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American Cockroaches
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American Cockroach Identification & Prevention

Large, reddish-brown cockroach 1 1/2 inches long. Found in basements, steam tunnels, sewer systems, and boiler rooms.



American cockroaches originated in central Africa and have since spread worldwide via man-made vessels such as ships, automobiles, and airplanes. These cockroaches inhabit sewer systems, boiler rooms, steam tunnels, basements, and even attics in flat top roofs. Anytime a pest professional hears the phrase "those roaches were big enough to ride," they immediately know which cockroach species is present.

Biology And Behavior

  • These cockroaches are large and reddish-brown, ranging from 1 3/8 to 2 1/8 of an inch long.
  • They can travel long distances to food or harborage (living) sources (>300ft).
  • Females glue egg capsules to surfaces; egg capsules contain 14-16 eggs per capsule.
  • Females produce 250 to 300 offspring in a lifetime.
  • They live long, typically longer than one year.
  • They feed on most foods but prefer fermenting foods, including beer.
  • American cockroaches occasionally migrate en masse from sewers, landfills, and other harborage areas.
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American Cockroach Prevention Tips

  • Remove food and moisture sources (i.e., roof leaks, food spills).
  • Keep floor drains filled with water or cover drain openings with a fine mesh screen.
  • Seal cracks greater than 1/4 inch in floors, walls, and ceilings with a sealant.
  • Fill window and door frame gaps and utility openings with a sealant.
  • Keep shrubs, vines, and tree limbs trimmed away from the structure.
  • Mulch should be less than 3 inches deep; gravel perimeters are best around a structure.
  • Remove garbage daily and store containers outside with tight-fitting lids.
  • Remove leaf litter and yard wastes from around a foundation.
  • Don't stack lumber, firewood, bricks, or other debris next to a foundation.

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Helpful Articles About American Cockroaches