American Cockroach Facts And How To Control Them

August 18, 2021

Your house could be home to all manner of critters, including cockroaches. When it comes to cockroaches, differentiating them can be challenging, given the many different species of roaches. But there is one type of cockroach that is commonly found in most homes – the American cockroach. American roaches are the largest common cockroach species. Anyway, this should not be something to worry about at all. They are manageable regardless of their huge size.

What American Roaches Look Like

An adult American roach is around 1.5 inches long, with the biggest roach growing up to 2 inches. It is reddish-brown and features a yellow band behind its head. Like all other cockroaches, it has six legs, a pair of antennae and an oval body shape. Additionally, it has wings that enable it to fly short distances.


Females lay eggs with capsule-shaped protective cases and deposit them in warm, hidden areas. On average, a single egg capsule contains about sixteen eggs. After the eggs hatch, small nymphs come out of the capsule. Cockroach nymphs go through a series of moults and emerge as adults from their last moult. American cockroaches can go from hatching to adulthood in less than six months with ample food.

Behaviours That Help You Notice An American Cockroach Infestation

American cockroaches develop wings when they are adults. The wings enable them to fly away when they are threatened. They mainly inhabit outdoor spaces. You will readily find them under mulch or around flowerbeds. Some people refer to them as palmetto bugs since they like living on fan palms too. Another place they love hanging around is inside sewer systems.

Although American roaches are primarily outdoor creatures, they invade houses in search of food and water. They gain entry through garages, weather stripping and basement windows. Once they are inside, they proceed to the kitchen, basement, bathroom or laundry room. Then, they make themselves at home in appliances, drains and cabinets. Hungry, they will feed on anything they find, including crumbs, spilled food, dead insects, glue and wood.

Main Signs Of American Cockroach Infestation

  1. A Large Roach

Seeing a giant reddish-brown cockroach with a yellow stripe is an outright sign American cockroach have infested your home. However, they usually run fast and hide in dark areas, making it challenging to spot them often. If startled, they can also take flight.

  1. Droppings

American cockroaches usually defecate in dark parts of the house, where they mostly hide. The feces are small, cylindrical, black or brown, and have blunt ends with ridges on the sides. Look for droppings around your house to confirm an infestation.

  1. Egg Cases

The egg capsules of cockroaches average 38 mm in length. They are blackish or reddish-brown and commonly found in laundry rooms, bathrooms, kitchens, basements, inside cabinets and behind appliances.

  1. Odour

Cockroaches secret a chemical known as aggregation pheromone. The chemical releases a distinct smell that binds roaches together in groups. On noticing a musty smell, know that your house is already infested.

What Kinds Of Diseases Do Roaches Carry?

When American cockroaches infest your home, the health of your family is under threat. These bugs carry germs that they transfer onto food leading to food-related illnesses, including diarrhea, cholera, dysentery and typhoid. Besides contaminating food, they can cause leprosy, fever, poliomyelitis, asthma and allergic reactions.

Other American Cockroach Facts

Here are more facts about American cockroach you should know to help deal with them effectively:

  • They are quick runners with the ability to move as fast as fifty body lengths per second.
  • Their population can grow at an alarming rate, with the possibility of going as high as five thousand cockroaches in one sewer hole.
  • They are the largest roach species growing up to 2 inches long or more.
  • American cockroaches can moult thirteen times before metamorphosis.
  • They have the longest lifespan among all cockroach species living up to seven hundred days.
  • The scientific name of cockroach is Periplaneta Americana.
  • An American roach can hold its breath for up to forty minutes.
  • They are older than dinosaurs, with their origin traced back to almost 359 million years ago.

How To Eliminate American Roaches In Your Home

  1. Insecticide Sprays

When spraying, focus on entry points and hiding spots. Make use of recommended insecticides such as D-Fense SC, Cyper WSP, Demon WP and Cyzmic CS. Spray both inside and outside. Outdoors, target dryer vents, pipe openings, doors and windows. Indoors, spray corners and dark spots, basically where they usually hide. Alternatively, use insecticide granules, applying them around the base of your house.

  1. American Cockroach Infestation Bait

Baits are super effective in keeping American cockroaches in check. Use efficient baits like InTice 10 Perimeter Bait or InVict Xpress Granular Bait for outstanding results. Place the baits in attics, crawl spaces and other areas cockroaches frequent.

  1. Diatomaceous Earth

American cockroach usually die shortly after coming into contact with this highly effective powder. Apply the powder anywhere you notice the presence of these insects. The powder works by dehydrating roaches to death. Though the powder is safe for both people and pets, follow the usage guidelines for safer and better application.

  1. Baking Soda And Sugar

DIY cockroach management is made possible with this powerful solution. Mix baking soda with a pinch of sugar and place the mixture where cockroaches pass or enter through. Cockroaches get attracted to the sugar, and when they ingest the baking soda, they die instantly.

Call An American Roaches Control Company

Managing American cockroaches can be a harrowing ordeal, especially with massive infestation. Probably you have tried all you can to keep them away, but they keep coming back. If this is the case, hire a professional pest control company right away. With expert skills and tools, eliminating American roaches is easy as can be. A good roach control company will first assess your home to determine the extent of the infestation before proceeding with the extermination. Working with professionals is highly recommended to avoid recurring infestations.

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