Easily one of the most detested of all insects, the cockroach stems from the Blattodea order and can be broken down into six families with nearly 4,000 different species. Even though there is an extensive list of different kinds of cockroaches existing around the world, only a few varieties actually pose a nuisance to man.
The kinds of cockroaches that are more commonly known and most often invade homes and businesses are the German cockroach, the American cockroach, and the Oriental cockroach. The German cockroach is the prominent pest of homes, restaurants, and other facilities where food is found. They reproduce extremely quickly, and because they are nocturnal, they often go undetected until there is an infestation. This species is very resistant to common pesticides used in household pest control.
Similarly, the American cockroach is also considered an formidable household pest. They are larger than the German species and have wings that enable them to fly. They prefer warmer climates and thus, invade homes for shelter in areas where temperatures are cooler. The American cockroach, sometimes called a waterbug, does not reproduce at the same rate as the German cockroach and is considered easier to eliminate.
Other kinds include Asian, Cuban, Smokybrown, Wood, and Surinam cockroaches. With the exception of the aforementioned well-known pest variety of cockroaches, there are numerous species that avoid human contact all together. They range in size and color with natives of tropical areas being the largest. One of the largest species is the Madagascar hissing cockroach. This variety of hissing cockroach is, for reasons unbeknownst to many, a popular pet.
In the wild, cockroaches serve as a food source for birds, bats, and other small animals. They are omnivorous creatures and will gravitate wherever there are plentiful food supplies. Though infestations in a home or business can pose very real health problems, many people simply find them disagreeable because of their appearance. An infestation in a home or business typically cannot be taken care of without the services of a professional exterminator.