Cockroaches in Maryland: Tips for Homeowners

Last updated: 5/6/2021
Estimated read time: 6 minutes

Looking to learn about cockroaches in Maryland or are you dealing with your own infestation? You found the right place for all of your cockroach needs! Being educated on cockroaches in the state and how to combat them is crucial to avoid larger issues down the road. These bugs have been around for millions of years, so they won’t leave the planet anytime soon — but they can leave your home with help from B.O.G. Pest Control!

Six Facts About Cockroaches in Maryland

  1. Roaches like tight places, so they stay in hiding during daylight and come out at night to find water and food.
  2. The best thing to avoid a cockroach infestation is to keep everything clean.
  3. If you see roaches during daylight hours call a professional immediately at 703-666-3801. Daylight sightings are a 100% indication of a large cockroach infestation.
  4. Cockroaches have a highly developed sense of smell and they will chew through paper and cardboard. All food must be kept in plastic containers; this is true of pet food also.
  5. A cockroach infestation is likely to occur in the summer because cockroaches like to congregate in warm, moist areas.
  6. Cockroaches are often found in areas of the home such as basements, porches, and sewer pipes.

Types of Cockroaches in Maryland

Have roaches been in our societal world for a long time? Yes, thousands of years. There are a variety of roaches throughout the world. According to the Maryland Cooperative Extension office, we can find four varieties of cockroaches in Mid-Maryland. They are:

German Cockroach

Color: light brown with two stripes on the shield.
Size: About 0.5-0.67 inches long.
Location: Any place water, warmth, and food are found — most often in kitchens and bathrooms of homes and apartments.
Eggs: Female carries egg sack for 55-68 days.
Fact: The most common cockroach.

American Cockroach

Color: Reddish brown.
Size: About 1.5 inches long.
Location: Most often found in commercial buildings — especially around garbage, sewers, trash receptacles. They prefer warm, humid areas.
Eggs: The case of eggs is brown but turns black after a few days.
Fact: Has a difficult time surviving outside in Maryland during winter.

Oriental Cockroach

Color: Black.
Size: Around 1 inch.
Location: Lives in moist areas, will move inside in cold weather and found under rocks in damp areas and in basements.
Eggs: Eggs are slow to develop (300-800 days).
Fact: Commonly referred to as a water bug.

Brown-Banded Cockroach

Color: light brown to brown, no stripes.
Size: About the same size as the German.
Location: Because the Brown Banded is found in warm places they can easily be transferred when moving to new residences and easily infest places like apartment buildings.
Eggs: Egg sacks can be found glued in warmed places like the ceiling, in TV sets, in dresser drawers, and furniture.
Fact: Adult males can fly, but not females.

Why Should You Get Rid of Cockroaches?

Roaches and ants walk upon dirty surfaces and will take dirt and microbes with them wherever they go. The transfer of disease is made all the easier if the areas are contaminated with bacteria. Well, why are cockroaches such an issue? The cockroach will easily survive for a year or more. Roaches have been on the earth for millions of years. The female cockroach will continuously deposit eggs throughout her lifetime. If allowed to stay in a home the number of roaches you may have after a very short time is extremely high.

If you enter your kitchen in the morning and find roaches on the stovetop, sinks, or on counter surfaces then you definitely have a problem. If you purchase residential products to combat the cockroach your chance of success is very low unless you do a thorough cleaning of the home. Apartments and condos are an entirely different issue.

There are many companies in the pest control industry that will not serve your needs if you do not do your part on the cleaning side of the problem. Look at this way: cockroaches have survived for millions of years and will continue to survive — we as humans have had a much shorter lifespan.

Will DIY Cockroach Killers or Traps Work?

We recommend calling a professional when it comes to unwanted pests in your home, but DIY practices can be helpful to understand the scale of your issue. Here are some tips when it comes to DIY best practices:

  • Do not use boric acid, diatomaceous earth, or silica to kill cockroaches. It likely won’t work and can be harmful to small children.
  • Sticky traps are not effective, but will provide information on the location and can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of measures you have taken.
  • If the situation is not an infestation, try some commercial insecticidal bait. Placement is crucial for these to be effective in eliminating cockroaches. It’s best to have professionals do the placement.

Note: if the areas are not clean, dry and especially free of residual grease you will not be able to rid the home of the cockroach. You need the roaches to have no other food source except the bait stations to have an effective control plan. Dead roaches can help in the tracking of the nest.

Cockroach Prevention Checklist

Inside of the home:

  • Install new door sweeps (sweeps do not last indefinitely!) on all exterior doors, including the garage.
  • Screen your windows if you intend to open them.
  • Screen the attic vents: Birds, small mammals squirrels, mice, house rats, snakes, and all insects can enter here.
  • Seal all openings and cracks that allow entrance to the house. If the hole is large, you can purchase the sealant in large blocks and push into the hole.

Potential outdoor harborages:

  • Move all firewood away from the house.
  • Keep trash cans away from the house and never leave the lid off.
  • Keep all mulch to a depth of 2 to 3 inches.
  • Keep weeds away from the house.
  • Do not allow branches or bushes to be close to the house.
  • Keep proper ventilation around the perimeter of the house.
  • Do not allow water to lie in the crawl space (standing water can cause numerous problems).
  • Keep the rain gutters clean and have an adequate fall to the downspout. Make sure that all roof water drains away from the house.


  • Properly store all foods and do not leave any bags open.
  • Clean all bathrooms on a regular basis.
  • Clean all kitchen surfaces, sinks, and stovetop daily.
  • Empty garbage at least every other day.
  • Promptly repair all water leaks.

With the busy lifestyle of a family, it may not always be possible to check off all of these to-dos. Most lack the expertise and just do not have time to perform every task to bug proof the home. If you have small children, you also have the added concern of making the home childproof. If your children are a bit older, and a bit messy, then there is a whole new brand of problems to take time to conquer.

Don’t let these pests ruin your summer. We want you to get back to enjoying the perfect Maryland summer and spending time on the water, such as sailing on the Chesapeake Bay with family and friends. Daily cleaning can be a hassle to keep up with, and making the home more bug-proof can be an even bigger obstacle. Let B.O.G. take care of your pest control in Annapolispest control in Alexandria, and the rest of Maryland and Northern Virginia – give us a call at 703-666-3801!

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