What is An American Cockroach?

When it comes to house pests, the American cockroach stands head and shoulders above the competition. It is also known as the palmetto bug, the water bug, and the Bombay canary. Although it has been given the label “American cockroach,” this insect was likely brought to the Americas by European settlers in the early 1600s from Africa.

The American cockroach is one of the largest species of cockroaches, reaching an average length of 1.5 to 2 inches. They are recognizable by their reddish-brown color and long, oval-shaped body. Unlike other pests, the American cockroach has wings and is capable of flying, although they mostly move by crawling.


Life Cycle of American Cockroaches

American cockroaches undergo a gradual metamorphosis, with three distinct developmental stages: egg, nymph, and adult. Female American cockroaches lay egg capsules, which contain around 16 eggs each. These capsules are usually deposited in a safe, sheltered location, near a food source. The eggs hatch within a few weeks, producing nymphs which are miniature versions of the adult cockroach. Nymphs go through several molts, gradually growing and developing into adults. The entire process from egg to adult takes around one year.

Diseases Spread by American Cockroaches

American cockroaches are known to spread a number of diseases. They are often associated with food contamination and can spread harmful bacteria, such as Salmonella and E. coli, throughout homes and other buildings. In addition, cockroaches can trigger allergies and asthma in some individuals. Cockroaches can also spread diseases by contaminating food, kitchen surfaces, and even food packaging.

Why American Cockroaches are a Pest

In addition to spreading diseases and causing allergies, American cockroaches are also considered a nuisance pest. They can be difficult to control, reproduce quickly, and can damage homes and other structures. They can also emit a foul odor, which is often described as musty or musty, and can ruin food. American cockroaches are also nocturnal, so they are most active when homeowners are asleep, which can make it difficult to spot them.

What Do American Cockroaches Look Like?

American cockroaches reach a maximum adult size of over 2 inches (51mm), however most are between 1.4 and 1.6 inches (35 and 41 mm) in length. The American cockroach is a reddish brown tint with a yellow stripe that borders the area behind its head. Both sexes can use their wings to take flight for short distances.

Do American Cockroaches Bite?

While American cockroaches certainly have the capacity to bite, they almost never actually do so. However, unless the bite becomes infected, you need not worry about it.

Prevention and Control

Signs of an Infestation

Infestations of American cockroaches are often characterized by four distinct symptoms. Homeowners will first notice the insects themselves, which are quick to run and are most often found heading for the shadows.

Second, the dark places where American cockroaches hide often include their discarded droppings. This tiny waste has rounded corners and ridges all around. Due to their similarity to mouse droppings, it is recommended that you seek the advice of a professional pest controller for confirmation.

Egg capsules, which are around 8 mm long and black in color, are another telltale symptom of an American cockroach infestation. You can find them in the basement, the laundry room, the kitchen, and occasionally even behind appliances or behind cupboards, and they like to stick to surfaces near food sources.

Finally, the American cockroach will release a pheromone that has a scent that has been described as “musty.” Those with especially acute senses of smell may pick up on this odor in various rooms throughout the house.

If you suspect that you have an American cockroach infestation in your home, it is important to understand the root cause. To learn more about why cockroaches may be thriving in your clean home, check out our article on “Why Do I Have Cockroaches In My Clean House? – 6 Reasons Why Roaches Can Thrive In A Clean Home.

How to Get Rid of American Cockroaches

A cockroach is one of the most hardy pests you’ll ever face. They have adapted specialized survival mechanisms, such as the ability to go a week without a head, making elimination an uphill battle for homeowners.

However, people can take action to reduce American cockroach populations through measures such as barrier exclusion and cleaning. Cockroaches can easily gain entry to a home through holes around electrical outlets, crevices around light switch and outlet plates, and clogged drains, but these can all be sealed off using barrier exclusion. Seal these cracks using caulk that contains silicone.

In order to deter the invasion of American cockroaches, it’s important to keep your home clean and free of clutter. Homeowners should avoid collecting crumbs and other trash on counters, sinks, tables, and floors. Don’t let the sink fill up with dirty dishes or the counter with stains. It’s also recommended that food be stored in sealed containers and not be left out where pets may get at it. To reduce the likelihood of American cockroaches, it is recommended to run water in any spare bathrooms on a regular basis to keep the u-traps full, to vacuum at least once a week to eliminate food debris, and to ventilate any crawl spaces.

It is recommended to seek the assistance of a professional pest control company if you feel you have an American cockroach infestation. Consult a pest control expert for advice on how to eliminate American cockroaches and avoid a repeat infestation.

American Cockroach Information


While American cockroaches do spend much of their time outside, they are also frequently discovered inside buildings. American cockroaches are frequently discovered in damp, dark places like sewers and drains across the northern United States. The American cockroach is the most frequent type of cockroach found in urban drains. Once, more than five thousand American cockroaches were discovered in a single sewer manhole, according to reports. The American cockroach is most commonly seen in the South in damp, dark places like mulch piles and flowerbeds. You can also find them in the warmer months in outside areas like yards and alleys.

When food is scarce or the weather drastically shifts, American cockroaches will seek shelter indoors. Cockroaches in the United States are most at home in dark, damp, and warm (about 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit) conditions. They ride in on people’s clothes and shoes, crawl up drains from the sewage system, and occasionally migrate en masse from neighboring buildings, garbage dumps, and the like when it’s warm outside.

When food is scarce or the weather drastically shifts, American cockroaches will seek shelter indoors. Cockroaches in the United States are most at home in dark, damp, and warm (about 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit) conditions. They ride in on people’s clothes and shoes, crawl up drains from the sewage system, and occasionally migrate en masse from neighboring buildings, garbage dumps, and the like when it’s warm outside.

The American cockroach enjoys a wide variety of foods, but it has a special taste for anything that has been fermented. When they are outside, they consume things like dead leaves, fungi, algae, and even small insects. Crumbs are their main source of nutrition when they are inside, and they can be found in a variety of places including under appliances, down drains, behind cupboards, and on the floor. If pet food is left out, they will consume that too.

Potential Threats & Complications

The presence of American cockroaches in the home is a serious health risk because they are filthy pests. At least seven different types of human infections have been linked to cockroaches, and at least 33 different species of bacteria, including E. coli and Salmonella, have been linked to cockroaches. They pick up bacteria from rotting debris and sewage and then deposit it on food and cooking surfaces via the spines on their legs and bodies.

Allergen proteins can be found in American cockroach saliva, urine, and feces. Therefore, cockroaches are a typical year-round allergen and asthma symptom cause, especially in children.


American cockroaches are a common household pest that can cause serious problems for homeowners. They are known for spreading diseases, contaminating food, and causing allergies and asthma. Homeowners can reduce the risk of American cockroach infestations by sealing entry points, keeping their homes clean, and seeking professional help if necessary. By taking these steps, homeowners can protect their homes, families, and health from the harmful effects of American cockroaches.

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