It is easy to mistake a cockroach for a beetle if you're not familiar with the pest cockroaches we have in the Pittsburgh area. Cockroaches and beetles are both insects. That means they both have six legs and three body parts. Some beetles have spines on their legs, which makes them look a little like cockroaches. A good example is the June bug. Some cockroaches look more like beetles than other cockroaches. The Oriental cockroach is a good example of this. Oriental cockroaches can have a rounded, shiny, armored appearance. Let's take a look at the three most common cockroach pests in Pittsburgh and discuss how they differ from beetles in both appearance and behavior.

German Cockroach

This cockroach species looks like a roach in every way. It has long antennae, spines on its legs, and shiny wings that stack on its back. It also has a tan coloration and a brown equal sign on its back to further help you with identification.

American Cockroach

This cockroach species is the largest of all pest roaches. They're also the most famous of cockroaches. It is likely that you would recognize a photo of one. But, on the off chance you've been living under a rock (which is coincidentally where these roaches like to live) here is a brief description. This large cockroach species has long antennae, a chestnut coloration, spines on its legs, shiny wings stacked on its back, and a yellow infinity symbol on its back.

Oriental Cockroach

This cockroach species has a rounded beetle shape and a black coloration. Females have an armored appearance. Her armored appearance is due to the fact that she does not have fully developed wings like a male.

Behavioral Differences

There is a big difference between beetles and cockroaches in terms of how they behave. Most pest cockroaches are very unsanitary. This is because they are attracted to rot and decay, and feed on feces. This makes them a serious medical concern. While there are many kinds of beetles, and they can present a threat, they aren't typically a health threat.

Types of Beetles

  • Most beetles are a nuisance. Asian lady beetles and Japanese beetles are examples of nuisance beetles. They get into homes by accident. They can't live inside your home.

  • Some beetles are pantry pests. These are your red flour beetles, sawtoothed grain beetles, larder beetles, cigarette beetles, etc.

  • Some beetles are wood-destroying organisms. There are three significant species of powderpost beetle, with Anobiid powderpost beetles being the worst. Longhorned beetles can also present a threat to the wood of man-made structures.

  • One beetle can damage your belongings. It is called a carpet beetle. There are four common carpet beetle species. They are black carpet beetles, common carpet beetles, varied carpet beetles, and furniture carpet beetles.

Cockroach Threats

When cockroaches get into structures in Pittsburgh, they can cause sickness. Cockroaches are known to spread harmful bacteria from dumpsters, trash cans, sewers, carrion, and other dirty things. They are robust insects that can pick up dangerous chemicals and transport them to sensitive locations. They are a mechanical vector for several parasitic worms. And recent studies have shown that the presence of cockroaches in homes increases hospitalizations for Asthma-related symptoms. If all of this isn't enough to not want cockroaches around, they can bite. When they bite, it is usually around the eyes or mouth. The wounds caused by cockroaches tend to swell from infection due to the introduction of bacteria from the cockroaches.

Cockroach Prevention

There are a few ways to help you prevent cockroach and beetle infestations. Obviously, of the two, cockroaches are the greater concern.

  • Reduce moist conditions around the perimeter of your home. These insects are strongly attracted to high humidity and dampness.

  • Remove unnecessary vegetation from your landscaping. Vegetation traps moisture and provides shaded hiding places for insects.

  • If you have a dog, be sure to pick up dog droppings from your yard.

  • If you have a compost, make sure it is properly mixed.

  • Keep your trash in sealed containers, and routinely clean the containers to remove smells that attract cockroaches.

  • Seal any gaps, cracks, or holes in your exterior.

  • Make sure all of your screens, weatherstripping and door sweeps are in good working condition.

If you need assistance with pest management or cockroach control, remember that the service team at Witt Pest Management is standing by to assist you. We are trusted by over 10,000 Pittsburgh homeowners. We can help you resolve all your pest control issues. Reach out to us. We're here to help.