American Cockroach

The american cockroach, Periplaneta americana....
The american cockroach, Periplaneta americana. Photo by Gary Alpert. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The American cockroach, also known as the Palmetto bug or Waterbug, will grow to an average length of 1.6 inches and is approximately 0.28 of an inch tall. They appear reddish-brown, and have a yellowish margin on the body region located behind the head. Introduced to the United States from Africa, as early as 1625, they are now common in most tropical climates. Human activity and global shipping, has extended this insect’s range of habitation to the Unites States and most world ports.


This pest can travel quickly, often scurrying out of sight when anyone enters the room. In fact, an American cockroach experiment carried out at the University of California, Berkeley (1991), registered a record speed of 3.4 mph (5.4 kph).

Due to their large size and slow development, local pest control advises that large infestations of these insects are not common within houses. However, during certain times of the year, the American cockroach may enter a home seeking warmer temperatures and food. The American cockroach is a scavenger that feeds on decaying organic matter and is particularly fond of fermenting foods. They are most common in basements, crawl spaces, cracks/crevices of porches, foundations and walkways.


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