- Latin Name: Periplaneta Americana
- Size: Usually measure around 1.5 inches long
- Color: The American cockroach is reddish-brown with a yellow band behind the head.
- Shape: They are flat, oval, have six legs and two sets of wings. Females have shorter wings and 14 segments on the antennae while males have 19 segments on the antennae.
- Found in: Found all across the United States, particularly in urban areas like New York, Miami, and Los Angeles.
- Overview: The American cockroaches are the most common cockroaches found in the United States. They are one of the biggest and fastest running insects.
About American Cockroaches
The American Cockroach is the most common cockroach in the U.S. It’s sometimes known as a “waterbug” and can be found everywhere from kitchens to crawlspaces. The cockroach has been around for over 300 million years and dates back to the carboniferous period. They’re some of the most resilient pests in the entire animal kingdom and are incredibly difficult to eradicate. Cockroaches prefer warm humid places and thrive in tropical climates. The ideal temperature for an American cockroach is 80 degrees Fahrenheit which is why they often seek out the comfort of indoors.
Because cockroaches feed on anything they can find they carry a very high risk of disease. Not only can American cockroaches carry Norovirus and Hepatitis they’re also responsible for allergic reactions among those allergic to their feces.
Facts About the American Cockroach
Cockroaches prefer to live in groups in sewers and in gardens. A female cockroach will deposit her capsule of eggs somewhere warm and damp. There are about 15 eggs in a capsule and a female will produce about 150 eggs during her life. Nymphs are born from the eggs and will take about six months in ideal conditions to grow into an adult. Adult American cockroaches give out a pheromone to let other cockroaches know their location. The adult American cockroach will live about a year.
American cockroaches prefer decaying food and will eat small dead insects, fungi, leaves and any food left out in the kitchen. They are attracted to beer, wine and sweets as well as protein sources like meat. They often enter homes through the sewer pipes and the toilet and can also easily fly through open windows or cracked doors. Although adult American cockroaches have two sets of wings and can fly, they are known for running quickly.
Signs of an Infestation
The easiest way to spot a problem is to catch a cockroach running across the floor. These insects are fast and will hide when they see humans. Another sign is their feces or egg capsules left in dark damp places like under the sink, in the basement or in the garage.
Check the weather stripping on your doors to make sure there isn’t room for a cockroach to slide underneath. Keeping your yard landscaped will also help to remove their favorite food, organic decaying matter, from near your house. Pellet baits and insecticides are needed to control the American cockroach and a pest professional will likely be necessary to identify all potential nesting spots.