Pest Away Tips

6 Key Facts About American Cockroaches and How to Control Them

Cockroaches have always been one of the most hated and feared pests around the world. They are not only disgusting to look at but can also pose serious threats to our health.

Among the many species of cockroaches, the American cockroach is one of the most common and widespread. In this article, we will discuss the identification, habitat, and behavior of this notorious insect.

American Cockroach Identification

The American cockroach is reddish-brown in color, oval-shaped, and measures up to 1.5 inches in length. They have light-colored markings that resemble a figure-eight pattern on the back of their heads.

They have six legs, two antennae, and wings in adult cockroaches. While the wings cover their entire body, they do not fly, but instead, glide for short distances.

Their size and features make them easily distinguishable from other cockroach species.

Habitat and Behavior of American Cockroach

The American cockroach prefers warm and moist environments with abundant food and water sources. They are commonly found in sewers, basements, and other damp areas where they can thrive.

They have the ability to survive in extreme temperatures and can infest homes and businesses all year round. American cockroaches are social insects that live in large groups.

They have multiple generations living together, and their population can grow quickly without proper pest control measures. Cockroaches communicate through pheromones, which they use to attract other roaches and establish territories.

They also have the ability to regrow their limbs if they are damaged, making them even more resilient pests. Although American cockroaches do not bite humans, they can cause problems for humans in other ways.

For example, their droppings can trigger allergies and exacerbate asthma symptoms, and they can also contaminate food and surfaces with bacteria they pick up from their surroundings.

Prevention and Control

The best way to prevent American cockroaches from infesting your home or business is to eliminate their food and water sources. Make sure to keep surfaces clean and dry, seal up gaps and cracks in your walls, and remove any clutter or debris that can serve as hiding places for cockroaches.

If you do find yourself dealing with an American cockroach infestation, it is crucial to call in a professional pest control company to address the issue. They have the knowledge and tools necessary to safely and effectively remove the pests from your home or business.


In summary, the American cockroach is a reddish-brown species of cockroach measuring up to 1.5 inches in length. They prefer warm and moist environments with abundant food and water sources and often inhabit sewers, basements, and other damp areas.

They are social insects that live in large groups and do not bite humans but can trigger allergies and contaminate food and surfaces. Prevention is key to keeping these pests at bay, but professional pest control is necessary if an infestation occurs.

By understanding the habits and traits of the American cockroach, we can take the necessary steps to control and prevent its invasion.

3) Potential Risks and Dangers

Cockroaches are known to carry a variety of allergens that can trigger asthma and cause allergic reactions in humans. The allergenic substances found in cockroaches can cause symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, congestion, and rashes.

People who are most at risk are those who suffer from asthma, children, and the elderly. In addition to causing respiratory problems, cockroaches living in unsanitary environments can transmit bacteria and viruses to humans.

Bacteria such as Salmonella, Listeria, and E. Coli can cause food poisoning, while viruses such as polio and hepatitis A can cause more serious diseases.

Cockroaches can also contaminate surfaces and food with their feces and shed skins, increasing the risk of infection. To reduce the potential risks and dangers associated with cockroach infestations, proper sanitation practices must be observed.

This includes cleaning regularly and keeping food in sealed containers, using insecticides, and keeping areas dry to remove the moisture that cockroaches need to survive.

4) Breeding and Life Cycle

American cockroaches are attracted to one another by pheromones and reproduce through sexual reproduction. The female produces oothecas (egg cases) which contain 14-16 eggs.

These oothecas are then deposited in the appropriate environment to hatch and continue their life cycle. The lifespan of an American cockroach ranges between 90 to 706 days for females and 90 to 362 days for males.

The life cycle of an American cockroach can be broken down into three stages: the egg stage, the nymph stage, and the adult stage. The egg stage of an American cockroach can last up to 35 weeks, depending on conditions such as temperature and humidity.

Once the eggs hatch, the nymphs emerge and go through several molting stages before developing into adult cockroaches. The nymph stage can last for an average of 600 days.

During the final stage, the adult stage, the cockroach continues to mature and reproduce. An average adult American cockroach can live up to 400 days.

Due to their rapid breeding rate and lengthy lifespan, American cockroach populations can grow exponentially without proper pest control measures, making it difficult to get rid of them once they have established a presence in a particular area.


The American cockroach is a notorious pest that can cause a range of problems for humans. Their distinctive reddish-brown color and oval-shaped body make them easily identifiable, and their preference for warm and moist environments with abundant food and water sources makes them a common inhabitant of sewers and basements.

They are social insects that can live in large groups, with multiple generations living together. American cockroaches do not pose an immediate threat to humans, but their presence can lead to respiratory problems, allergies, and the transmission of dangerous pathogens.

It is crucial to eliminate their food and water sources and keep areas clean and dry to prevent them from infesting an area. If an infestation does occur, it is advisable to seek professional pest control to deal with the problem.

5) Diet and Droppings

American cockroaches are omnivores and eat a wide variety of food. They are attracted to sweets, bread, fruit, cheese, beer, book bindings, glue, and even hair.

They can also feed on decaying organic matter and garbage. These feeding habits make them highly adaptable and capable of surviving in various environments.

As cockroaches consume food, they excrete waste in the form of droppings. Cockroach droppings have a coffee ground-like appearance and are dark in color.

Unlike other insect droppings, cockroach droppings have more ridges on the surface and a slightly square shape. These droppings can contaminate food and surfaces, leading to potential health problems.

To identify a cockroach infestation, look for signs of droppings around food storage areas or in corners of rooms. It is essential to clean up droppings promptly to prevent them from spreading bacteria and causing illness.

6) Control and Prevention

Exclusion and Sanitization

The best way to prevent cockroach infestations is by excluding them and keeping areas clean and dry. This can be done by sealing up gaps and cracks in walls and windows, inspecting incoming materials, and regularly cleaning and storing food properly.

Eliminating moisture by fixing leaks and ventilating rooms can also help reduce the cockroach population.

Trapping and Baiting

Cockroach traps and sticky traps can help control cockroach populations by trapping adult cockroaches and preventing them from reproducing. Some traps use insect growth regulators to prevent young cockroaches from developing into adults.

Baiting with insecticides can also be effective in eliminating cockroaches. However, it is crucial to use baits and insecticides carefully, as overuse or misuse can be harmful to humans and pets.

Professional Help

If you have a severe infestation, it is advisable to call in a cockroach control and prevention expert. They will develop a targeted plan based on a thorough on-site inspection.

They will also take steps to prevent the infestation from spreading to other areas, such as using barrier methods, monitoring activities, and treating the perimeter of the building.


Controlling and preventing cockroach infestations can be challenging, but with proper sanitation practices and pest control methods, it is possible to keep these pests under control. By implementing exclusion techniques, trapping, and baiting, the cockroach population can be reduced, and a targeted approach by pest control experts can help identify and address underlying issues.

A comprehensive prevention and control plan should be developed to ensure long-term success in preventing cockroach infestations. In conclusion, cockroaches are notorious pests that can pose serious health risks to humans.

The American cockroach, with its distinctive reddish-brown color and oval-shaped body, is one of the most common species. These pests prefer warm and moist environments with abundant food and water sources and reproduce rapidly, leading to infestations if proper pest control measures are not taken.

Their diet and droppings can contaminate food and surfaces and cause health problems, making it crucial to implement prevention and control methods such as exclusion, sanitization, trapping, baiting, and calling in professional help. By understanding the habits and traits of cockroaches, we can take the necessary actions to prevent and control their infestations, and thus, protect our health and well-being.

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