How to Recognize (and Survive) Roaches in Minnesota

With four main roach species in Minnesota, homeowners need to be prepared to deal with an infestation with the right tools and know-how.
Written by Kara Vanderbeek
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
Of the 4,000 different types of roaches in
, the most common are the German, oriental, brown-banded, and American species. Homeowners need to be on the lookout for these pesky creatures, as their saliva, cast skins, and feces can bring contaminants and disease into the home. 
If you own a home in Minnesota, there is a high likelihood that you’ll encounter a roach infestation at some point or another. Fortunately, with the right sanitation techniques and treatments, you can get the upper hand over any resident roach colonies in your home.
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Minnesota cockroaches 101: How to recognize a roach

With the many types of insects that roam the lands of the midwest, it can be tricky to recognize whether the creepy bug you saw scurry across your floor was a beetle, a cricket, or a cockroach. Luckily, when you know which traits to look out for, you can deal with an infestation before any serious damage has been caused. 
Keep reading to find out how to recognize the four most common roach species in Minnesota

German cockroaches

German cockroaches are the most common indoor roach species in Minnesota. This species thrives in humid environments and warm temperatures of 70 to 75 degrees. You can often find this species of roach clustered together near plumbing fixtures, in cupboards in your bathroom or kitchen, or kitchen sinks.
These roaches are light brown or tan and tend to be about ½ inch long. You can recognize this species by the two dark bands behind the head. If you notice these roaches in your home, act fast, as German roaches have the highest reproductive potential of all roach species.

Brown-banded cockroaches

Also common in Minnesota homes is the brown-banded roach. This species loves heat nand can often be found hanging out on radios, televisions, refrigerators,and other appliances. Measuring ½ inch long, adult brown-banded roaches are golden and dark brown with distinctive horizontal yellow bands.  

Oriental cockroaches

The oriental roach is the largest species to infest homes and structures in Minnesota. They thrive in cool, humid environments, so watch out for them in your cellars, crawl spaces, drains, and basements. These roaches can be identified by their shiny black appearance and the strong, unpleasant odor they carry with them. 

American cockroaches

American roaches are the most common roach species in the United States. These roaches are reddish-brown and can be up to two to three inches in length. They prefer to spend time in warm, moist environments, particularly near food sources. Be on the lookout for these pests in your basements, sewers, trash, gardens, bathrooms, kitchens, and drains
MORE: How to get bugs off your car: A handy guide

A guide to cockroach identification

After you’ve recovered from the initial shock and horror that accompanies a roach sighting, you’ll probably want to get rid of it and any of its friends. To know how to best deal with a growing colony, you’ll need to identify which species you’re dealing with. 
To help you distinguish between Minnesota’s most common cockroaches, you can refer to the table below:
Type of roach
Average length
Can it fly?
Where to spot them
American cockroaches
2-3 inches
Sewers, trash, bathrooms, kitchen sinks, drains
German cockroaches
0.5 inches
Light brown
Moist areas, water sources, warm appliances
Brown-banded cockroaches
0.5 inches
Dark cherry, black
Males have short wings, females are wingless
Ceilings, around appliance motors, light switches
Oriental cockroaches
1 inch
Dark brown, black
Damp, cool areas such as sewers or piping
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How to get rid of roaches in Minnesota 

If you’ve noticed the fateful signs of a roach infestation in your home, it's time to act. While a singular roach spotting may not be cause for concern, it’s best to err on the side of caution and protect your home from further unwanted visitors. 
Depending on your preferred method of roach removal, there are a few different options. While chemical bait traps methods are an effective, fast-acting solution, their toxins can be harmful to the home environment.
As such, if you have young kids or pets, an all-natural extermination method may be a better choice. Finally, if you’d prefer to avoid the infestation altogether, you can call in a professional to handle the infestation. 
In any case, you can begin the roach removal process by first starving the population and preventing their entry into your home. To do so, remove any open food sources and seal any entry points into your home with wood filler, steel mesh, or silicone caulker.

Five natural roach killers

If you’d prefer to handle the infestation in your home au-natural, you’ve come to the right place. With the methods listed below, you can effectively kill off a colony without having to worry about introducing toxins into your home environment. 
  1. Boric acid: Sprinkle some of this natural pesticide in areas of roach activity, and your unwanted roommates will start dropping like flies (or should I say roaches?)
  2. Baking soda: Look no further than your kitchen cupboard for an effective roach killer, which will generate enough gas in a roach to cause it to explode!
  3. Borax: Mix Borax with sugar to create DIY roach bait. This snack will dehydrate and kill roaches upon ingestion.
  4. Diatomaceous earth: Sprinkle this powder in high-traffic roach areas to dehydrate a roaches exoskeleton upon contact. 
While these methods are inexpensive and safe for your home, they will take longer than a chemical approach. In addition, keep in mind that to completely remove the population from your home, you’ll need to track down and remove the dead cockroaches yourself.

Chemical roach killers—and when to hire an exterminator

If you’d rather take out the big guns, these chemical solutions will deliver fast and effective results.
  • Bait stations: Bait stations will kill off a roach colony almost instantly. After one roach munches on the bait, it will return to its fellow roaches and die, whereas the other roaches will then feed on its toxic carcass. 
  • Insecticide gel: With a little roach-killer gel squirted into the cracks and gaps of your home, you can quickly exterminate a roach infestation at the source. 
  • Roach spray: Use an insecticide spray around water and food sources, along with home entry points, to paralyze and kill roaches upon skin contact.
If you choose to opt for a chemical roach killer, remember to keep the toxic substances away from any small mouths or furry friends you have at home to avoid the risk of contamination. If you’ve tried several different roach killing methods and you can’t seem to kick your roommates to the curb, it may be time to call a professional exterminator

How to keep cockroaches from coming back

Now that you’ve dealt with the horror that is a roach infestation, you’re likely keen to avoid having to go through another infestation any time soon. To keep your home free from roaches, remember to follow the steps below:
  • Reduce moisture in your home by fixing leaky pipes or plumbing.
  • Remove and seal any food sources.
  • Maintain a sanitized food preparation area.
  • Keep your home clean by emptying the trash, washing your kitchen floor, and keeping your dishes washed and dried. 

How to save money on home and car insurance in Minnesota

Roaches are just one of the many problems
homeowners face. From leaking pipes and invading bugs to severe storms, there’s never a dull moment if you own a home in the North Star State. 
Luckily, with the right
homeowners insurance
policy, you’ll be covered from many of the perils that threaten your home. While it won’t cover roach treatments, a good insurance policy can help you maintain your home and prevent a roach infestation from happening!
To save money on your
home and car insurance
premiums, consider using
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While cockroaches tend to prefer more humid environments, Minnesotans are no stranger to cockroaches, with four main species plaguing the state.
Depending on the roach species, different temperatures, environments, and food sources will attract these pests. To avoid attracting roaches into your home, maintain proper sanitation and remove any areas of moisture.
Roaches are active throughout the whole year, but Minnesotans may see more roach activity throughout the summer months when temperatures are warmer.
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