Latin Name: Periplaneta americana
What Are American Cockroaches?
American cockroaches are reddish-brown or mahogany in color and can be identified by the light yellow boarded near behind their heads. By adulthood, they can grow up to 3 inches in length. Both male and female adults have wings and can fly. This species is also commonly referred to as the water bug or palmetto bug, due to their fondness for hanging out in palm trees near the coast. This stems from the cockroach’s native roots in the tropical climates of Africa. If cockroaches feel threatened, they might fly in your direction. While certainly an unsettling experience, keep in mind that they are not trying to attack you, but instead are trying to flee to safety as quickly as possible.
The American Cockroach Life Cycle
Female American cockroaches create capsule-shaped, protective cases for their eggs, called an ootheca, which can hold approximately 16 eggs. The eggs are dark in color, typically ranging from a reddish-hued to blackish brown. Once the capsule is formed, the female will place it in a warm, humid environment. Oftentimes, if you have an American cockroach infestation in your home, you can find the protective egg casings in areas with excessive moisture such as basements, sheds, and garages, or those with a healthy food supply like the kitchen near cabinets and appliances. As they grow, nymphs will shed their skins. The average roach spends about 5 to 12 months in development before becoming a mature adult.
Where Are American Cockroaches Found?
American cockroaches, which can be found across the US, are better known as Palmetto bugs in the South. These adaptive pests can make their home just about anywhere. Outside, they prefer to live in shady areas, such as underneath trees and in flower beds. However, cockroaches will take shelter indoors when resources are limited outside. They typically enter the home through cracks and crevices in search of food or more comfortable living conditions. In residential and commercial buildings, American cockroaches typically settle in dark places with a high moisture content such as boiler rooms, basements, drains, sewers, pantries, and cabinetry. American cockroaches will feed on anything in your home, but especially enjoy garbage and other bacteria-filled organic matter. Due to their tendencies to dumpster dive, cockroaches are known carriers of diseases and can pose a health risk.
How Do I Get Rid of an American Cockroach Infestation?
While these pests are extremely common, an American cockroach infestation can be detrimental to your health, especially for those who are immunocompromised with asthma, allergies, and more. To avoid cockroaches entering your home, seal up cracks in your homes where they might try to hide. Unfortunately, once they make their way inside, cockroaches can be difficult to eliminate on your own.
For more information or to request a free pest inspection, contact Palmetto Exterminators today for the best pest control plan for you!