How to Recognize (and Survive) Roaches in Georgia

From the common American cockroach to the pesky German roach, here’s how you can identify and destroy roaches in Georgia.
Written by Kara Vanderbeek
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
Unfortunately for
residents, cockroaches are a common problem. In fact, Atlanta took the Number 2 spot for the greatest number of roach infestations among populous US cities. However, with proper sanitation and natural or chemical treatments, roach infestations are preventable and treatable.
Cockroaches. Just the word alone can send a shiver down your spine and have you heading for the hills. And with good reason—these creatures aren’t just creepy, they’re unhealthy for your home. 
Luckily, with the right species identification knowledge, preventative measures, and insecticide treatments, you can stop any infestation in its tracks. To help you can identify and destroy your unwanted roommates as quickly as possible, #1 rated
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Georgia cockroaches 101: How to recognize a roach

Unfortunately, cockroaches are a part of life in Georgia, and you’ll likely come across a cockroach scurrying across your floorboards at some point. After you’ve recovered from the initial shock of seeing these creepy-crawlies, you’ll want to get rid of whatever roach population has taken residence in your home.

American cockroach

The largest and most common cockroach found in Georgia homes is the American cockroach. These roaches are roughly 2 inches in length and can be identified by their chestnut coloring and light yellow bands behind their heads. 
Unfortunately for insecto-phobes, there's a chance you’ll come face to face with an American roach flying towards you, as this species is equipped with wings.
You can find this species of roach hanging around a water source, such as a pipe, sewer, or basement, or in the kitchen and bathrooms of your home. Most active during the night, American cockroaches can live up to 2 years.

German cockroach

You can spot a German roach by its tan coloring and dark brown stripes on the back of its upper thorax. German roaches are smaller in size, measuring at roughly 0.5 inches, and they typically live up to 12 months. 
This species produces more eggs than any of its other roach counterparts and is most active throughout the night. Look for these guys in your kitchen near a food source or appliance

Oriental cockroach

Another common Georgia roach is the Oriental species, which can be found outdoors feeding on decaying matter. These roaches are fairly large, measuring 1 to 1.25 inches, and have a dark, glossy appearance. This species tends to live for up to 6 months and is most active at night. 

Asian cockroach

You can identify this species of roach by its double parallel stripes and tan coloring. Measuring around 0.5 inches, these roaches are most often found outdoors in mulch, leaves, or tall grass. 
However, you should watch out for this winged species in your home as they are attracted to light sources and may venture indoors if their outdoor environment becomes disturbed.

Smokybrown cockroach

Smokybrown roaches are active at night and prefer areas of high humidity. Dark cherry in color and measuring around 1.5 inches in length, these roaches can be found seeking shelter in tree holes, attics, crawlspaces, and sheds.

A guide to cockroach identification

Although there isn’t an ideal type of roach population to have in your home, being able to identify which species you’re dealing with will help you to get rid of the problem as quickly as possible. 
Review the table below to distinguish between Georgia’s most common cockroaches.
Type of roach
Average length
Can it fly?
Where to spot them
American cockroaches
2 inches
Reddish-brown, chestnut
Sewers, pipes, basements
German cockroaches
0.5 inches
Tan, dark brown
Yes, but doesn’t usually use its wings
Kitchen areas near water sources and warm appliances
Oriental cockroaches
1.5 inches
Dark cherry, black
Males have short wings, females are wingless
Outside, near decaying matter
Asian cockroaches
0.5 inches
Outside in mulch, high grass, or leaves. May come inside if their habitat is disturbed
Smokybrown cockroaches
1.5 inches
Dark cherry or red
Areas near hardwood trees, attics, sheds, tree hols

How to get rid of roaches in Georgia

If you notice a growing colony of roaches in your home, it’s time to take action. You have a few options depending on your preference for extermination methods. 
For those living with pets or small children, you may want to stick to all-natural remedies. However, if you’re eager to get rid of the population fast, you have the option of chemical bait stations. And if all else fails, you can always call in the professionals.

Five natural roach killers

  1. Diatomaceous earth: Look no further than to diatomaceous earth (DE) for a natural insecticide. DE’s fossilized algae work to lethally dehydrate the cockroach exoskeleton upon contact. Simply purchase some DE and sprinkle a coating in any area you’ve seen roach activity. Though this method is effective and safe, you will have to find and dispose of the dead roaches yourself. 
  2. Baking soda: A fast and easy method of roach extermination is right in your cupboard! Baking soda can be used as roach bait, as the gas from the soda will cause the roaches to burst and die. Keep in mind that this method will also require you to dispose of the dead roaches.
  3. Boric acid: If you’re worried about accidentally poisoning your kids or pets with a natural insecticide, boric acid is a safe, harmless option. This acid will stick to the legs and wings of roaches upon contact, and if ingested, will quickly kill a roach. Create a DIY cockroach bait station with a spoonful of peanut butter and boric acid. 
  4. Borax: Combine this laundry product with white table sugar to dehydrate and kill any roaches that ingest the mixture. 
  5. Citrus: The smell of citrus works wonderfully as a cockroach repellent. Add a few drops of citrus to your cleaning products and cockroaches will avoid any areas they can catch a whiff of lemon. Keep in mind that this method will deter roaches, but won't kill them.

Chemical roach killers—and when to hire an exterminator

If you’d prefer a more aggressive approach to getting rid of these pesky creatures, roach control pesticides will provide quick and effective results.
  • Bait: For an efficient, long-lasting solution, place bait stations in areas of your home where you’ve noticed roach activity. Once a roach consumes the bait and dies, the rest of the colony will soon follow. The number of unwanted roommates in your home will drop rapidly. 
  • Gels: Place insecticide-saturated gels into the crevices in your home, under appliances, sinks, and in closets. Your roach colony will quickly deteriorate over a few days.
  • Sprays:For large infestations, grab a specialized roach spray insecticide solution and start spraying. Be sure to cover areas around garbage bins, water sources, and house access areas, with special attention to any cracks and crevices in your home.
While chemical roach killers are fast-acting and effective, they come with the disadvantage of being toxic. When using chemical products, be sure to minimize food contamination and human and pet exposure by placing bait stations in safe, inaccessible areas. 
If you’ve tried several different approaches and still can’t seem to kick these nasty creatures to the curb, you may need to call in the big guns. Contact a professional exterminator and have them identify the best method of extermination for your home.

How to keep cockroaches from coming back

Now that you’ve exterminated the roach population from your home, you must take preventative action to keep these creatures from showing up again.
To maximize roach control in your home, use these simple measures:
  • Seal pet food bags: Roaches love to feed on anything they can find, including your furry friend's food. Make sure all of your pet food bags are sealed or kept in tightly closed containers.
  • Seal the openings around your home: Roaches find cracks and crevices around your home and take them as an invitation inside. Keep them out by sealing or caulking around pipes and cracks around your home.
  • Maintain a clean kitchen: If your nagging housemate wasn’t reason enough to clean your dishes, consider the increased risk of roaches as a good motivator to get scrubbing. Make sure your dishes are cleaned, dried, and put away to avoid attracting roaches to your leftover food and water.
  • Declutter your home: Regularly toss out any boxes, newspapers, and paper bags around your home to prevent roaches from taking residence inside your cluttered space.
  • Eliminate sources of water: Roaches love water. To prevent accidentally attracting these creatures to your home, take care of any leaky pipes, spills, and water left in sinks and bathtubs. 
  • Clean your floors: Sweeping and vacuuming your floors will get rid of any crumbs or attractants that roaches may find. Ensure your vacuum bag is getting emptied regularly as well. 

How to save money on home and car insurance in Georgia

Roaches aren’t the only problem homeowners have to contend with in Georgia. To keep your home protected from other perils, you’ll need to have the right
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Yes, roach infestations are extremely common in Georgia. In fact, data has shown that 29% of roach sightings in the United States came from Atlanta alone.
Hot weather and rain are major sources of attraction for roaches. Once they’ve taken up residence in your area, roaches will look for sources of food and water. For many homeowners, these sources include dirty dishes, crumbs, garbage, cardboard, and leftover food.
Roaches are active all year, but populations tend to increase at the end of summer and into the fall.
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