Skip to content
💲FTC Disclosure: is part of the Amazon Associates affiliate program and affiliate programs from other companies. If you purchase via links on our website, we may earn a commission. We try to make all our reviews honest because we appreciate amazing content. !

Home » What Does a Cockroach Look Like? See Early Warning Signs

What Does a Cockroach Look Like? See Early Warning Signs

I am sure you are here to know what cockroach look like and several early warning signs you may see in your home. You will get to know what baby cockroaches look like and why they are a source of cockroach infestation.

So, how do you know you have cockroaches in your home without seeing one yet? What is the implication of seeing just one cockroach in your kitchen or bathroom?

What does the infestation of cockroaches mean to your health, family, home, appliances, and property?

Please keep reading.

what does a cockroach look like

What Are Cockroaches?

Cockroaches are insects in the order of Blattodea. Over 4,600 species of cockroach, out of which less than 40 are associated with the human habitant. 

This article is to help you know what a cockroach looks like. 

So, what is the scientific classification of a cockroach?

Cockroaches are in the group of Phylum Arthropoda (Insecta class) in the kingdom of Animalia. 

The order name Blattodea was derived from the Greek word Blatta, meaning “an insect that shuns the light.”

So, why is a cockroach called a cockroach?

The name Cockroaches originated from the Spanish word “Cucaracha” (i.e., the Spanish word for Cockroaches); The name Cucaracha was transformed by the 1620 English “folk etymology “into Cock and Roach to become Cockroaches.

Cockroaches do not have a unique adaptation, though they can chew with their mouthparts, and they are primitive. 

Though, tropical Cockroaches are always more significant in size than temperate region Roaches. 

Species of Cockroaches such as American Cockroaches, Brown-banded Cockroaches, German Cockroaches, and Oriental Cockroaches have intricate social dependence related to standard shelter. 

Cockroaches have been existing and their relationship with human culture for years. 

They are classed as pests and are found to live in a range of homes and locations worldwide. 

The Origin of Cockroaches?

Where did the cockroach originate from?

Cockroaches did not originate from Africa and Europe44 a million years ago as initially believed, but have been discovered to come from North America about 49 years ago. 

David Kohls made this discovery. He discovered a Cockroach fossil that is believed to be over 49 million years old in Colorado. 

Initially, the Cockroaches are of an ancient group that dates back to the Carboniferous time, i.e., over 320 million years ago. 

Knowing this pest’s origin will give us a sense of identifying the cockroach and what it looks like when you sight one. 

What Does a Cockroach Look Like? 

This article is a general description of cockroaches and their features.

Common species of cockroaches look like the size of your thumbnail while some others are way bigger. See the 9 Common Types of Cockroaches Species In the US and how to identify them

The world’s biggest cockroach (in size) is the giant burrowing Australian cockroach. It is 9 centimeters (i.e., 3.5 inches) long and 30 grams in weight. 

Another species of cockroach that can be compared to the Giant burrowing is the Central American Blaberus giganteus. 

Megaloblatta longipennis is the longest species of Cockroaches. 

It can be 45 mm ( or 1.8 inches) in width and can be as long as 97 mm (or 4.4 inches), while the South and Central American species have the largest wingspan with 185 mm (or 7.3 inches). 

Summary of What Cockroaches Look like

  • The average size of a roach is 1.5-2 inches long (Giant burrowing are around 3.5 inches long)
  • It has an oval but flat harden body with a segmented head at the back.
  • Antennae are like a thread with a variable length according to different species.
  • A separated but large eye (some species have a smaller look or none at all)
  • A mouthpart that is used for munching and chewing
  • Two pairs of wings
  • Six slender legs with limbs design for running
  • Two segmented abdomens with tails that are shorter than the body in most species

Description of Cockroaches Body Parts.

To identify cockroaches and know how it looks, you must understand their features in terms of head, legs, eyes, body, and every segment of their body part. 

Cockroaches have a small head with a broad, flattened body. Generally, Cockroaches species are dark brown, while some are reddish-brown. 

Cockroaches have large eyes (two ocelli), a long antenna that is movable in all directions. 

It has a mouth under its head, and it is made up of its salivary glands, the chewing mandibles, and its taste receptors. 

The Cockroaches body is divided into three segments with an abdomen that is segmented into ten. 

Its external surface is coated with some wax-like substances to act as water repellence.  

The four wings are attached to the third segment of the body; its wings are protective, healthy, and challenging. 

The pairs of legs are large coxae-like and are sturdy.

The legs are attached to the three-segment thoracic. Its hind legs are long, with the front legs very short. 

The Cockroaches’ abdomen has ten segments; each segment has spiracles for its respiration. 

The segment contains a pair of cerci, anal style, anus, and its genital located externally. 

The females have a spermatheca that stores sperm and has an ovipositor that helps them with oothecae. 

In contrast, the male Cockroaches have an aedeagus that helps them secrete sperm during copulation with the female.

Summary of Cockroach Description

The cockroach consist of the features below:

  • Head with two brains (one inside the skulls, and a second at the back near its abdomen)
  • Two large compound eyes 
  • Six legs with small claws towards the end
  • A flat body
  • Two antennae that are flexible and large
  • An exoskeleton
  • Ten Segmented Abdomen
  • Wings
  • Thorax has three segments.

You can learn more about the Cockroaches’ body parts and descriptions in Wikipedia. 

Why do I Have Cockroaches in My Home?

Many homeowners ask this question about the reason why Cockroaches gain access to their homes. 

Cockroaches are household insect pests that you see all over the world in every house. 

What do you have Cockroaches in your house? Or how did Cockroaches get to your home?

Cockroaches are brilliant, resourceful insects that will breed, live, and eat in your home without you knowing about it.

Also, cockroaches can damage your goods, appliances, and anything in your home because that is what the pests do.

Cockroaches can cause a healthy challenge for people living in infested apartments or houses. 

You can contact infection through contamination of bacterial in homes. Breathing of cockroaches’ skin and waste can result in allergy and asthma symptoms.

Signs of roaches in your home are not a conclusion that you are dirty, Cockroaches look for food and water daily, and you can have them in your home no Mather how great your home looks.

How Can Cockroaches Get to Your Home?

Cockroaches can gain access to your home in the following ways:

  • They can crawl to your home through holes, openings, and cracks in your building.
  • You can convey roaches from one home to another via backpacks, bags, suitcases, and containers.
  • Cockroaches can use openings via your windows and doors.
  • They can move from one family and apartment to another through pipes and holes in a shared apartment.

Where Do Cockroaches Live and Hide in Your Homes?

Cockroaches are great in hiding, and they can do that also in your house and within appliances. 

So, where do cockroaches live in your home? 

Roaches are likely to live in the following location in your homes:

Your Bathrooms 

It can go after your toilet paper, soap residue, and tissue papers; they can hide them in your back cabinet joints. 

Cockroaches can shelter in the dark spaces behind your sinks and plumbing, toilet, showers, and bathtubs. 

They will be in this location as long as there is access to water.

Your Kitchens

Cockroaches can hide in your kitchen cupboards and cabinets. Darkness will always attract roaches to your cabinets and cabinets, most especially if there are pipes around and water. 

Your home appliances also provide the warmth that they need to thrive (from heat generated by the appliance motor); devices also have different crevices where roaches can hide. 

Your Laundry Rooms

The heat generated by your dryer and washer motor will attract cockroaches.

Your cabinets are another location that can provide moisture to roaches. 

Your Basements

Cockroaches will also hide and thrive at the bases, crack, baseboards, and joints corner of your basement walls. 

They can also eat your cardboard and paper stored or books stored in your basement, most especially those books that contain starch gums. 

Your Drains

Your pipe ducts and damaged drain are places and where cockroaches can thrive in your home. 

They will fit in a small space. Roaches need a small but cracked duct to enter your homes. 

What do Cockroaches Do?

What does a roach look like and do? Most Cockroaches will do the following:  

  • Cockroach Bites
  • It will eat organic matter, plants, and your meat at home.
  • They can only fly a short distance and are weak fliers.
  • Cockroaches are known to eat both dead and a human’s living body, i.e., they can bite your eyelashes, hands, feet, or fingernails. 
  • They are usually solitary but occasionally grouped together and in large numbers.
  • They are fast runners and can go undercover when disturbed. 
  • Most of the Cockroaches are continually active at night.

What Does a Baby Cockroach Look Like?

A baby Cockroach is different from the adult one. 

The first sign of roaches in your home is the presence of baby Cockroaches. 

Below are different ways to know what a Baby Cockroach Look Like:

  • A baby Cockroach will have two long thread-like antennae.
  • Cockroach babies have two tiny appendages just by the base of their bodies.
  • Baby Cockroach has six legs.
  • They also have a hard body that is firmed and without wings. 
  • Baby Cockroach may be lighter, darker, white, or gray. It has a different form or pattern compare with the adult Cockroach. 
  • Young roaches always don’t have wings, and they are close to where they were hatched. Baby cockroaches are likely signs that you have an infestation in your home. 
  • Baby roaches, also called nymphs, mature by shedding and molting their exoskeleton; while it grows a new one.
  • The color of nymphs depends on age and when it molted. It will share the characteristics of the species to which it belongs. But note that it will not have wings.

Life Cycle: Baby Cockroaches to Adults

The adult roaches will lay their egg in an Egg Case called oothecae. The oothecae are tiny contain a certain number of eggs depending on the species of the Cockroaches.

The Cockroaches can hide the egg cases in small cracks or corners of a cabinet of your cabinet.

It is the only German cockroach species that will carry its egg case around until it is ready to hatch. 

The egg is kept in its abdomen and goes around while scavenging for food in your home. 

The Baby cockroaches hatch within days after they lay the eggs. The egg case can contain dozens of small roaches that can grow to adults within months. 

The baby roaches will move far, searching for food until they are matured, then you soon realized your home is already infested with roaches. 

It is essential to know that some of the cockroaches in your home will carry the egg case, and other species will have their egg case around until they get to the time of hatching. 

Are Baby Roaches Signs of Larger Infestation?

Are baby cockroaches signs of infestation?

The sighting of baby roaches in your home, most especially in the bathroom and your kitchen, is usually a sign of German cockroach infestation.  

These cockroach species are often seen in the bathroom and kitchen because these two locations in your home are humid, warm, and always with access to water, moisture, and food. 

But does it signal a more extensive infestation? Yes, it does.

Humidity and warmth indoor with a fragment of foods make an ideal habitat for cockroaches, and they often use drains and vents as entry points to your home from outside. 

A suitable place like kitchens and bathrooms is a good location for adult cockroaches to lay their eggs and reproduce.

A baby cockroach will not and cannot spread out because they are looking for food because of their limitation to move around. 

If you can see a baby cockroach in your home or within any of your appliances, it means there is an infestation of adult roaches currently living in your home. 

The kitchen and bathrooms are places where cockroaches love to live and breed indoors. 

The adult cockroaches will enter your homes because of water, shelter, and food. 

If cockroaches can locate food easily and shelter, they will indeed find an entrance and a hidden place in your home and appliances to reproduce. 

Why Are Baby Cockroaches a Problem?

Baby Cockroaches are problems because the signs of baby roaches in your house indicate that adults are already reproduced. 

And it implies, it is time you have to do something about it.

Why are Cockroaches a dangerous pest? 

Cockroaches will not bite you like other pests such as wasps and spiders, but they can contaminate your cooking surface and raw foods and damage your appliances. 

Cockroaches are a carrier of severe disease and can make part of your home unhealthy to stay.  

Roaches can put you and your family at serious health risks. 

You can get irritated with allergies, asthma, and several other respiratory infections.

If baby cockroaches are not controlled, the infestation will grow very rapidly because they grow quickly. 

Baby cockroaches are a carrier of bacteria via their body, just like adults. 

These pathogens are transferred via contact with the cooking surface, food, and utensils. 

Your baby cockroaches’ saliva, waste, and molted skins can also cause allergic reactions in humans, especially those with asthma.  

Your best chance of preventing a risk infestation is treating the infestation or calling professionals that can treat them. 

How to Control Baby Cockroaches

Some necessary steps that you use to prevent adult cockroaches will also prevent nymphs. 

You can take steps as a homeowner to remove and get rid of baby cockroaches. 

These are some basic methods to prevent the growth and infestation of baby cockroaches:

  • The bathroom and kitchen must be clean at all times and should be free of water and moisture.
  • Caulking holes and cracks that can hide cockroaches
  • Regular inspection of your home appliances such as stoves, dishwashers, and refrigerators for treatment is vital. 
  • Always check used furniture and home equipment for signs of roaches before bringing them inside
  • You can also set stick traps close to your cabinets and pantries is good
  • The above tips are great for removing and stop both baby and adults’ cockroaches from breeding in your homes. 
  • You can also employ professional pest control for the proper removal of cockroaches and other pests in your homes.  
  • Cockroaches will deposit their egg cases in the dark area of your home, appliances, kitchen cabinets, hidden places, etc. 
  • Focusing on treating only the adult you can see can make you miss the new generation of baby cockroaches.
  • Employment of pests control professional is excellent, but you can also purchase insecticide treatments on Amazon. 

What Are Early Signs of Roaches Infestation

It is essential to know that your home is infested with Cockroaches in the early days of the infestation to prevent and avoid the unrecoverable damages caused by the pests. 

You need a fast approach to the Cockroach infestation to avoid or minimize the pests’ associated health risks.

Cockroaches get attracted to your homes, and they are ready to eat and damage anything from food, plastics, fabrics, packaging, paper, etc. 

Having a cockroach infestation challenge is a big problem that should not be dealt with lightly. 

Roaches are known to spread serious illnesses such as e. coli bacteria and salmonella. 

Cockroaches can easily contaminate your food storage and taint appliances such as countertops, fridges, watchers, etc. 

Sometimes, they can also cause damages to your home appliances while they leave behind an unfriendly odor. 

Knowing the signs of roaches in your home, appliances, and business or residential property will save you a lifetime of problems associated with a pest like a cockroach. 

These insects stay out of sight most of the time, but they always leave some clues along their path; these signs will alert you that you have the possibility of cockroach infestation in your home.

Do you think you have a cockroach infestation problem in your home? 

These are eight signs of roaches in your home. 

Cockroach Droppings

Cockroach Droppings are signs that you have a Cockroach infestation in your hands. 

Also, cockroach droppings or feces are as small as 1 mm, but the length of feces ranges. 

What does cockroach poop look like?

Droppings of small baby Cockroach look like black or specks of pepper, while the droppings from adult roaches are like dark rice grains or coffee grounds in color with edges by the side and as a shape of a cylinder. 

They can release their feces anywhere they crawl, but you should know that their dropping is always close to their food and nesting locations. 

The size of roach droppings is directly proportional to cockroaches’ size; the bigger they get, the bigger their droppings. 

You can find droppings in the following location in your homes:

  • On the floors and counters
  • Your pantry
  • Behind your appliances such as dryer, washer, and fridges
  • Shelves in your cabinet in the kitchen and bathroom

Smear Marks

Cockroaches Smear marks are marked on the wall or horizontal surfaces.  

These are signs of the activities of roaches in your homes and apartment. 

In a location where you have a lot of moisture and water, cockroaches will produce smear marks as they crawl on both the horizontal surfaces or the wall floor; it looks dark in color and is irregular in shape. 

Unusual Odor or Stench

Cockroaches will leave behind a scent that is because of pheromones in their droppings. 

The Unusual Cockroach Odor always attracts other Cockroaches, and the more the infestation, the more the smell. 

The unpleasant musty odor can taint raw foods, appliances, kitchen surfaces, and any item they get in contact with. 

The unpleasant cockroach odor usually emanates from the following:

  • Odor trails
  • Feces
  • Pheromones that are Secreted
  • Decomposed dead cockroach


One of the signs of roaches infestation is their egg in your homes. 

You find them usually in unkept appliances, hiding compartments in the kitchen and bathroom. 

The roach’s eggs are called ootheca; one of the egg cases can have over 24 roach nymphs. 

There are different egg cases for other species of cockroach.

Usually, the cockroach will immediately drop its egg case; it is only the German cockroach that carries its egg until the time of hatching when it releases tiny nymphs. 

Where to look for roaches’ eggs includes:

  • Bookshelves 
  • Your cabinets
  • Behind your furniture
  • Dark, moist locations like kitchen drawers and bathrooms
  • Floors, counters, and appliances if you have severe cockroaches infestations. 

Shedding Skin

Cockroaches’ shed skins is another sign of Cockroaches’ infestation in your homes. 

You will see the shed skin that is left behind after cockroach nymphs molt. 

Most Cockroaches will cast nymphal skins between 5 to 8 times as they grow to the adult cockroach.

A baby cockroach can grow to an adult by shedding its skin because it has an outer cuticle that is hard and will not allow expansion. 

Therefore, it has to shed its skin to accommodate growth. 

If you have an outer Cockroach infestation problem, you will see Shedded Cockroach Skin hiding places in your kitchen, bathroom, or storehouse. Shed roaches skin is another sign that you have an infestation in your home.

Chewed Food and Damages

Damages such as chew marks in package food, leathers, and chew books are signs of infestation of roaches in any home. 

Cockroaches will also attack organic matter and goods, most especially those that have starchy gums.  

They can also cause foods to be missing from your homes; the more gigantic Cockroaches can eat right through packages of your raw food.  

Living or Dead Roaches

You will often see a live cockroach at night or as soon as you put on the light in your kitchen or bathroom while they run for cover, this is a good indication and signs of roaches in your home.

You are likely to see one or more cockroaches during the day if the infestation is too high.  

Their large population and lack of space can push them out on day night.

You can also see a dead roach if they are so many and they decide to eat themselves. 

The above are signs that your home is infested with roaches.

If Your Neighbors Have Roaches

A sign that your home has cockroach infestation is if your neighbors and people next door have one. 

The proverbiality that home is infested is exceptionally high if you share the same building with another family with a Cockroaches infestation challenge. 

What Attracts Cockroaches to Your Home?

So, what attracts cockroaches to a home? 

All pests that include cockroaches, rodents, termites, or roaches are searching for shelter, food, and water, which is what attracts cockroaches to your home. 

Cockroaches will eat just about everything and anything that comes their way. 

They have the excellent sense to find the source of water, and they are great at hiding; this helps them to have been able to adapt and survive in any environment. 

Roaches are carriers of diseases, and they can cause serious health challenges to humans. 

But how do cockroaches get attracted to your home? These are various things that directly or indirectly attract cockroaches to your home:

Water and Moisture

Roaches cannot survive without moisture; therefore, they are frequently in search of water. 

And this is what will invite them to your home. 

They have an excellent sensor for the source of water and moisture.

Roaches will use pipes to get to your kitchen, laundry, and bathroom. They can also hide out in your various appliances like air conditioning units, refrigerators, dryers, and watchers.

Roache-like places that are dark like your basement, stores, cabinets, and under appliance most especially those that required water to function. 


Roaches will exploit any limited access to get into your home in search of food, water, and shelter. 

They can use the smallest space to get the entrance to your kitchen and bathroom.

They will use the entrance such as exterior walls, dryer vents, cracks, gaps between windows, and through your doors. 

 You must seal off all smaller entry points to prevent cockroaches’ entries. 

Prone Location

Some known locations are more prone to breeding cockroaches on their own. 

Places like the Southern and southeastern USA, such as Alabama, Georgia, and Florida, breed cockroaches. 

That is where you will see a large population of American cockroaches. Having your homes in any of these is automatic invitations of cockroaches to your home. 

Food Storage

Roaches will go after food any day.

Your food storage, kitchen, dining, and appliances for processing food are cockroaches target any day. This is the main reason why you must keep them clean at all times. 

They will eat any organic material that includes wallpaper paste, soap, cardboard, grease, leather, and cardboard. 

Any of these will attract roaches to your home if they are not well kept. 

Firewood Pile 

Your stocked pile of firewood is an ideal home for cockroaches (most especially the Pennsylvania Wood Cockroach species).

Your firewood is a perfect source of Cockroach infestation and invasion into your home. 

If proper care is not taken and you move the firewood into your home without screening for Cockroaches and other pests. 

It is a common way of attracting cockroaches into your homes. 

Stores and Garages

Your garage and store is perfect place where any cockroaches will love to be. 

Why is that? Because your garage and stores are warm, darkness, moisture, and there is enough food for the roaches.

It is a location in your house you kept un-used items like books, cardboard, damaged home appliances, clothes, pipes, wire, garbage, recyclables, and all varieties of food sources. 

Garages are great places for a cockroach to live and breed.

So, if you have an un-kept garage or stare in your home, you should know you are already inviting roaches to your home.

Yard and Garden

It is unusual to see cockroaches eating vegetable in your garden. They may be looking for water, food, shelter, or inhabit your park, but roaches will rarely eat your plants. 

Do gardens attract roaches?

Cockroaches are not pests that eat vegetable gardens. 

Some roaches species may inhabit the moistened part of your garden, yard, and landscape, such as your organic mulch and vegetable garden. 

They may also go after decaying organic matter and compost piles. 

The problem is that you may mistakenly transport and move roaches into your home, offices, and other location from the yard and garden. 

It is why you need to be vigilant and always get rid of things that hide roaches in your garden, yard, and landscapes.

Garbage and Waste Disposal

Garbage Disposal has everything that will attract pests and roaches, such as moisture, food, and other organic matters that interest cockroaches. 

Ab unkept Garbage Disposal will attract and help breed Cockroaches any day and any location. 

Food will always get stuck in your Garbage Disposal grinding appliances and sometimes give a foul odor because of rot.

It is what will attract a lot of roaches to your home.

Your garbage and waste disposer are hidden under the sink; you may not know when it is dirty. 

Your leaky garbage disposal and the food residue are what you need to attract many Cockroaches to your homes. 

Conclusion: Signs of Roaches and What They Look Like. 

Thanks for reading my article about what cockroach looks like. 

Am I sure you now know many early signs of roaches in your home? 

What do you think of what a baby cockroach looks like? 

You also now know how to stop attracting cockroaches to your home.

You now know how to investigate your home and discover the possibility of having cockroach infestation in your home. 

We have also concluded that it implies you have more of them in your home if you just have one cockroach.

What do you think cockroaches look like? Do you know other signs of roaches? 

How do you know if you have cockroaches in your home? 

Please drop your comment below.

What Does a Cockroach Look Like – Video

6 thoughts on “What Does a Cockroach Look Like? See Early Warning Signs”

  1. gifstandholidays

    What an interesting article. You have not realized that there are so many types of Roches. We had to deal with an infestation in our home and your article will help prevent the reinfestation. Your article is so informative and it will help many who are not aware of the damage that Coacroches can make.  We try and keep all surfaces dry and clean but the roaches always find a way to flourish and multiply.

    We will surely look out for the signs that you have started to prevent further infestation..

    Thank you for your elaborate article.


    1. Thanks for reading my article about what Cockroach looks like and how to avoid infestation of both adults and baby roaches.

      Thanks for your time and your comments.



  2. TheMarketingLord

    Awesome article. I really like how you explained everything clearly, it was a good  experience reading this article and I hope you will provide something interesting and similar in the future as well. I was just rambling the  internet and the stumbled upon your great content. Really interesting Cockroach article although some people will probably find it disguisting.

    1. Thanks for reading my review about whats Cockroach looks like and how to avoid roaches infestation and, various things that attract roaches to your homes and appliances.

      Thanks for the comments. 



  3. Stephanie

    I’m quite surprised by the number of different cockroaches that exist. I live on a tropical island and seeing cockroaches is basically part of one’s everyday life. 

    Often times you’ll see the small ones but other times you can find yourself with one that can be as big as a tooth-stick. We’re always brave until we see one flying. 

    I have a cat in my house and it’s incredible the number of times I’ve seen him playing with cockroaches or carrying them around in his mouth.

    Thanks for your article on what Cockroach Look Like and the early signs of infestations. 


    1. Thanks for reading my article about what Cockroach Look Like and the early signs of infestations. 

      This article is all about Cockroaches and the various signs of roaches.  You will also learn all about what a baby cockroach looks like and how dangerous they.  You will also know how to sight cockroach babies and take care of them to stop the infestations. 

      thanks again for reading my article about how to detect the early signs of roaches. 



Comments are closed.