Known to disrupt homes and businesses — and carry bacteria, viruses and other pathogens — cockroaches rank high on the list of the most feared and despised insect pests. The flattened, oval-shaped bodies of common cockroaches typically measure between 1/2 and 2 inches long. They range in color from light tan to dark brown black.

Cockroaches have spine-covered legs and long, straight antennae. Most, but not all, cockroaches have wings that lie flat against their backs. Even so, they rarely fly. Unlike beetles, whose hard, shell-like wing coverings make a distinct sound when crushed, cockroaches don't make that crunching sound.

Most cockroach problems in U.S. households come from these three species:

  • American cockroaches – The largest of this trio, these roaches grow up to 1 1/2 inches long or more. Their reddish-brown bodies have a lighter-colored band around the area behind their head. These pests try to enter houses after heavy rains. They have a taste for sweets.
  • Oriental cockroaches – Often mistakenly called "black beetles," these roaches grow about 1 inch long. Their glossy bodies are dark brown to nearly black. When temperatures drop, these roaches seek shelter in homes. They like a high-starch diet.
  • German cockroaches – The most dreaded of all cockroach pests, these prolific roaches grow less than 1/2 inch long. Two distinct dark bands run down their dark brown backs. Females may carry protruding egg cases that look like extended abdomens. These roaches reproduce year-round indoors.


Indoors and out, cockroaches seek out damp, cool, dark spaces. Because they're most active at night, they often stay unseen until populations grow. Roach feces, dead roach parts and old egg cases litter roach-infested areas. Fecal smears cover walls and baseboards along their route. Many people have allergic reactions to roach feces; sudden allergies may be warning signs.


Roaches are known to frequent sewers and contaminate everything they touch. Protecting your home and family means stopping these pests before they ever invade your home. Cockroaches enter homes through foundation cracks or small openings where electrical or plumbing lines come in. Inspect your foundation and seal any openings. Then turn to Amdro® brand to kill roaches and defend your home:

  • Amdro Quick Kill® Outdoor Insect Killer, available in a convenient ready-to-spray formula and an economical concentrate, works in minutes* to kill existing cockroaches and other listed pests and keep killing for up to three months.* Use it on lawns, landscape plantings and flower gardens. You can even treat your home's foundation up to a maximum height of 3 feet.
  • Amdro Quick Kill Lawn Insect Killer Granules II provide a simple, ready-to-use option to treat lawn and landscape areas around your home. Apply the granules with a regular lawn spreader, then lightly water to release the active ingredient. It kills cockroaches within 24 hours and keeps killing for up to three months.
  • Amdro Kills Ants™ & Spiders Granules come in an easy-to-use, resealable shaker bag that makes treating your home's perimeter a snap. The granules create a band of protection that kills cockroaches and keeps pests away for up to two months. After application, water the area lightly to improve results.


Good sanitation is essential to cockroach control. Keep your home and exterior areas free of garbage, grease or decaying materials. If you see one cockroach, more are probably in hiding. For large infestations, call on a pest professional.

*Except fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes

Always read product labels and follow the instructions carefully.
Amdro, Amdro Kills Ants and Amdro Quick Kill are trademarks of Central Garden & Pet Company.

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