American Cockroach

Actual Size: 2.1”

Characteristics: Brown to reddish-brown; winged.

Legs: 6

Wings: Yes, adults have wings and can fly.

Antennae: Yes

Habitat: Mainly lives outside or in sewers and drains in colder areas. In warmer climates, they may be found in shady yards and gardens.


  • Both males and females can fly.
  • The largest species of house-infesting cockroaches.
  • Will consume alcoholic beverages, particularly beer.


American Cockroaches in your area

Also known as water or palmetto bugs, American cockroaches are one of the most common pests throughout the United States. They are the largest species of house-infesting cockroaches, and both sexes are capable of flight. Though its name implies otherwise, American cockroaches are actually thought to have been transported from Africa via ships. However, these pests have spread throughout North America and are second only to the German cockroach in abundance, making them a huge health concern for homeowners and businesses.

American Cockroach Habitat

American cockroaches are drawn to dark and damp spaces. Outdoors, they are often found in bat caves, hollow trees, or organic matter. In urban settings, however, they are commonly spotted in sewers, storm drainage systems, hospitals, and hotels. American cockroaches are opportunistic feeders, which means they will consume a wide variety of food depending on what is available. They are omnivores and will eat items like paper, soap, hair, pet food, fruit, and dead insects. American cockroaches are particularly attracted to trash left out in the open, so it is important to properly dispose of garbage to avoid these pests.

American Cockroach Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Though American cockroaches rarely bite, they are still considered dangerous to human health. These cockroaches can carry a plethora of bacteria, largely because they feed and breed in unsanitary areas such as garbages, sewers, and septic tanks. If they are infesting your home, they can spread dangerous diseases and contaminate your food with feces and discarded body parts. Some people are also very allergic to American cockroaches, and may experience asthma attacks as a result of an infestation. If you suspect there is an American cockroach infestation on or near your property, it is recommended to contact a professional cockroach exterminator as soon as possible.