American Cockroach

American Cockroach

Common Name:

American Cockroach

Scientific Name:

Periplaneta americana


Adults are about 3/8″ to 2 1/8″ (35 – 53 mm) long. Color reddish brown except for a submarginal pale brown to yellowish band around edge of pronotal shield. Both sexes fully winged with wings of male extending beyond tip of abdomen whereas, female’s do not. Nymphs are uniformly grayish brown, shinny and distinctly tapered from base with length about 5 times width. See the picture of the American Cockroach. Adults are poor to moderately good fliers. Commonly called a “waterbug”.

Places Most Commonly Found:

Although American cockroaches are found in residences, they are much more common in larger commercial buildings such as restaurants, bakeries, grocery stores, food processing plants, hospitals, etc. where they usually infest food-storage and food-preparation areas, basements, drains and steam tunnels. During summer months, they can be found outdoors in yards and alleys. In the United States this is the most common species found in city sewer systems. They enter structures through drains or occassional mass migrations from nearby infested structures during warm weather. Although they feed on many kinds of food, they show a particular fondness for fermenting food.

Most Active Period:

Usually found in or around homes during warmer weather. In large commercial structures, they will occur at all times during the year in areas with heavier populations in areas that are warm and humid. Development time (egg to adult) is greatly influenced by temperature, varying from 168 to 786+ days but averaging 600 days under ordinary room conditions. Secondary infestations may occur as egg capsules hatch after the primary infestation has been brought under control.

Difficulty of Control:

Moderate to control. Must use systematic and continual applications as eggs will survive and will hatch over an extended period of time.

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