The world is inhabited by more than 45000 different species of cockroaches that vary in size and color and other characteristics from ancient times. They have been on earth even before humans came into existence. The cockroaches can survive even the deadliest nuclear radiations and can sustain for a month without food or water.
However, it is impossible to find all the different species in one place as they are scattered all over the world with some being exclusive to one particular state, country, city, town or village.
This article discusses the different species of roaches in Michigan along with its distinguishing characteristics.
Different types of Roaches in Michigan
Michigan has a well distinguished season throughout the year with a distinctive summer and winter with well-proportionated precipitation. The state has a pretty humid summer whereas the winters are extremely chilly followed with freezing winds. The climate of Michigan is perfect for the inhabitation of a lot of different cockroach species as it has a humid and temperate climate.
Michigan has been home to five different species of cockroaches: American cockroaches, German cockroaches, Oriental cockroaches, Brown-banded cockroaches, and Wood cockroaches.
However, the American and the Oriental cockroaches are the only two roaches that you should be afraid of as they have an affinity to entering your house and staying indoors unlike other roaches that prefer outdoors.
The American Roaches are considered as the most common pests to be spotted around in every household of the United States. They are the largest cockroaches with a size of about 1 ½ to 2 inches long. The color of their exterior is reddish-brown and features a yellowish figure 8 located at the back of their head.
The American roaches both male and female have wings but usually, avoid using them especially in Michigan. They are usually enticed to garbage dumps and areas with rotten food as well as debris.
The German Roaches are fond of indoors and are exclusively attracted to warm and moist environments like the kitchen and bathroom of your house. They are also common in the urban households of Michigan and have a weakness towards all kinds of food. They are the smallest cockroach species you can find in Michigan measuring about ½ inches in length.
Due to their small size, they can easily hide in the small holes, cracks and crevices in your house hence extremely difficult to spot and kill. They can be easily identified with their light-brown or tan-colored body with two dark stripes on the back of their heads.
The Oriental cockroaches have a dark-brown or almost black and shiny outer body measuring about 1 inch to ¼ inches. They also feature wings like the American cockroaches but they are extremely small that can hardly cover their backs. The small wing prevents them from flying in Michigan.
They are commonly found in the areas filled with dead and decaying organic matter that are quite dark and damp with a cool environment. They mostly prefer outdoors hiding under the leaves but tend to shift indoors as the climate becomes drier outdoors.
The Brown-banded roaches, as the name suggests are identified exclusively due to their two visible lighter stripes located across their backs. They are also one of the small cockroach species found in Michigan measuring about ½ inch in length. The sex of the Brown-banded cockroaches can be identified by their size and structure of wings.
The females are shorter, wider with small wings barely covering their back whereas the males are longer with full wings. The females cannot fly whereas the males can fly only when troubled or attacked. Unlike the other roaches, these roaches are mostly fond of warm and dry areas like under/ behind the refrigerator, inside pantries, closets, furniture, etc. and repel from the water resources.
The Wood cockroaches are the only roaches that are found and introduced exclusively in Michigan. They have a chestnut brown outer body with a distinguishing area close to the head and wing that is encircled in white. The males and females both have a different size and length of body with the former measuring about 7/8 to 1 1/8 inches and the latter measuring about ½ to ¾ inches in length.
The females have shorter wings whereas the males have full wings to fly like the Brown-banded roaches. They love to stay outdoors under loose barks in the woodpiles, hollow trees and stumps. However, once they are indoors they tend to ramble around the house without gathering in a particular area.
Bugs that look like roaches in Michigan
The bugs have always been confused for cockroaches by us due to their unusual similarity in appearance. Not all bugs resemble the cockroaches but there are a few in Michigan that can be mistakenly assumed as roaches.
The brown to the black outer skeletal body of the cricket is analogous to that of a roaches’ outer body that confuses people to assume them like roaches. The crickets are smaller and faster than the roaches. The rapid movement of the crickets fails to offer us time to examine the cricket and we fallaciously accept them like roaches.
Numerous distinctive features of a cricket tell a cricket and roach apart. The most unique feature is the presence of long hind legs that permits the cricket to hop, unlike the roaches that cannot hop around.
The similar deep red or brownish external body of the ground beetles resembles the color of the exoskeleton of a cockroach. This feature dares us to tell a ground beetle and cockroach apart. However, the hard front wings of a ground beetle can be a distinctive character to tell them apart.
Most of the roaches do not have wings but even if they do the wings are rather soft as well as leathery.
Michigan is known to inhabit the crawling water bugs especially the giant water bug that has a close resemblance to the roaches. The exterior of the water bug is similar to the exterior of the roaches in many ways like the size and color.
The water bugs are commonly found near standing water bodies, unlike the roaches that mostly inhabit humid areas. These bugs are however larger than the roaches and even bite that can be extremely painful. The large pincers located at the front of the bodies differentiate them from the cockroaches.
Asian Long-Horned beetle
The Asian long-horned beetle has often being confused for a cockroach many times by us due to their similarity in appearance with each other. However, they can be easily distinguished as the Asian Long-horned beetles have a jet-black outer body with prominent white spots, unlike the roaches.
The Wood-boring beetles have a pretty impressing resemblance to the roaches due to their similar body shape with antennae and six legs. The similar reddish-brown translucent wings covering their backs entirely also fail us to tell a wood-boring beetle and roach apart.
However, the wood-boring beetle always inhabits the wooden areas of your house or mostly the tress, unlike the roaches that mostly inhabit humid, damp and dark places.
The world can never be free from cockroaches, therefore, the only thing that can be possibly done to keep them out of sight is by using different chemical and herbal methods to prevent them from inhabiting your houses and contaminating it.
However, always ensure to distinguish a bug from a Michigan roach as the wrong methods can unexpectedly increase the rate of infestation of your house either by a bug or a roach.