The American cockroach is about 1 3/8 – 2 1/8 inches in length and reddish-brown in color. The area behind the head has a yellowish band around the edge. These cockroaches have a somewhat flattened oval shape, spiny legs, and filamentous antennae that are uniformly brown and as long as or longer than the body. They are among the largest of the cockroach pests.
These roaches are very aggressive and strong fliers. They prefer warm, damp areas and are likely to be seen in bakeries, restaurants, basements and outdoors.
These scavengers will eat almost anything, although they prefer fermenting foods. They are commonly found in food preparation areas.
Life Cycle & Reproduction
A female American cockroach produces 6 to 14 egg cases during her lifetime. She carries her egg case for a few hours or days after it is formed, then drops or glues it in a sheltered site, often a crack or crevice, near a food source. The eggs hatch within 38 to 49 days.
Development time (egg to adult) of the American cockroach is greatly influenced by temperature and averages about 15 months. Under ideal conditions an adult female can live up to 15 months, males for a somewhat shorter period.
Cockroaches have been reported to spread at least 33 kinds of bacteria, six kinds of parasitic worms, and at least seven other kinds of human pathogens. They can pick up germs on the spines of their legs and bodies as they crawl through decaying matter or sewage and then carry these into food or onto food surfaces. Recent medical studies have shown that cockroach allergens cause lots of allergic reactions in inner city children. They were even shown to cause asthma in children.