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The American Cockroach | Arizona Pest Control

Dealing With The American Cockroach

Almost every household in America has experienced a roach infestation. The American cockroach may be the biggest house-infesting species of roach in the US and it is considered a major pest. The American cockroach is also known as the water bug, the Bombay canary, or the palmetto bug. Funnily enough, the American cockroach is not native to North America. Instead, it was first introduced via ship lines from Africa in the early 1600s.

Tucson Cockroach
cockroach crawling around faucet.

What does an American cockroach look like?

Not sure what these cockroaches look like? Well, an adult American cockroach is on average between 1.4” to 1.6” (35-41mm) in length, and it has a reddish-brown coloration with a yellow band that outlines the area behind their head. The males and females have wings and can fly short distances.

Should you be afraid of them? Do they bite?

You don’t have to be scared of cockroaches. Although they do have the ability to bite, they rarely do. If one does bite you however, you would only have an issue if the wound got infected.

How to identify these cockroaches in your home

How do you know when your home is infested? Well, first, you will see the fast-moving insects themselves, usually fleeing to dark areas. Second, the American cockroach usually leaves behind droppings in darker areas in which they hide. These droppings are blunt on the ends and have ridges on the sides. It’s easy to misjudge these droppings, and mistake them for mouse droppings, so it’s important to contact a licensed pest control professional whenever you see droppings in the home.

Another sign of infestation that you can look out for is the presence of egg capsules. American cockroach egg capsules are about 8 mm long and dark-colored. Egg capsules can sometimes be glued to a surface near a food source. They can also be found in basements, laundry rooms, kitchens, and behind appliances or underneath cabinets.

How to get rid of the American Cockroach

Cockroaches are one of the hardest pests to kill in the world. These creatures exhibit unique survival tactics, including the ability to live for a week without their head. The fact that they are so hard to kill, makes getting rid of them a difficult task. There are steps you can take to mitigate your American cockroach problems by pest-proofing your home and keeping it as clean as possible. Pest-proofing involves preventing cockroaches from entering your home through small cracks in walls, gaps near electric sockets and switch plates, and up through drains. You can use a silicone-based caulk to seal the openings.

A clean and sanitary home will be less inviting to American cockroaches. Make sure to keep counters, sinks, tables, and floors free of clutter and crumbs. Don’t leave dishes in the sink or spills on the counter. Other ways to prevent American cockroach pests include vacuuming at least once a week, ventilating crawl spaces to prevent moisture buildup, and running water periodically in spare bathrooms to keep u-traps filled.

If you suspect your home might be infested with cockroaches, contact a licensed pest control professional for advice or to set up an appointment.