There are at least 4 common types of cockroaches found across the state of
Texas. Residents can recognize and survive roaches by learning to identify these species and taking steps to prevent or kill them.
The idea of dealing with a cockroach infestation is enough to make most folks’ skin crawl. But if you live in Texas, you may end up in this position despite your best efforts. Cockroaches love the Lone Star State—it has everything they need to survive, thrive, and breed.
If you are afraid that you have some uninvited six-legged guests, read on.
Jerry, the home and
auto insurance super app, is here with a complete guide to roaches in Texas—including how to recognize (and survive) roaches throughout the state.
Texas cockroaches 101: How to recognize a roach
Nobody really wants to see a roach—especially in their home. But if you do see one, it is important to find out what you’re dealing with. Knowing the kind of roach that has taken up residence in your home will help you figure out where they may be nesting and how to get rid of them.
Here are some of the species commonly found in Texas:
American cockroaches are the most easily identifiable cockroaches in the state, due to their size, color, and massive wingspan. These roaches are reddish-brown, up to 2” long, and have long legs and antennae. When an American cockroach flies (that’s right, flies) at you, it can have a wingspan of four inches.
These guys are happy living outdoors in Texas—the climate suits them well—but you can also find them in basements, kitchens, bathrooms, and other rooms with lots of moisture.
These roaches are the outliers of their species. They prefer hot, dry areas, and are just as likely to take to the air as they are to crawl on the ground. You will recognize them by their light brown bodies with darkerbrownbands.
They like to nest in ceilings or attics and prefer higher elevations.
Oriental cockroaches are about 1.25 inches long, black roaches with very short (or no) wings. They are more round than other roach species and have shorter legs and antennae.
These guys like cool, damp spaces. They move slowly and don’t fly or climb. These guys are the stinkiest of the Texan cockroach species.
German cockroaches are the most common species in Texas. Their breeding habits also make them the most destructive. German cockroaches are smaller than other species, which means you may not notice them until it is too late. You will recognize a german cockroach by its light brown color, with dark brown stripes behind its head.
German cockroaches exclusively live indoors in Texas. They like well hidden, tight spaces near food and water. So places like cupboards, pantries, and under or behind appliances are among their favorites.
A guide to cockroach identification
Knowing the type of roach you're dealing with is critical if you find yourself confronted with an unexpected bathroom guest at 2 am. Here’s a breakdown of how you can identify typical cockroach species in Texas:
golden brown with dark stripes on back
inside homes, restaurants, grocery stores, anywhere food is stored or prepared
sewers, water meter boxes, storm drains, steam tunnels, farms, dairies, and zoos
light to dark brown with light bands on back
crevices near electrical appliances, behind artwork or photos on walls, in attics or ceiling cracks
garages, basements, water meter boxes, and drains
There are plenty of harmless bugs out there that can be mistaken for cockroaches. Here are a few you are likely to see in Texas:
Crickets are similar in size and shape to roaches, but they are darker in color, and of course, their chirps will give them away.
June bugs/May beetles are often mistaken for cockroaches because of their color, but they are smaller than most cockroaches, and they’ve got a more round shape.
Giant water bugs (as the name suggests) stick to bodies of water—so the location can help you with this one. They look similar in shape to roaches but tend to be much wider.
How to get rid of roaches in Texas
So you have roaches in your home. A single roach isn't inherently alarming, but multiple droppings throughout the house indicate a growingcolony.
Sanitation is the first line of defense against roaches. This includes cleaning up spills, crumbs, and other food sources. Remember, roaches like to consume trash, so the less you have in your home, the better!
Exclusion is the next step: find and seal all probable roach entry points into your home (or car!). Cleaning and sealing holes may be enough to keep roaches out.
If not, go on the attack. If you have small children or pets, you can use natural cures, traditional methods like bait traps, or bring in the pros.
Five natural roach killers
Do you want to get rid of roaches without bringing harmful chemicals into your home? Try some of these approaches:
Boric acid/Borax: In little amounts, this natural insecticide is not harmful to humans, but it is lethal to roaches. Wait a few minutes after sprinkling some around high-traffic roach locations to see results.
Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is a compound made up of ground-up shells. Sprinkling it in places where roaches walk will ensure that it clings to their bodies, damaging the exoskeleton and dehydrating them
Baking soda mixed with sugar has also been found to kill roaches. Use it the same way you would borax, sprinkling it where roaches have been seen. This compound is completely family-friendly.
Glue traps are another option. They lured roaches in with a sweet smell, and then trap them by gluing their feet in place. these traps work well, but need to be replaced frequently, and can look unsightly.
Chemical roach killers—and when to hire an exterminator
The question of when/whether to hire an exterminator is one of personal choice. You can pay up to $400 per treatment—but that comes with peace of mind, and in most cases, a guarantee that your problem has been completely irradicated.
You can always opt to do it yourself, especially if you suspect that you do not have an infestation. But if you are noticing more activity, it might be a good idea to call a professional. Here are some of the chemical options an exterminator will likely use:
Gel baits are poisons applied with a syringe to crevices and paths that cockroaches are likely to travel. Roaches eat the bait, and then head back to the nest and die. When this happens, other roaches eat their fallen brother and die from the same poison.
Indoxacarb is the chemical often found in gel baits and sprays. This chemical is extremely effective in killing roaches.
Fumigation tents are an option but don’t generally lead to fully effective results. Roaches are great at hiding, and can often find safe cover during a fumigation session.
How to keep cockroaches from coming back
Your greatest tools in the fight against cockroaches are good home maintenance, proper food storage, and general cleanliness. You can also work to make the climate of your home less appealing with a dehumidifier.
Here are some tips to get you started:
Make sure that any cracks, holes, or spaces in windows, doors, and walls are sealed.
Check for standing water, leakypipes, or spaces around faucets and fixtures. These are all great entry points for cockroaches.
Keeping your yard free of clutter and debris (like leaves and grass clippings) will help minimize bug infestations.
Make sure that you store all food (including pet food) in sealed containers and that you clean up leaks or spills right away.
Keep your garbage sealed tightly, as it provides lots of delicacies for cockroaches.
How to save money on home and car insurance in Texas
Owning a home can be really stressful. Whether you are worried about cockroach infestation or natural disasters, it can feel like there is always a need to protect your home and property.
One way to do this, of course, is by making sure that you have the right
Jerry is the insurance super app that you can count on to make sure you have great insurance at the best possible price.
If you’re hesitant to
switch plans or insurance providers because you’re worried about the work involved, don’t be. Jerry does all the paperwork for you and can even help cancel your old policy! And if you have any questions along the way, just text one of our agents through the app. They will always be there to assist you.
“I signed up for a new policy with
Jerry’s help. I ended up saving $236 a month after my switch. Thank you, Jerry!” —Adelaide C.