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How to Tell if You Have an American Cockroach Infestation

How to Tell if You Have an American Cockroach Infestation

Perhaps this isn’t something that you’d like to think about often, but did you know that there are more than4,500 species of cockroaches? Out of that large number, only 30 species make their homes alongside (or in) ours, and even fewer are found in the Carolinas. One of the most common types of cockroaches in our region is the American cockroach, or the affectionately-named Palmetto Bug.

What an American Cockroach Looks Like

Not to be mistaken for the German cockroach, mature American cockroaches can be up to 3 inches long, they have wings, and are reddish-brown in color. Adults also have a yellowish color behind their head segment. Unlike the adults, adolescent cockroaches do not have wings and are gray-brown in coloring. Regardless of age, these cockroaches are divided into three sections: a well-protected head, an oval-shaped trunk, and a smaller-sized abdomen.

How to Tell You Have American Cockroaches

American cockroachAside from actually spotting them scurrying about or gliding across surfaces in your home, there are some other easy ways to tell that you have Palmetto bugs keeping you company. You may find their droppings, stumble upon their egg capsules, or notice a musty odor.

Cockroach Droppings

Cockroach droppings can be found in places where cockroaches like to hide, such as in basements, pantries, and under appliances. Their droppings are often confused with those of mice, but there are a couple of quick and simple ways of telling the difference: the droppings of cockroaches are blunt on both ends, while those of mice are pointed; and mouse droppings often have fur in them, which is not something you will find with cockroaches.

Cockroach Egg Capsules

Egg capsules are very dark in color, and they can be either reddish or blackish brown. The capsules themselves are larger than the nymph will be when it hatches. Like their droppings, eggs will be found in dark, protected areas, such as basements, cabinets, and laundry rooms. Other typical places include garages and sheds.

Cockroach Odor

Similar to other insects, cockroaches secrete a chemical that alerts other cockroaches of their presence and helps keep them together. Given enough time and cockroaches, you may begin to smell a musty odor.


Chances are, you don’t want to live harmoniously with these American roaches. We don’t blame you. Whether you have commercial or residential concerns, Palmetto Exterminators has an American roach control program to fit your needs. Contact your local exterminators today to learn more!