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 (just behind 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 the length of your thumb and is dark mahogany in color, it is a smoky brown cockroach. If it is smaller, yellowish-brown in color with two black stripes behind its head, it is the German cockroach. If it is about one inch long, tan in color, and has wings extending to the end of its body, it is a male wood cockroach. Female wood cockroaches are about 3/4″ in length, and are a reddish-blackish color with smaller, non-functional wings.
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?
You are living in their (the American roach’s) neighborhood. The American roach is found all over North Carolina, which is why we offer Raleigh pest control, Charlotte pest control, and Wilmington pest control to serve the greater NC area.
American cockroaches generally live in moist areas; however, they can survive in dry areas if they have access to water. They prefer warm temperatures and find cold temperatures intolerable, which is why you don’t see them during the winter months. In the United States, this is the most common cockroach found in the sewer system. While occasionally found in residences in central North Carolina, they are more commonly found in homes in central/southeastern Coastal Plains areas. Generally, they are much more prevalent in commercial environments such as restaurants, bakeries, grocery stores, food-processing plants, hospitals, etc. During warm weather, they will move outside into yards.
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 lifetime.
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. That’s why it’s important to eliminate roach eggs when you treat for cockroaches. Simply eliminating the live roaches won’t fix the problem.
At room temperature, these nymphs will hatch out in 50-55 days. The nymphal stage lasts on average about 15 months, varying between 9-1/2 to 20 months. Adults may live up to a year or more.
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.