Cockroaches in North Carolina: Myths and Facts

Originally posted on June 14, 2023 @ 12:02 am

Hello! Today we will be discussing the topic of cockroaches in North Carolina. Cockroaches are a common pest found in many areas of the world, including North Carolina. These insects are known for their ability to survive in a variety of environments and can quickly infest homes and businesses. In this discussion, we will explore the types of cockroaches found in North Carolina, their behavior and habits, and the methods used to control and prevent infestations. Let’s dive into the world of cockroaches in North Carolina!

The Fear Factor: Why Cockroaches are a Nuisance

Cockroaches are one of the most dreaded pests in North Carolina. Their presence can cause panic and anxiety in many people, and for good reason. Cockroaches are known to carry diseases, contaminate food, and trigger allergies and asthma. Moreover, they are highly adaptable and can survive in a wide range of environments, making them difficult to eradicate.

The Cockroach Species in North Carolina

There are several species of cockroaches found in North Carolina, but the most common ones are the American cockroach, the German cockroach, and the Oriental cockroach. Each species has its unique characteristics, behavior, and habitat preferences. For example, German cockroaches are smaller and more agile than American cockroaches, and they prefer warm and humid environments like kitchens and bathrooms.

Key Takeaway: Cockroaches are a serious health risk to humans as they can carry diseases, trigger allergies and asthma, and contaminate food. Although myths about them, such as their resilience to nuclear radiation, have been debunked, they remain highly adaptable and challenging to eradicate. The best way to deal with cockroaches is prevention, by keeping homes clean and free of clutter and sealing cracks and crevices to prevent their entry. If an infestation occurs, using insecticides or hiring a pest control professional is recommended.

American Cockroaches

American cockroaches are the largest cockroach species found in North Carolina, and they are often called “water bugs” or “palmetto bugs.” They can grow up to three inches long and have a reddish-brown color. American cockroaches are commonly found in sewers, basements, and crawl spaces, and they can enter homes through pipes and vents.

German Cockroaches

German cockroaches are the most common indoor cockroach species in North Carolina, and they are notorious for their rapid reproduction and resilience to insecticides. They are light brown or tan in color and have two dark stripes on their thorax. German cockroaches prefer warm and humid environments and are often found in kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms.

Oriental Cockroaches

Oriental cockroaches, also known as “black beetles,” are shiny black in color and have a greasy appearance. They are less common than American and German cockroaches and prefer cool and damp environments like basements and crawl spaces.

Myths and Facts about Cockroaches

Cockroaches have been surrounded by myths and misconceptions for centuries. Here are some of the most common ones and the facts behind them.

Key takeaway: Cockroaches in North Carolina are not just a nuisance, but they can pose serious health risks to humans by carrying diseases and triggering allergies and asthma symptoms. Prevention is the best way to deal with cockroaches, including keeping homes clean and free of clutter, sealing cracks and crevices, and disposing of garbage regularly. If already infested, using insecticides or hiring a pest control professional may be necessary.

Myth: Cockroaches Only Infest Dirty Homes

Fact: Cockroaches can infest any home, regardless of its cleanliness. Although they are attracted to food and water sources, they can survive on almost any organic matter, including glue, paper, and soap residue. Therefore, even a spotless home can harbor cockroaches if there are cracks and crevices for them to hide.

Myth: Cockroaches are Harmless

Fact: Cockroaches are not just a nuisance; they can pose serious health risks to humans. They can transmit diseases like salmonella, E. coli, and dysentery through their feces, saliva, and shed skins. Moreover, their droppings and body parts can trigger allergies and asthma symptoms in sensitive individuals.

Myth: Cockroaches can Survive a Nuclear Apocalypse

Fact: Although it’s true that cockroaches are resilient and can survive extreme conditions, they are not invincible. They can die from starvation, dehydration, and exposure to cold or heat. Moreover, their resistance to radiation is not significantly higher than that of other insects.

Prevention and Control of Cockroaches

The best way to deal with cockroaches is to prevent them from entering your home in the first place. Here are some tips for preventing and controlling cockroach infestations.


  • Keep your home clean and free of clutter, especially in the kitchen and bathroom.
  • Store food in airtight containers and clean up spills and crumbs promptly.
  • Seal cracks and crevices in walls, floors, and windows to prevent cockroaches from entering.
  • Fix leaks and moisture problems, and use dehumidifiers in damp areas.
  • Keep trash cans covered and dispose of garbage regularly.


If you already have a cockroach infestation, you may need to use insecticides or hire a pest control professional. Here are some tips for controlling cockroaches.

  • Identify the species of cockroach and their hiding places to target your treatment.
  • Use baits, gels, or sprays that are labeled for cockroaches and follow the instructions carefully.
  • Seal off entry points and reduce moisture and food sources to prevent re-infestation.
  • Consider using natural or eco-friendly pest control methods if you have pets or children.

FAQs – Cockroaches in North Carolina

What types of cockroaches are commonly found in North Carolina?

There are several types of cockroaches that are commonly found in North Carolina. The most common types are the American cockroach, German cockroach, and Oriental cockroach. The American cockroach is the largest of the three, while the German cockroach is the most commonly found in homes and other buildings. The Oriental cockroach tends to prefer damp environments, like basements or crawl spaces.

Why are cockroaches so hard to eliminate?

Cockroaches are notoriously difficult to eliminate because they are very resilient creatures. They can survive for long periods of time without food or water, and they are able to adapt to changing environments. In addition, cockroaches reproduce quickly, so even if you eliminate a few, there are likely more waiting in the wings. Finally, cockroaches can be very difficult to find, as they often hide in small crevices and other hard-to-reach areas.

What can homeowners do to prevent a cockroach infestation?

Preventing a cockroach infestation requires a combination of proactive measures and ongoing maintenance. Homeowners should make sure that all food is stored in sealed containers, and that there are no crumbs or spills left on counters or floors. In addition, homes should be sealed up as tightly as possible, with no gaps or holes that cockroaches can use to gain entry. Regular cleaning is also important, as it can help to identify any signs of a possible infestation early on.

How can I tell if I have a cockroach infestation?

There are several signs that you may have a cockroach infestation in your home. The most obvious sign is the presence of live cockroaches, which can often be seen scurrying around at night. You may also notice cockroach feces, which look like small black or brown pellets. Finally, you may notice an unpleasant, musty odor in areas where cockroaches are present.

Should I try to eliminate a cockroach infestation on my own, or should I call a professional?

While it is possible to eliminate a cockroach infestation on your own, it can be very difficult and time-consuming. In addition, many over-the-counter sprays and other products can be dangerous if not used properly. For these reasons, it is generally best to call a professional pest control company to handle a cockroach infestation. A professional will have the tools and expertise needed to eliminate the infestation safely and effectively.