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American Cockroach Pest Profile

american_cockroach_02 american_cockroach_01Common Name:
American Cockroach

Scientific Name:
Periplaneta americana

Order and Family:
Blattidae, Blattid Cockroaches

Description:
1 1/2-2″ (38-50 mm). Reddish brown with yellowish edges and markings on pronotum. Yellowish stripe along front margin of each fore wing. Slender antennae are longer than body.

Food:
Moist human and pet food and other organic matter.

Life Cycle:
Female carries egg capsule containing about 12 eggs and abandons it after 1-2 days, usually in some dark crevice. Nymphs require about 12 months to attain maturity. Females may survive a year or more.

Habitat:
Crevices of tropical and subtropical vegetation; indoors in hospitals, warehouses, and homes.

Range:
Florida to Mexico and, by introduction, indoors in warm buildings from Antarctica to Greenland.

Discussion:
Adults fly well, occasionally attracted to artificial lights at night. They often crawl into grocery packages and are transported to new locations. The related Australian Cockroach (P. australasiae), 3/4-1″ (19-25 mm), is dark red to brown with yellow markings. It is well established as far north as San Francisco and is a greenhouse pest in Connecticut.

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