If we had to choose the most despised pest, we think cockroaches would take the cake (and they’d eat it too). Cockroaches and Charlotte, NC go hand in hand because the nocturnal insects prefer warm habitats with access to moisture. Despite significant prevention efforts, the cockroach remains one of the most widespread and persistent pests on the planet.

Cockroaches have survived for millions of years, so they probably aren’t going anywhere. But there are steps we can take to prevent them from coming indoors and taking over our homes. Here’s everything you need to know about roaches in Charlotte, North Carolina, including the most common types, what they look like, how to prevent and treat them, and more.

The most common cockroaches in Charlotte, NC  are German cockroaches, American cockroaches, and Smoky Brown cockroaches.

German Cockroaches

The German cockroach is smaller than its American counterpart, which  can make identifying this cockroach easier, but also allows it to hide better. Adults are only one-half to five-eighths of an inch long and are tan or light brown. They have dark, parallel lines running from behind their heads to their wings. Yes, we said wings—luckily for us though, they can’t fly. Phew! They will eat a wide variety of things, but prefer meat, grease, and starchy foods.

American Cockroaches

Don’t let its name fool you, the American cockroach can be found around the world. These roaches are 1.5 inches long and are reddish-brown or dark brown. Males and females have long wings, however, male roaches’ wings are slightly longer than their female counterparts. And yes, they can fly—which has helped them spread across the world. Like most species, the American cockroach will eat almost anything, but mostly munch on garbage and plant material.

Smoky Brown Cockroaches

The Smoky Brown cockroach looks much like the American roach, only smaller. They are uniform dark-mahogany in color. Males and females have wings and are excellent fliers and will enter lit homes at night on occasion.

Are Cockroaches Dangerous?

Not only are cockroaches less than appealing to look at, but they are known to carry bacteria that can result in food poisoning, diarrhea, allergies, skin rashes, and asthma attacks. They can also spread salmonella, typhoid, cholera, dysentery, and even the plague. In large numbers they can give off a foul odor. Gross.

Where Do You Find Cockroaches?

What’s worse than seeing cockroaches, is seeing them and knowing that more could be hiding in your home. Here are some of their common hangouts. 

Kitchen Appliances and Cabinets

Roaches like to hide in the back of your microwave, fridge, and oven and other countertop appliances that are warm and close to water sources or common places with food debris. They’ve also got no problem sneaking into cupboards to feast on any food bits that may have spilled throughout. Wipe down counters after meals, clean cabinets and under countertop appliances, vacuum or mop regularly, carry the trash out, and keep sink drains and traps clear, and you could eliminate some major cockroach attractants. In addition, store food like grains, pastas and pet food in sealed air-tight containers.


The pipes that run throughout your home tend to be located in dark places, like in the basement or under sinks. Couple that with moisture from drips or leaks, and you’ve got yourself a cockroach oasis. Want roaches to feel less welcome? Regularly check drains, pipes, and faucets for drips or leaks. And seal any cracks or holes around plumbing that leads to the outdoors to give roaches one less access point.

Nooks and Crannies

Houses and apartments have all sorts of cracks and crevices that can make excellent cockroach hiding places. These can include your baseboards and trim, the backs of picture frames, and corners where you’ve let the recycling pile up. You can avoid infestations in these areas by eliminating debris that attracts roaches. Inspect your home to make sure all cracks are sealed and your baseboards and trim fit flush.

Feeling unsettled after learning about these cockroach hiding places? Knowing that you have a trained professional taking care of your cockroach prevention and control needs may put your mind at ease. Contact your Terminix Charlotte branch so that a trained technician can inspect your home and customize a comprehensive pest control plan for your house.


You’re not the only one who thinks that the couch is nice and comfy. Roaches will sometimes camp out inside your couch, especially if you tend to spill as you snack and stream movies. What’s worse is that cockroaches can lay eggs in and on your furniture. Help prevent this by regularly vacuuming upholstered furnishings and inspecting wooden furniture for egg casings that need to be cleared away. 


Have you ever eaten a snack while working at your laptop? We’ve been there, too. Unfortunately, crumbs and other food particles can fall in between and under your keys. Some species of roaches are small enough to wiggle through gaps in the keyboard and set up camp in your computer. Make your electronics less attractive to roaches by setting them aside when you eat and using canned air to keep keyboards clean. 

How to Prevent Cockroaches

Despite significant prevention efforts, the cockroach remains one of the most widespread and persistent pests on the planet. And while cockroaches have survived for millions of years—and will most likely be around for many more years to come—there are a few things you can do to help prevent cockroaches from taking over your world.

  • Seal gaps and cracks around your home’s foundation.
  • Wipe up spilled food and water.
  • Don’t leave food sitting out, and don’t let trash accumulate inside.
  • Regularly clean appliances and countertops.
  • Vacuum carpets, rugs, and upholstered furniture on a regular basis to remove crumbs and other food debris.
  • Eliminate moisture issues outside, like standing water, clogged gutters, or excessive amounts of mulch, pine straw, or leaf litter.
  • Keep bushes and tree limbs trimmed back from the house.
  • Store firewood away from the home, and eliminate as much clutter and debris as possible from around the foundation.
  • Turn off unnecessary lights at night, and don’t leave uneaten pet food out overnight.
  • Make sure screens on windows, doors, and vents are in good condition and seal up holes surrounding pipes in the foundation wall.
  • Install dehumidifiers in humid areas of your home.
  • Fix leaky piping and make sure your gutters are all in good working order.

Steps to Exterminate Cockroaches in Charlotte, NC

1. Identify problems areas.

First, examine your home for possible roach infestation sites using a flashlight to search popular roach hiding spots, including behind the refrigerator, under the sink, in crevices in cabinets and shelves, closet door corners, bathroom cabinets and closets. Share any areas of concern with your Terminix professional. Once we complete a full inspection, we may use roach glue traps to locate large infestations. You can help by monitoring those areas for a few days to a week and letting Terminix know of any concerns or activity. With most cockroaches, traps or monitors can indicate a high-traffic area, which indicates places where treatments should occur.

2. Use caulk to close gaps.

Traps can help identify where roaches are traveling and capture some of the population, but they won’t get rid of roaches on the outside trying to break in. To prevent their entry, use caulk or another sealant to fill possible entry points, including gaps between walls or tile, small crevices, and openings around faucets or utility penetrations. All doors and windows should have weather stripping.

3. Work with a professional to effectively reduce roach population.

Gel bait can be an effective roach killer, and it’s important to hire a pest management professional to administer this treatment. Gel bait usually comes in a tube and is usually applied under baseboards, in cracks and crevices, and near areas that are most likely to attract roaches. Boric acid dust is often added to gel baits for effectiveness, but it’s important that it’s administered by a professional so it’s used correctly or it will likely be ineffective in reducing cockroach populations. Using bait stations is another method and can be placed in high traffic areas where roaches are likely to run across them and interact with the insecticide. The roach then travels back to its home location, dies, and is eaten by the other roaches (we know, gross!), further passing on the insecticide (hooray!). Bait stations work partially to get rid of roaches, but do not target all roaches in a home. Cockroach control and prevention requires a scientific approach. It’s important to hire a highly trained professional that understands cockroach behavior and pesticide safety to keep children and pets safe.

4. Clean to remove things that cockroaches need.

If cockroaches find their way inside your home, minimizing their food sources is your best bet to lower your risk of infestation. Practice regular sanitation in your home, remove trash, clean grease and food debris daily after using your kitchen. Don’t leave dirty dishes or food wrappers around your home.

5. Call a Terminix pest control professional.

Hiring a Terminix specialist to treat a roach infestation eliminates the need to have traps scattered around your home, offers a proven approach to getting rid of cockroaches, and provides an ongoing solution to cockroach control. Plus, it gives you peace of mind that you’re keeping your home and what you love safe.

Call a Terminix pest control professional.

Hiring a Terminix specialist to treat a roach infestation provides you with peace of mind, offers a proven and effective approach to getting rid of cockroaches and provides an ongoing solution to cockroach control. It also eliminates the need to have traps scattered around your home.

Learn more about cockroach prevention in Charlotte, North Carolina and our guarantee! →