. Initially, they came from tropical climates but adapted to cooler temperatures over time. They have evolved in the millions of years they’ve inhabited the planet. Although, scientists feel that roaches are generalized species and lack specialized body features to distinguish them from similar species. However, they fold their wings over their body to protect themselves against predators.

Second World War Problems

During the second world war, cockroaches became a significant concern for soldiers fighting in the Pacific. They would spread diseases and were a constant pain, especially in the hot and humid environments of the South Pacific. The American generals had to devise various strategies to eliminate the cockroaches. Because they were affecting the morale of the soldiers. 

Introduction of Pesticides

After the war, powerful insecticides were developed that helped destroy the insects. During this period, residents felt relieved. Unfortunately, their celebration was short-lived because the roaches resisted the chemicals used after a few years. In the 1970s, cockroaches became a critical concern.

Cockroach control has significantly advanced over the years, making it much simpler to manage a cockroach infestation.

Does New York Have a Cockroach Season?

Yes, cockroach season in New York typically occurs during the warm and humid summer months, from May to September. Cockroaches find these weather conditions suitable for survival, growth, and reproduction.

However, New York homeowners still discover cockroaches throughout the year, depending on species and environmental conditions. For instance, cockroach activities slow down in the fall as it gets cooler. And in the winter, cockroaches are dormant and are difficult to locate.

Usually, the critters survive by migrating to the warmer section of homes and buildings, such as basements and heating ducts. Here, the cockroaches still survive and reproduce comfortably.

Cockroach Eggs and Egg Sacks - Egg Case

Cockroach season in New York typically occurs during the warm and humid summer months, from May to September.


Why Is It Important To Know Cockroach Season?

Here are four valid reasons why any New Yorker should be aware of the Cockroach season:

To Take Preventive Measures

Knowing cockroach season helps a homeowner take preventative measures before an infestation occurs. Given the proper climate, cockroaches can quickly take over your home. Though you cannot control external conditions, you can deny them access to food, water, and shelter- essential elements for survival!

Timely Pest Control

By being aware of the cockroach season, you can plan pest control services early to combat or avoid infestations.

To Prevent Health Risks

Cockroaches carry bacteria and allergens that pose health risks to family members, especially those with respiratory problems or allergies. Knowing the cockroach season allows you to prevent your family members from these health risks.

To Prevent Property Damage

Cockroaches can chew on anything from wallpapers, fabric, and books. By understanding when the cockroach season is, you can easily safeguard your assets and personal belongings from harm.

What Do Cockroaches Eat-pest control

By being aware of the cockroach season, you can plan pest control services early to combat or avoid infestations.


Cockroaches In New York

This section will highlight the four cockroach species found in New York. These are the German, American, Oriental, and Brown-banded cockroaches.

German Cockroach

German Cockroach

New York City is a prime destination for the most common species of cockroach – the German Cockroach.

©7th Son Studio/Shutterstock.com

Home to over 8 million people and numerous attractions, New York City is a prime destination for the most common species of cockroach – the German Cockroach. With its warm climate, abundant population size, and hygienic conditions, this tiny insect has been able to thrive in NYC as compared with other cities around the world.

At only half an inch long they are smaller than American roaches but still pose serious health risks if not addressed properly by experts. They’re light brown and often found in bathrooms, kitchens, and areas where food, water, and warmth are readily available. German cockroaches reproduce rapidly and will adapt to various environments quickly, making them challenging to control.

One sign of German infestation is the stains they leave behind when they excrete sticky and foul-smelling fluid. With so many people living in New York, cockroaches’ prevalence increases. If you live in an old building with outdated plumbing, this further compounds the issue. German cockroaches carry diseases causing microorganisms and allergens. The German cockroach is nocturnal and will come out to feed at night. 

American Cockroach

isolated American cockroach

The American cockroaches transmit disease-causing bacteria and allergens.


American cockroaches are the second most popular roaches in New York. They’re one of the largest cockroach species growing between 1.5 to 2 inches long, twice as large as the German species. This species is found near plumbing, under sinks, food preparation areas, and dirty storage areas. American cockroaches are reddish brown with distinctive yellow markings on their thorax. American Cockroaches have wings, although they can only fly under certain conditions. You can expect them in your basements, crawl spaces, and sewers. 

The cockroach species is a diverse eater, rummaging through garbage, pet food, or chewing wallpapers away. They are well adapted to survive prolonged periods without food and water. The American cockroaches transmit disease-causing bacteria and allergens. If a family member is allergic, they should avoid interacting with the roaches or anything they excrete or leave behind crawling. They can contaminate food and cooking surfaces with their excretions and saliva. American cockroaches prefer single-level buildings in the city, unlike German Cockroaches, which can go higher. 

Oriental Cockroaches

Types of Cockroaches - Oriental Cockroach

Oriental roaches contaminate foods and surfaces with bacteria and other pathogens.

©Yuliia Hurzhos/Shutterstock.com

If there were a disgusting cockroach pageant, the oriental cockroaches would be crowned champions. Sure, they may not be as rampant or invasive as American and German Cockroaches, but one thing’s for sure: their grimy looks put them lightyears ahead of any competitors! Rapid breeders by nature, these ‘water bugs’ have truly earned their awkward title.

These cockroaches are 0.5 inches long, have deep dark brown color that is seemingly black, and prefer filthy places, particularly with human feces, such as sewers, garbage dumps, drains, etc. Occasionally, people might concede them with other insects, especially if they’ve never interacted with cockroaches. 

You’ll find them in large groups invading apartment buildings in the city, restaurants, or other urban areas. One of the challenges of controlling oriental cockroaches In New York is their ability to survive in harsh conditions. For instance, they can tolerate lower temperatures and high humidity than most cockroach species. Further, these bugs produce a foul-smelling odor noticeable in the worst conditions. Oriental roaches contaminate foods and surfaces with bacteria and other pathogens. 

Brown-Banded Cockroaches

๋Juvenile brown banded cockroach isolated on white floor.

These cockroach species entered the US in 1903 and traveled through Florida from



©Chumrit Tejasen/Shutterstock.com

Brown-banded cockroaches are a small invasive species that get their name from the two light brown bands across their bodies. An adult is half an inch long, while body markings, sizes, and shapes differ between males and females. A male has a long, stretched, brownish-colored body, while the bands are deep brown. In contrast, females have broad, round brown bodies with brownish bands.

These cockroach species are less common than Americans or Germans in New York. They prefer a temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit meaning they’ll seek refuge in apartment buildings during the winter. Look out for these pesky bugs under furniture, electrical appliances, behind wall hangings, and in clustered areas. 

These cockroach species entered the US in 1903 and traveled through Florida from Cuba. Brown-banded cockroaches are now seen in virtually every state, including New York. They reproduce at an alarming rate, with a female capable of laying up to 252 eggs during their lifetime, which spans 206 days. Because of their minuscule size and tendency to jump away when they’re spotted, it can be difficult to detect them.

The brown-banded cockroach is nocturnal, and they come out at night to scout for food. Occasionally, you might spot one or two cockroaches crawling during the day, especially if disturbed. Brown-banded roaches are a health risk since they carry disease-causing pathogens and allergens. Family members with respiratory problems should be cautious of these cockroach species. 

How To Prevent Cockroach Infestation

They say prevention is better than cure, and dealing with cockroaches in New York is no exception. There are advantages to preventing a cockroach infestation, particularly regarding the cost implications. Further, you help avert any destructive behavior from the roaches. The following steps help prevent cockroaches from infesting your home or apartment building.

Neatly organized and labeled baking ingredients in BPA-free plastic storage containers

Store food in airtight containers and keep them free from clutter.

©Kristen Prahl/Shutterstock.com

  • Maintain a clean home or building: Because roaches thrive in dirty environments, you must maintain a clean living space. To protect yourself and your family from bacteria, it is essential to clean the bathrooms, kitchen, or any other area where food is prepped or stored with regularity. Don’t let even the tiniest of spills go unnoticed; take care of them immediately, and be sure to get rid of garbage regularly.
  • Seal all entry points: Cockroaches make their way to your home through small cracks and openings in walls, floors, and windows. Seal these entry points with caulking or weather stripping to prevent their entry.
  • Store food properly: Food is a cockroach magnet, and when they smell it, they’ll infest your pantry, cabinets, or anywhere else you store your food. Store food in airtight containers and keep them free from clutter.
  • Maintain a dry home: Cockroaches thrive in moist environments, so fixing leaks or stagnant water is vital. Ensure to dry any damp areas Immediately.

How to Eliminate Cockroaches

Boric Acid And Cockroaches - Natural Pest Control Methods

Place baits and traps in areas where cockroaches are known to frequent, such as near garbage cans, under sinks, and cabinets.


If you’re already dealing with a cockroach problem in your residence, don’t wait to call for professional assistance. However, there are measures you can take before making that move that might help decrease the severity of this issue. Here are some of them:

  1. Use baits and traps: Place baits and traps in areas where cockroaches are known to frequent, such as near garbage cans, under sinks, and cabinets. The baits and traps are effective in eliminating these pesky bugs.
  1. Use insecticides: Insecticides can kill cockroaches, but using them properly is essential. Ensure you follows instructions on the labels carefully and wear protective gear, such as gloves and a mask.

If Number 1 and 2 fails, you can hire a professional pest control company. In most cases, when the infestation is severe, this is the only choice you have left. Most companies have the personnel and proper tools to do the job. Moreover, they’ll help you set up your home to avoid getting a full-blown infestation.

Take Back Your Home From Cockroaches

Cockroach season is here, and health risks are associated with their presence in your home. Also, because New York has an especially high rate of infestations, you must take crucial steps such as cleaning regularly and keeping food storage containers sealed off. Investing time into making repairs around the house can also help reduce the likelihood of attracting pests.

Finding a permanent solution starts with fixing small cracks and disposing of garbage correctly. And even monitoring your homes for all the signs of infestation will help keep the cockroaches at bay. The practical points discussed will help you take proactive measures to protect your home against cockroach infestations.

Ultimately, keeping your house free from cockroach infestations is in your hands. If you take proper preventative measures now, it will save you money and hassle down the road. An uncontrolled pest situation can cost far more than a few dollars spent on preventing one beforehand! Taking precautions against these pests should be at the top of your household’s to-do list.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © PitukTV/Shutterstock.com

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