American Cockroach

The American cockroach (Periplaneta americana), also known as the waterbug, or misidentified as the palmetto bug (see Florida woods cockroach for the differences), is the largest species of common cockroach, and often considered a pest.

Characteristics

American cockroach adults grow to an average length of around 4 cm (1.6 in) and about 7 mm (0.28 in) tall. They are reddish brown and have a yellowish margin on the body region behind the head. Immature cockroaches resemble adults except they are wingless.

Life Cycle

American cockroaches have three developmental stages: egg, nymph, and adult. Females produce an egg case (ootheca) which protrudes from the tip of the abdomen. After about two days, the egg cases are placed on a surface in a safe location. Egg cases are about 0.9 centimetres (0.35 in) long, brown, and purse-shaped. Immature cockroaches emerge from egg cases in 6 to 8 weeks and require 6 to 12 months to mature. Adult cockroaches can live up to an additional year during which females produce an average of 150 young.

Risk to Humans

The odorous secretions produced by American cockroaches can alter the flavor of food. Also, if populations of cockroaches are high, there will be a strong concentration of this odorous secretion. Cockroaches can pick up disease-causing bacteria, such as Salmonella, on their legs and later deposit them on foods and cause food infections or poisoning. House dust containing cockroach feces and body parts can trigger allergic reactions and asthma in certain individuals.

How to get rid of them?

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