American Cockroaches

(Periplaneta americana)

American Cockroach:

Appearance |  Diet |  Biology & Habits
American Cockroach Control

American Roach Adults, egg capsule and nymphs American Cockroaches are also known as a "water bug" or "palmetto bug".





American Cockroach Appearance

The American roach is reddish-brown,about 1.5 inches long or longer, winged, but seldom fly.The male wings are longer than the female wings. Young nymphs are gray-brown in color. As the American cockroaches mature they become more reddish-brown in appearance. They have well developed wings, but don't fly much unless temperatures are above 85 degrees, then they are known as "flying waterbugs".

American Cockroach Diet

American Cockroaches prefer decaying organic matter, but being scavengers will eat anything. Sweets are attractive to the American roach. They also will feed on starchy items like book bindings, and the back of wall paper.

Habits and Biology of American Cockroaches


Females produce many egg capsules, having 14-16 eggs hatching in 50-55 days into grayish-brown "nymphs". Female American Roaches prefer to deposit their eggs in protected and damp areas. Nymphs will molt 9 to 13 times before reaching maturity. The nymphs are 1/4-inch long. The nymphs are gray-brown when they come out of the egg capsule.



The comfortable temperature for an American roach is about 84 degrees Fahrenheit.

As temperatures outside get cool, you may find the American roaches moving indoors. They come in thru entry points like, air ducks, around utility pipes, small cracks and crevices, sewer connections and under doors. They can be found near bathtubs, clothes hampers and plumbing.

Flying roaches

They are excellent fliers, and will fly at high temperatures. They can move from building to building.


Adults and nymphs can be found in a variety of places. In the North,they are commonly found in steam heat tunnels or in large institutional buildings. They are commonly found around accesses to sewers, near garbage, and ner sump pumps.

Nymphs may be found in dark basements, crawl spaces, floor drains. In basements, they may be found in corners areas high on the walls or in floor drains.

They more commonly congregate in open spaces instead of small crack and crevices.

The American roach also prefers damp locations and access to water.When indoors,they can be located in dark, moist areas like basements and crawl spaces. Other likely areas indoors would be around bathtubs, floor drains,and sewers.

Outside the American roach can be found in moist, shady areas like:yards, hollow trees, woodpiles,and mulch. At times they can be found under roof shingles or attics. Usually they will live outside, but will wander inside in search for food and water or during extremes in weather conditions.