Cockroaches in Michigan: How to Identify & Eliminate

Cockroaches are a nuisance, but they can also cause various other problems, such as spreading diseases and contaminating food. 

Even though roaches share these traits, all bugs are different species, and different types may be found all over the US. In this article, we will be focusing on the species found in Michigan, namely the American, German, Oriental, Brown-banded, and Pennsylvania wood roach. 

We’ll also go over how you can control and prevent roaches to keep your home protected. 

Types of Roaches in Michigan 

You may be wondering why you need to know the kind of roach you’re dealing with. After all, all cockroaches respond well to the same termination techniques. While that may be true, identifying the bug in your home may help you control them better. 

Even if roaches can be killed with the same methods, different factors are responsible for attracting different kinds of roaches to your home. Elimination will kill the insect, but control will prevent another infestation. 

By identifying the roach, you can exercise a suitable control method to ensure that your home is pest-free for good. 

Here’s what you need to know about Michigan’s five types of roaches. 

American Cockroach 

All cockroaches make our skin crawl, but the giant ones get to us. Unfortunately, Michigan is home to such a species known as the American cockroach. 

This roach is about 3 inches long and is the largest type of roach in this state. You may know it by its various other names, such as the tree roach, palmetto bug, cockroach rex, water bug, and wood roach. 

In addition to its size, you can identify this roach by its reddish-brown color and a yellow band behind its head. The insect has long legs and antennae. The wings with a wingspan of four inches (that’s a lot) enable it to fly short distances (ugh, they fly, too?). 

american cockroach

You can find American cockroaches indoors and outdoors, particularly in areas with a lot of moisture. So drains, sewers, and other damp areas like your basement and kitchen are where these roaches like to stay. 

These nocturnal creatures are also attracted to light which may attract them to your home at night. They may also enter your home to look for food. They typically feed on decomposing organic matter, plants, and small bugs. 

An adult American roach lives for about a year. The female can lay about 50 eggs which can take up to two months to hatch. After that, the nymphs may take six to twelve months to turn into adults. 

German Cockroaches

While German cockroaches may be one of the smaller roaches found in Michigan, their small size should not be taken lightly. 

Adult German cockroaches measure only 0.5 to 0.625 inches long, which means you may not notice them until the infestation is severe in your home. Their tiny size enables them to crawl into small spaces leaving behind tons of eggs. 

These roaches reproduce fast, which means that if you don’t pay close attention, the roach situation in your home can really go out of control. Adult German roaches live about a year. Females can lay up to 40 eggs every six weeks, and the eggs may take 60 days to hatch. 

When identifying a German roach, you’ll see it has a light brown or tan color with two dark stripes behind its head. These roaches do have wings but are not frequent fliers. 

german cockroach

German cockroaches are almost always found indoors in human establishments. You’ll find them in tiny, confined places where they will have easy access to food and water. They like to feed on soap, grease, leftover food, and food crumbs. 

In addition to how fast they multiply, German roaches also carry harmful diseases and may transmit them when looking for food, causing illnesses like food poisoning and dysentery. 

Oriental Cockroach 

Oriental roaches have a distinct shiny dark brown or black exoskeleton, which may help you identify them. You will also know you have an oriental roach infestation by the musty smell these roaches leave behind. 

These insects are relatively average-sized, measuring about 1.25 inches. They look similar to German roaches but are rounder and have short wings, making them non-fliers. 

Although typically found outdoors, these bugs won’t stop to invade your home via the sewage system. These roaches like damp areas, and you’ll find them near water sources such as bathtubs, sinks, and laundry appliances. 

These bugs like to feed on rotting organic matter and garbage. 

These roaches can breed all year but are more active during the summer and spring months when the weather is warm. The female can lay up to 20 capsules in a lifetime, which around 16 eggs in each capsule. The nymphs take a while to turn into adults molting seven times. 

Typically, it takes 12 weeks for the egg to turn into a mature adult. 

The lifespan of these roaches lasts anywhere from 34 to 180 days. 

Oriental roaches are the least agile as compared to other species. Therefore, you won’t see them flying, nor do they climb high areas and prefer ground-level sites.

Brown-banded Cockroach 

Being one of the most common roaches in Michigan, they are light brown and have two dark brown bands spanning their wings (hence the name brown-banded cockroach). 

These bugs are about 0.5 inches long, and the males of the species are slightly bigger than the females, with larger and more developed wings. On the other hand, females have shorter wings that only cover two-thirds of their abdomen. 

What sets apart brown-banded roaches is their non-cockroach-like behavior. Normally, cockroaches are attracted to moisture and prefer ground-level areas. However, brown-banded roaches stay away from humidity, prefer dry areas, and nest in high places such as ceilings and attics. 

Brownbanded Cockroach

They may even lay their eggs behind decorations that are high up on the wall. Females can lay 12 to 16 egg capsules containing about 18 eggs. Nymphs may molt up to 8 times before reaching maturity, which may take around 276 days. Adult roaches can generally live up to eight to ten months. 

Since they don’t like moisture, these roaches are typically present in warm, dry areas like the kitchen. They are omnivorous and can feed on just about anything, including soap, grease, and sugary food leftovers. 

Pennsylvania Wood Cockroach 

One of the most common roaches in Michigan, the Pennsylvania wood roach, is about 0.5 to 0.6 inches long, maybe dark brown or black, and is found in woody areas, hence the name. 

These roaches are typically found outdoors, but that doesn’t mean they won’t enter your home if they get the chance, especially if you’ve got firewood stored away. Like all roaches, they can multiply in your home and become a nuisance; therefore, you must identify and eliminate them immediately. 

Pennsylvania Wood Cockroach 

The males of the species have fully developed wings and can fly. However, they cannot sustain themselves in the air for long periods. Females, on the other hand, have short wings which are functionless. 

The good news about these roaches is that they may not carry any diseases. These roaches feed on decaying organic matter. 

Females can lay up to 32 eggs at a time and typically hatches after 34 days. The nymph stage lasts 10 to 12 months. The lifespan of an adult roach is several months. 

If you use firewood, fill in any cracks and crevices that may cause these pests to enter your home. Also, keep a lookout for roaches so you can remove them as soon as they are spotted. 

Control the Roaches 

A few roaches in your home may become a severe infestation if you don’t act quickly. You can kill the roaches using the techniques given below, but they won’t be effective unless you destroy the sources. Here are a few ways you can control your home’s roach population. 

  • The smell of essential oils like lavender, eucalyptus, and cedar oil drives the roaches away 
  • Cut off the food and water sources of these bugs 
  • Make sure to clean up well. Wipe away any food and grease spills 
  • Store your food in plastic containers and preferably in the fridge 
  • Fill in any cracks and crevices to prevent them from entering your home

Elimination Methods 

Wondering how to get rid of the roaches in your home? Here are a few methods you can try. 

  • Diatomaceous Earth can wear down the exoskeleton of the pest and dehydrate it. 
  • When roaches ingest baking soda, it creates gas in their gut which causes them to expand, crushing their organs. 
  • Boric acid affects the digestive and nervous systems of the insect and kills it.
  • Borax damages the lining of the roach’s gut, killing it due to starvation. 
  • Soap water blocks their breathing pores and kills them.
  • You can also use insecticides but buy the ones that are safe for indoor use. 
  • If you believe the infestation is already very serious, call professional help so they can take care of it the right way. 

Final Takeaway 

Every roach is different. Each has its own lifecycle, physical characteristics, and behavior. However, they share one similarity as far as we’re concerned; they must be removed ASAP. 

Once you’ve figured out which roach you’re dealing with, you can devise the best control method. However, roaches can be hard to spot, and you may now be dealing with an infestation.

In this case, seek professional help to have a pest-free home. 

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