The German cockroach is a widely distributed urban pest. It is also the most common cockroach species in houses, apartments, restaurants, hotels, and other institutions. German cockroaches usually prefer a moist environment with a relatively high degree of warmth. The insects are mostly scavengers and will feed on a wide variety of foods. They are especially fond of starches, sweets, grease, and meat products. In many locations, garbage is a principal food source. As with other species, German cockroaches are mostly active at night, when they forage for food, water, and mates.
The Oriental cockroach prefers dark, damp places. Often called a water bug, it is commonly found in damp basements, cellars, crawl spaces, and sewers. It may also be found near drains, leaky water pipes and under refrigerators, sinks, washing machines, and floors. It prefers temperatures under 84° F. The Oriental cockroach can tolerate cool environments and people have even found it surviving freezing outdoor weather. An Oriental cockroach forages mostly on the first floors of buildings. Occasionally, this pest will thrive in the landscape immediately adjacent to structures and may enter if a disturbance occurs, such as a change in the seasons, excess rainfall, or lawn mowing. It can be found occasionally outdoors under sewer covers. It feeds on all types of garbage and other organic material. An Oriental cockroach produces a strong smell and is considered one of the dirtiest of all the cockroaches.
The wood roach lives in wooded areas in rotting logs and under loose bark. It can accidentally invade homes, cabins, cottages, and other buildings in or near wooded areas. This cockroach is not a persistent household pests and it doesn’t reproduce indoors. Because of its association with wood, a wood cockroach can be brought indoors on firewood. It may enter buildings if suitable harborage (trees and logs) is close to open doors and windows. The males are strong fliers.