Document Type

Household Insects and Pests

Publication Date



Cockroaches are the number one pest in homes or other buildings They have successfully adapted to living wherever people live and are common on ships, in warehouses, restaurants, stores, apartments, offices, hotels and one-family dwellings. In fact, cockroaches are often the first occupant in a new building.

Cockroaches are frequently carried into buildings in bags or boxes. They can live outside in water meters, garbage dumps or sewage systems and then migrate into buildings.

Cockroaches hide in sheltered, dark places during the day. Because they avoid light, they may not be detected in a home for months. Most homes have many cracks or crevices where they hide. At night, cockroaches leave their hiding places to seek out food and water. If a light is turned on, they will run rapidly for shelter, disappearing through openings into their hiding places.

Cockroaches can carry bacteria, fungi and filth on their legs and bodies. Their habit of hiding in empty spaces and moving under cover of darkness carrying bacteria is a health menace. They may pollute food or cooking utensils with this filth.

Publication Number

PB1024-15M-Rev.3/94 E12-2015-00-035-94

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Included in

Entomology Commons