The American Cockroach is the largest of the home infesting cockroach – at between 52-55mm long, it is a large insect. The adults (both male and female) are reddish-brown and have light marketing on the thorax with a light yellow border on the pronotum.
The male and female are fairly identical in size, colour and shape with the female having a slightly broader abdomen. Both the male and female have fully developed wings for short flight with the male wings extending around 5mm over the end of the abdomen, the female wing the same length as the abdomen (if not slightly longer).
The female will usually glue egg casings to surfaces or drop them usually close to a water and food source. Each egg casing contains up to 16 eggs with approximately 10-50 egg casing laid per year per female. Once the eggs hatch and the nymphs emerge they will undergo between 7 and 10 moults taking between 170-365 days to develop into adults. An adult will live for around 1 year depending on conditions.
The American Cockroach just loves to live in and around human habitation. They prefer warm, moist, dark conditions but it can live in colder climates and lives indoors whereas in warmer climates they tend to live outdoors. Being a large cockroach, they aren’t found in the cracks and crevices of the smaller German Cockroach, however, they will inhabit areas such as roof, subfloor and wall voids, in drains, sewers, grease traps, septics, greywater systems and in and around hot water systems. The American Cockroach is readily transported in ships, in trucks in packaging, the females cleverly glueing the egg casings to boxes and packaging.
The American Cockroach will eat just about anything that humans or animals will eat. Preferring decaying organic material they will eat a variety of different food even known to consume book bindings and clothes – at night you may find the American Cockroach eating your dogs left over food right from the bowl!