See our resources to detect and prevent cockroaches.


Four kinds of cockroaches are common in Minnesota.

  • American cockroach, grows to 1.6 inches long
  • Oriental cockroach, grows to 1.25 inches long
  • German cockroach, grows to .5 inch long
  • Brow-banded cockroach, grows to .5 inch long
five cockroaches


What they eat

Cockroaches eat a variety of items, including

  • Spilled food
  • Pet food
  • Toothpaste
  • Cardboard
  • Wallpaper glue

Cockroaches need food, water, and shelter to survive. Once they find these things, they leave “scent trails” to attract others.

Where they hide

  • Cockroaches hide during the day and become active at night.
  • If cockroaches are seen during the daylight hours, it is a good indication of heavy infestation.
  • Cockroaches prefer warm, humid areas and tight spaces (like cracks and crevices).
  • Cockroaches are most commonly found in messy and untidy areas.

Cockroaches are a public health risk

  • Cockroaches carry diseases that can cause food poisoning, diarrhea, or other illnesses.
  • Cockroaches can transfer germs from dirty areas to food, kitchen areas, and living spaces.
  • Some children develop an allergic reaction, similar to asthma, when exposed to contaminated food, dust, or droppings.


If you have an infestation:

  • Identifying the type of cockroach in your business is important. Each species requires a different method to eliminate it.
  • Hire a pest control service to get rid of them
  • Work with your pest control operator on additional control measures



Eliminate sources of food by cleaning spills and food debris immediately, washing dishes promptly, and storing food in pest-safe containers.

  • Store all items at least 6-inches off the floor.
  • Use a trash can with a lid. Empty and clean the trash can regularly.
  • Maintain a clean facility. Eliminate food sources by cleaning and sanitizing all surfaces regularly.
  • Clean inside, under, and around all kitchen equipment.


  • Eliminate moisture and repair water leaks.
  • Clean drains, using an enzyme cleaner and/or stiff wire brush.
  • Hang all damp mops to dry.


  • Clean or remove potential hiding spaces such as stacks of old newspapers, magazines, bags, cardboard boxes, and piles of clothing.
  • Seal all cracks and crevices around windows, doors, crawl spaces, pipes, wires, and cables with silicone caulking, screening, and/or copper mesh.
  • Install door sweeps as needed.
  • Avoid propping doors open.
  • Put screens in windows and over drains.
  • Remove unnecessary equipment from the establishment. Unused or infrequently used equipment provides places for cockroaches to hide, live, and breed.
  • Check all incoming supplies, including paper goods.

Lodging complaint

You can report an unsanitary hotel, motel or other type of lodging in the city.

Request accessible format

If you need help with this information, please email 311, or call 311 or 612-673-3000.

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Contact us

Environmental Health

Minneapolis Health Department




Public Service Center
505 Fourth Ave S, Room 520
Minneapolis, MN 55415