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The American Cockroach

While it can be found in individual dwellings and homes, the American cockroach is more common in restaurants, bakeries and other places where food is being prepared or is easily accessed.


One of the largest of the common cockroach pests, both the male and female can measure from 1.5 to over 2 inches long. The bodies of American cockroaches are oval shaped and the heads of the roach are mostly hidden with long threadlike antennae. Reddish brown in color with the exception of a yellowish band, both female and male adults have long wings that cover the abdomen. The wings of a male go past the tip of the abdomen, but like many cockroach counterparts, although they have wings, both sexes are only poor to moderate fliers.

Reproduction and Young

Typically, American cockroach females produce from 9 to 10 egg cases in a life cycle with about 14 young in each. The egg cases are deposited and affixed to a crack or crevice by the female, and generally hatch within about 45 days. Immature roaches, or nymphs, are reddish brown and have no wings. Full development can take between 215 days to up to 20 months depending largely on the temperature of the area they are living.

Habits of The American Cockroach

These roaches prefer warm, humid areas with temperatures in excess of 82 degrees Fahrenheit. They typically remain in basements or on ground floors unless more suitable environments can be found on higher levels. They can also be found in cracks and crevices of porches, crawl spaces, building foundations, and walkways that connect to buildings. Their tendencies are to go where there is food easily accessed, so they are mostly found in restaurants, markets, bakeries and food processing plants, although they are found in homes as well.

They are particularly fond of fermented foods, but American cockroaches will eat most anything they can find.

Detection and Prevention

American cockroaches enter buildings in a number of ways, the most common of which is in packaging or through sewage drains. Experts suggest checking possible hot spots at night with a flash light paying careful attention to drains.

Pest Control - Interesting Facts

Latest industry estimates place the annual cost of damage and treatment of termites at $5 billion worldwide.