American Cockroach

Category:

Actual Size: 2.1”

Characteristics: Brown to reddish-brown; winged.

Legs: 6

Wings: Yes, adults have wings and can fly.

Antennae: Yes

Habitat: Primarily live outdoors but can be found in sewers and drains across the Northern United States. In the Southern United States, they are found in shady garden areas and yards.

Habits:

  • They can fly but rarely do so.
  • Largest of the house-infesting cockroaches.
  • Attracted to alcoholic beverages and fermenting foods.

American Cockroaches in Bristol

The American cockroach is the roach many envision in their mind when cockroaches are mentioned. That is because they have the classic look: bigger, red/brown bodies with long antennae. The American roach is most known for is known by many names, including the water bug or palmetto bug. It is the largest of the house-infesting cockroaches, measuring up to 2 1⁄8 inches long. Despite its name, the American cockroach is not native to North America and was probably introduced via ships from Africa. It is currently found throughout the United States and is second only to the German cockroach in abundance. Adults can live up to one year and an adult female will produce an average of 150 young in her lifetime.

American Cockroach Habitat

When outdoors, the American cockroach is found in bat caves and hollow trees. In urban settings, it is a common inhabitant of sewers, storm drainage systems, prisons, factories, hospitals, and hotels. The American cockroach is omnivorous and an opportunistic feeder. It consumes decaying organic matter but is a scavenger and will eat almost anything. It prefers sweets but has also been observed eating paper, pet food, soap, hair, fruit, book bindings, cardboard boxes, cloth, and dead insects. American cockroaches prefer warm, damp environments and can often be found outdoors around drains, garbage bins, trees, and woodpiles. When these roaches venture inside homes in search of food, they often live in damp areas such as basements, garages, kitchens, and bathrooms.

American Cockroach Behavior & Dangers

Although these roaches are capable of biting, it is very rare of them to do so. These cockroaches are considered dangerous pests because they breed and feed in unsanitary areas close to humans, such as garbage storage, sewage systems, and septic tanks. American cockroaches have a characteristic odor when present and can contaminate human foods and surfaces with their feces and body parts. Foraging cockroaches can also be vectors of disease, depositing germs or bacteria in areas they inhabit and causing asthma attacks in some people sensitive to cockroach allergens.

If you suspect an American cockroach infestation, contact a professional cockroach exterminator.