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American Cockroach

Periplaneta americana

Actual Size: 4 cm (1.6 in)

Characteristics: Reddish-brown, oval-shaped insects. They have flat bodies, and can move very quickly. Unlike other species of cockroach, the American cockroach has wings that enable flight.


  • The American cockroach is mostly nocturnal, and scatter when a threat or light is presented suddenly.
  • They are some of the fastest running insects.
  • The American cockroach is the largest species of cockroach.
  • They are omnivorous, opportunistic feeders.
  • Despite their large size, American cockroaches’ flat bodies allow them to fit into small cracks and crevices.




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Pest Description

American Cockroach Behavior

Because of their omnivorous and opportunistic feeding habits, American cockroaches will be found in large numbers in restaurants, multifamily housing structures, residential homes, and hospitals. They will feed on all types of food, and also paper products, glue, dandruff, and other non-food items. The American cockroach is the largest species, but its’ flat body characteristics enable it to hide in small cracks and crevices. Nocturnal and extremely aware of perceived threats, the American cockroach exhibits scattering behavior when approached, especially with light. This insect frequents porches, basements, attic, crawl-spaces, and other protected, seldom-used areas.

Problems Caused by American Cockroaches

The American cockroach can be a significant health concern, as well as a difficult nuisance. Cockroaches can contaminate food products with their bodies or their waste products, and they have been known to carry Salmonella on their legs, depositing it on food items they run over. Cockroaches may also leave a disturbing odor in areas where infestation has taken place, or leave a similar odor in contaminated food. There are some people who have asthma reactions when in contact with cockroaches or places they have infested.

Preventing American Cockroach Infestations

Proper sanitation and cleanliness are the two most important ways to prevent cockroaches; the American cockroach gravitates toward areas that are poorly cleaned, as there is a wide variety of food available. If there is adequate food, water, and shelter, the cockroach will find a way to inhabit the space. It is nearly impossible to exterminate cockroaches in poorly cleaned spaces. Sealing small gaps underneath doors, around windows, and interior molding will help keep cockroaches out as well.

Eliminating and Controlling American Cockroaches

Cockroaches can become a problem indoors very quickly. In multifamily housing situations, or any commercial space where there are shared walls, there may be another area contributing to the cockroach infestation outside of direct control. It’s always best to call a professional when cockroaches are sighted. A thorough inspection of the premises can determine the best course of action. There are a number of treatments available for roach control, but a professional expert can advise on the best ways to employ those methods. Ongoing prevention may also be necessary for a permanent resolution, and a pest control professional can provide continual assistance to eliminate and control American cockroaches. At Pest Control Inc, we use a variety of different treatment techniques, including surveillance, baiting, and exclusion solutions.


Call us at (702) 385-1269


or click the button, and we’ll call you back in minutes!