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What are American Cockroaches?

Many bugs like to make themselves at home inside of your house including cockroaches. One species known to sneak indoors is the American cockroach. Also commonly called the “palmetto bug”. To fight a pest infestation, you have to be able to identify the pest you’re up against. Check out how to identify and eliminate an American cockroach infestation. 

Appearance

American cockroach

The American cockroach—Periplaneta americana—has a flat, oval, shiny body. They are reddish-brown and have a yellow marking behind their head. American cockroach nymphs are similar in color, but their yellow markings are on their abdomen. The American cockroach is one of the largest species of cockroaches you could encounter. They can exceed two inches in length. Female and male American cockroaches grow to be the same size. Like other cockroaches, they have six legs and antennae. Their antennae are used to detect movement in the air and to smell. Adult American cockroaches have wings that allow them to fly short distances.

Habits

Cockroach in dark

American cockroaches typically live outdoors in warm and damp areas. They are often seen in mulch and near piles of wood. However, they will travel inside in search of food and water. If they find what they are looking for, they are likely to stay. They prefer areas that are dark. They will hide in basements, kitchens, and bathrooms. They also like to live in sewers. These cockroaches are most active in the summer on warm days with temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees. These cockroaches enjoy eating leaves, fungi, small insects, and crumbs you leave behind in your home. Though these cockroaches have wings, they are more likely to run and can travel quickly. American cockroaches are found throughout the world.

Threats

Cockroach in cup

Cockroaches can be difficult to control because they are resilient. They are known to live for a week without their head. American cockroaches multiply quickly which can lead to a serious infestation. Female American cockroaches lay egg capsules containing 15 eggs. Throughout their life, they will be able to lay capsules 6-14 times. Their habit of crawling in sewage can cause problems. The material and germs they crawl through latches onto their legs. When they walk on your food or areas where food is prepared, they contaminate them. American cockroaches are also known to stir up allergies. While American cockroaches can bite, it doesn’t happen often. Their bites are only dangerous if they become infected.

Warning Signs

Cockroach on cabinet

Though bugs try to be sneaky when they invade, they often leave behind signs of their presence. American cockroach sightings are the main indication of an infestation. These cockroaches are typically seen as they dart toward dark hiding spots. They also leave behind small, dark droppings in the areas where they hide. These have blunt ends and ridges on the side. Egg capsules can alert you to an infestation as well. These are dark in color and about 8mm in length. Cockroaches can produce a musty smell when they are grouped together. They release pheromones alerting other cockroaches to their location. It’s possible that you will detect this odor.

Prevention

Cardboard boxes in room

Taking a few precautionary measures can help you avoid an American cockroach infestation. These cockroaches look for places where they can hide. Removing clutter from your home, including cardboard and paper, can reduce the number of hiding spots. These cockroaches often slip into your home through small cracks and under doors. Make sure the weather stripping isn’t damaged and seal any cracks. You’ll want to eliminate crumbs and wipe up any spills to limit their access to food. It’s a good idea to keep food stored in tight containers to avoid contamination. Check your home for any leaky pipes or areas where moisture builds since these cockroaches like damp environments.

Treatment

Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective Ant & Roach KillerMaggie’s Farm Simply Effective Roach Killer Gel Bait

When American cockroaches move into your home, it’s important to quickly take control of the situation. A spray, like Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective Ant & Roach Killer, is great for the cockroaches you see scurrying around. Not only will it kill on contact, but it will also provide you with residual repellency. Wherever there is one cockroach, chances are there are more in hiding. Eliminating the colony is important in ensuring your home will be free of cockroaches. Baits, like Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective Roach Killer Gel Bait, are great for reaching the cockroaches you can’t see. Cockroaches consume the bait and then return to the nest. When other cockroaches eat the contaminated cockroaches or their droppings, they will also consume the bait. This will help to eliminate the entire colony.

No one wants to deal with an American cockroach infestation, but thankfully, there are a few things you can do to help prevent an infestation. Sometimes cockroaches will still decide that your home is too nice to ignore. When this happens, we want to help! Check out our Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective Pest Control products.


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