What kinds of cockroaches live in Alaska?
Well, you may be surprised at how many different types there actually are! These nocturnal insects are common but can be hard to find.
Cockroaches prefer to stay hidden during the day and can sense our vibrations at night. So they quickly dash away before they are even discovered. Cockroaches can run really fast, up to 11 inches per second! That would be like a human running 93 miles an hour!
One tip to know, if you see a cockroach during the day, there may be more that you don’t see and you may have an infestation. So please call an exterminator for help.
This article will be looking at 3 COMMON cockroaches in Alaska.
#1. German Cockroach
- Blattella germanica
- Males are tan or pale brown, with two dark streaks on their heads.
- The abdomen is slender and tapers down, with a yellowish underside.
- Females are darker brown, and their abdomens are broader.
These cockroaches are significant year-round pests in Alaska.
You would think from its name that the German Cockroach is from Germany; however, it actually came here from Southeast China. These cockroaches are sensitive to the cold, which is probably from their origin in warm climates.
German Cockroach Range Map
The German Cockroach comes out at night to search for food and water and will quickly dash away if you turn on a light or disturb them. They are plant and meat scavengers. This cockroach is attracted to meats, starches, sugars, and fatty foods. Unfortunately, if they can’t find food, they may eat household items such as soap, glue, and toothpaste.
They will invade houses, apartments, restaurants, hotels, hospitals, and other institutions. During the day, this cockroach hides out and occupies tight spaces around refrigerators, stoves, sinks, and in the walls. So it is difficult to know if you have a cockroach problem.
If you EVER see a German Cockroach during the day, this may indicate that you have a severe infestation.
Check out this video of the German Cockroach and learn more about them below:
#2. American Cockroach
- Periplaneta americana
- Shiny, reddish-brown wings, paler neck with two darker reddish-brown blotches in the center.
- Short wings, males’ wings extend beyond their abdomen.
- Also known as the Ship Cockroach, Kakerlac, and Bombay Canary.
The American Cockroach has one of the largest body sizes of ANY cockroach in Alaska. It is also considered one of the fastest running insects. Surprisingly, they are weak fliers.
Believe it or not, American Cockroaches are native to Africa and the Middle East. These cockroaches were brought over hundreds of years ago on ships.
Adults are active all year-round in moist and warm locations, like inside your house! These cockroaches are mostly commercial pests, infesting restaurants, supermarkets, bakeries, warehouses, and shipyards.
American Cockroach Range Map
Unfortunately, they don’t stop there. These cockroaches are frequently found in homes and apartments because they come up through the sewage and plumbing systems or air ducts. You can find them in basements, crawl spaces, and cracks in foundations.
These cockroaches are not picky eaters. This species will eat beer, leather, hair, flakes of dry skin, fermenting foods, starch from book bindings, and dead animals, including other cockroaches. They eat almost anything they walk on!
The American Cockroach has odorous secretions that can alter the flavor of food, and if there is a high population of them, you will be able to smell it.
This cockroach can also pick up disease-causing bacteria like Salmonella on their legs and deposit it on other food that they walk on. This can cause food poisoning or infections. In addition, house dust that contains cockroach parts or feces can trigger an allergic reaction and asthma in certain people.
Check out this video of the American Cockroach and see how they move their antennae to get around.
#3. Oriental Cockroach
- Blatta orientalis
- Shiny dark reddish-brown to blackish-brown.
- Males’ wings cover three-fourths of their abdomen while females have short, almost non-existent wings.
- Also known as the Waterbug or Black Beetle.
Oriental Cockroaches are also called Waterbugs because they prefer dark, moist places. They are sluggish, flightless, and are poor climbers.
Oriental Cockroach Range Map
This species is often found in sewers, drains, damp basements, porches, or other damp locations. Outside they are typically located under mulch, bushes, leaf litter, and woodpiles. Look for them eating decaying plants, starchy human scraps, and animal matter.
The Oriental Cockroach is a major household pest. This species creates a strong smell and is considered one of the dirtiest cockroaches in Alaska.
The Oriental Cockroach can transfer bacteria and viruses from their legs to food, dishes, utensils, and countertops. This species spreads Salmonella, E. Coli, Dysentery, and food poisoning. So if you see them in your house, call an exterminator right away!
Do you need additional help identifying cockroaches in Alaska?
Try this field guide!
Which of these cockroaches have you seen in Alaska?
Leave a comment below!