Despite the name, the American Cockroach is actually not native to the Americas. Originating in Africa and the Middle East, these pests have expanded their living range as human trade has expanded. These are the largest of the cockroaches found in America, reaching up to 1 ½ inches in length and a quarter of an inch tall. They are oval in shape and reddish brown in coloration, and have an area of yellow coloring behind their head. Adults of the species have flight-ready wings, something the immature cockroaches lack.

These insects prefer damp, dark areas, and warmer weather. As such, they can often be found in damp basements, crawl spaces, and building foundations. Despite their rather large size, they can actually fit into very small cracks and crevices. They will hide in these cracks and crevices quickly if they feel threatened. They will feed on almost anything, with favorites including cheese, book bindings, beer, and glue.

American Cockroach Life Cycle

Female cockroaches lay egg cases, which are usually placed in a safe and secure location. These egg cases are purse-shaped, long, and brown. Once placed, the eggs hatch after one to two months, and require anywhere from 6 months to a full year to reach maturity. These immature cockroaches can molt up to 14 times before reaching full adulthood. Upon reaching adulthood, American cockroaches can live up to a year. This this year, females can produce up to 150 offspring.

American cockroaches can be a serious pest. Not only are they sometimes hard to control, but they can cause disease as well. Due to their fondness of sewer pipes, these bugs can actually be carriers of salmonella. They can contaminate food and utensils with this disease, which can cause sickness and food poisoning in humans. Cleaning and sealing of potential entryways can be effective in deterring cockroaches, but professional pest control help is advised.

Did You Know?
American cockroaches are actually considered one of the fastest running insects!