How to Recognize (and Survive) Roaches in New Hampshire

Of the five types of cockroaches found in New Hampshire, the German cockroach is the most troublesome. Here’s what to know.
Written by Laura Salvas
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
Cockroaches can be found throughout New Hampshire, but infestations can usually be avoided with robust sanitation and well-sealed cracks and entry points. 
New Hampshire
faces fewer pest infestations than most states overall, but that statistic is meaningless when you’re the one with roaches squatting in your kitchen. These uninvited house guests can cause major stress, lack of sleep, and even health problems like asthma or food poisoning.  
Just because roaches have survived for more than 300 million years doesn’t mean you can’t stop them!
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savings, has compiled this guide to help you identify and wipe out cockroaches in New Hampshire. 
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New Hampshire cockroaches 101: How to recognize a roach

The colder climate keeps most roach species out of New Hampshire, but homeowners are still at risk of facing infestation from five species, which are outlined below.

German cockroaches

The peskiest of pests, these roaches move into your kitchen, bathroom, and anywhere dark and humid, and evicting them can be a years-long battle. 
Light brown and about a half-inch long, these six-legged bugs have distinguishing dark brown stripes just below their heads. They scurry so quickly they can trick the human eye.

American cockroaches

If the idea of a three-inch-long cockroach makes you want to move to Antarctica, just hope the American roach never sets its sights on your home. 
Thankfully, these mahogany brown beasts prefer to live outside, in sewers, or in industrial buildings, but these flying “palmetto bugs” do occasionally settle down in New Hampshire basements.

Brown-banded cockroaches

While most roaches like the damp, this small breed of vermin prefers dry, warm areas like light fixtures and ceilings. These bugs might even build a nest in your TV, making every film you watch a horror flick. 
Look for the namesake light brown bands across its brown and tan body, and seal up anything precious to you as these roaches eat almost anything, including books and envelopes. 

Oriental cockroaches

Squat, shiny, and stinky, these midsize roaches are slow-moving and like to hang out in damp spots like crawlspaces, drains, and basements
As enticing as it may be to pick one up and give it a little kiss, these roaches are the worst for spreading salmonella and E. coli, so best to ask them to kindly collect their things and leave. 

Pennsylvania wood cockroaches

Roaches are far less offensive when they stay outside, and that’s usually where you’ll find the Pennsylvania wood cockroach. Damp piles of firewood and compost bins are most alluring to this critter, though they may wind up in your garage
If you see them in your house, know these inch-long creatures generally don’t want to live inside for very long. 
MORE: How to get bugs off your car: a handy guide

A guide to cockroach identification

If you really want to impress your friends, study this New Hampshire cockroach identification table and become a self-taught roach expert.
Type of roach
Average length
Can it fly?
Where to spot them
German cockroaches
0.5 inches
Light brown
Bathrooms, sinks, kitchens, food storage
American cockroach
2-3 inches
Basements, crawl spaces, floor drains
0.5 inches
Dark and light brown with light bands
Ceiling lights, wallpaper, TVs
Oriental cockroach
1.25 inches
Shiny black or dark brown
Basements, drains, mulch
Pennsylvania Wood cockroach
1-1.5 inches
Dark brown and off-white
Males only
Wood piles, compost, tree stumps
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But don’t be fooled by the roach knock-offs out there. New Hampshire is home to these cockroach look-alikes: 
  • Crickets are similar to cockroaches in size and color. If a cricket sneaks into your home there’s no worry of an infestation, though the chirping may drive you up the wall. 
  • June bugs are rounder and smaller than cockroaches and usually fly around trees and lights, clumsily clinking against each other.  
  • Giant water bugs are called water bugs because they live near bodies of water. They rarely enter human homes and have large pincers.
  • Bedbugs and baby German cockroaches look very similar. If all the bugs you see are the same size and they’re biting you, it’s bedbugs.

How to get rid of roaches in New Hampshire

One cockroach in your home could be a fluke. But if they start to make more frequent appearances, especially in the daytime, you could have a little roach society forming in your walls. 
Ignoring their existence or squashing the scurrying critters as you see them won’t stop the problem. One pregnant cockroach can produce 800 to 300,000 new roaches in a year if you include her offspring’s offspring. 
Wiping out multiple bloodlines of cockroaches takes some work, so prepare for their annihilation by doing the following:
  • Clean and clean more: The less there is to attract a roach, the more likely the pests are to move on. Garbage, recycling, dishes, floors—clean it all throughout the day. 
  • Seal any gaps: Seal all cracks, crevices, or tiny holes using a caulking gun. Roaches’ indestructible bodies can squeeze through impossibly tight spots. 
  • Destroy the roaches: Whether you choose a slow and natural approach or a quicker chemical-based attack might depend on your infestation level and how well you can keep pets or children out of the roach zone.
If you’re living with an infestation, you may feel like the only option is burning your whole house down, but we’re here to say please don’t do that. There are lots of cheaper and easier ways to deal with roaches. And, honestly, the roaches would likely survive the fire. 

Five natural roach killers

Here are five non-chemical options to try first in the interest of safety. 
  • Boric acid: Sprinkle some in high traffic roach areas and this compound will stick to dirty little roach feet, killing them swiftly when ingested. 
  • Baking soda: Remember using baking soda to simulate volcanic eruptions in high school science class? Imagine that reaction in a roach’s stomach. Scatter some around mixed with alluring sugar and then wait for roaches to explode. 
  • Glue traps: Stick these in corners and under appliances to lure and trap active roaches. It won’t kill off a colony, but every pregnant roach you trap culls the family tree.
  • Borax: Typically used for laundry, use it to scrub out roaches. Mixed with a little sugar, roaches will chow down on borax and then dehydrate to death. 
  • Dish soap: When you see a speedy brown blur racing across the floor, grab your spray bottle of dish soap and water, and spray the heck out of the roach. The soap will block its pores, suffocating it in a puddle of soapy goo. 
If you see a scuttling roach, your instinct may be to squash it but, if a pregnant female goes splat, her egg sack can shoot out of her body—and these brown rectangular sacks can still hatch up to 50 babies without mama around.
While these methods cost just a few bucks and avoid nasty chemicals, some can still be unfriendly to pets and they won’t work as quickly or aggressively as chemical-based killers. You’ll also have more roach corpse crime scenes to clean up, which can be gag-inducing. 

Chemical roach killers—and when to hire an exterminator

If you want to live free, the roaches must die. Chemical roach killers are a quicker route to bid farewell to the vermin.
  • Bait stations: The witless creatures will snack on the poisoned bait and then return to their nest, where they will die. And did you know roaches are cannibals? They’ll eat their dead brother and his poisoned corpse will kill them, too. 
  • Insecticide gel: Squeeze this brown goop into corners and cracks for roaches to taste-test and bring home to their deathbeds. 
  • Roach spray: When sprayed on baseboards and roach entryways, this poison sticks to vermin feet and is trekked back to the nest, poisoning the colony at its source. 
When picking your method, consider any tiny creatures you care for and ensure you choose something pet- and child-safe. 
If you feel like roaches are winning the battle, or if the idea of killing roaches yourself makes you queasy, the surest bet is to hire a professional exterminator. An exterminator will know how to find the roach hotspots and terminate their residency.  

How to keep cockroaches from coming back

You’ve worked so hard to kick your collection of tiny tormentors to the curb—you don’t want to get involved in this toxic relationship again.
Here are some common roach prevention tips:
  • Eliminate excess moisture in your home by using a dehumidifier.
  • Keep food consumption contained to one part of your home. 
  • Deal with leaks promptly and seal off all cracks. 
  • Create a cleaning routine by emptying trash and recycling before bed, wiping down all kitchen counters and floors, and washing dishes as you use them. Keep food well sealed and stash food compost in your freezer. 
MORE: Title transfer in New Hampshire

How to save money on home and car insurance in New Hampshire

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While roaches are much more common in most other states, and many New Hampshirites never see a roach, cockroaches are still active throughout the state.
While German and American cockroaches are most active in the humid summer, wood cockroaches are normally seen in May and June during their mating season. 
Most cockroaches lay low in the winter, but that doesn’t mean they’re gone for good.
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