How to Identify American Cockroaches
What does an American cockroach look like? The American roach, also known as a water bug and/or the palmetto bug, is the largest of the roaches (up to 1-1/2 inches) and reddish-brown, with a pale brown or yellow border on the upper surface of the pronotum (which covers the head). Both male and females have full wings. This roach can fly and it crawls very fast. If the pest looks like this, it is an American roach. (If it is not the size of your thumb and it is reddish brown to black, it is a female wood roach. If it is dark mahogany and the size of your thumb, then it is a smoky brown roach).
It is very important to know which species of cockroach you have since their habits and food preferences vary greatly.
Their mere presence is a nuisance and they can be carriers of many common diseases.
Where do American Cockroaches Come From?
The American cockroach lives in decaying organic material (such as mulch areas). These areas have a good food source and provide protection for them.
These roaches are nocturnal which means they are active at night, during which time they forage and crawl into weep holes, onto buildings or up the outsides of the home or into the structure.
In particular, they like crawlspaces and basement areas.
Where do you See American Roaches?
When indoors, the nymphs and adults are usually found in the dark, moist areas of basements and crawl spaces as well as in and around bathtubs, clothes hampers, floor drains, pipe chases, kitchens, laundry rooms and upper and lower cabinet areas. In basements, they are usually found in corner areas and high on the walls.
If the building has steam heat, they will follow steam heat tunnels. They will also be in large boiler rooms around pipes and floor drains.
How do American Cockroaches Multiply?
The female, when inside the home, lays a dark-brown to black egg capsule about one per week - from 15 to 90 egg capsules in her life time.
One capsule can have up to 16 eggs (16 x 90 = 1440), so you can see that you can have quite a pest problem with American roaches.
At room temperature, these nymphs will hatch out in 50-55 days. The nymphal stage averages about 15 months, varying between 9-1/2 to 20 months.
Ways to reduce the conditions that harbor and attract the American Roach:
- Remove leaf clutter near structure
- Remove brush piles from structure
- Seal gaps around doors and windows
- Repair foundation cracks
- Repair moisture-damaged wood inside and outside structure
- Repair foundation vent's screens
- Clean gutters and downspouts of debris
- Clean garbage cans
- Move garbage cans 25 feet from structure
- Clean all pet food dishes and remove spilled pet food
- Repair all leaks in structure
- Seek professional assistance and a pest prevention plan
Economy Exterminators' Pest Elimination Plus program uses the 4-step approach to solve your American roach pest problem:
- Our 1st step is the inspection of the property by a customer service specialist. It is very important to know the species involved and the severity of the pest problem.
- The 2nd step would be the initial treatment by a Charlotte, Wilmington or Raleigh customer service specialist of all areas that the inspection revealed as critical areas. Economy Exterminators uses the newest and most effective materials to solve this pest problem fast for you. Critical areas are usually the kitchen, storage areas, crawlspaces, drains and garages.
- The 3rd step is a 37-point inspection of your property to identify areas that allow easy access for the American roach either by direct access (cracks in the foundation) or harborages or food sources that would be attractive to this roach.
- The 4th step is an ongoing maintenance program for the next generation. The next generation comes from the egg capsules which are placed or glued by the female in protected areas. There is nothing that we can do but wait until the nymphs hatch and then either they cross the liquid barrier that has been applied to the crawl space and outside and/or feed on the bait.