American cockroach

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American cockroach (Periplaneta americana)


A small, flat, dark-brown cockroach, Periplaneta americana, that grows up to 40 mm long. Both the nymphs and adults feed on almost anything, such as starchy, sugary and proteinaceous foods. They will eat cloth that is sized with Starch or Glue. The adult insects can live almost 2 years. They lay eggs that are cemented together in a sausage-shaped case and hatch into nymphs in 38 to 39 days. These light sensitive cockroaches are nocturnal and like moist areas. Common desiccating powders such as silica, Borax, Dri-die, and Sulfur are used along with pesticides to exterminate cockroaches.

American cockroach (Periplaneta americana)
American cockroach (Periplaneta americana)

Synonyms and Related Terms

waterbug; kakkerlak; Bombay canary; palmetto bug; blatte américaine (Fr.)

Physical and Chemical Properties

Distribution: world-wide, found in moist areas, sewers, steam tunnels, and heated buildings

Resources and Citations

  • Lynda A. Zycherman, J.Richard Schrock, A Guide to Museum Pest Control, FAIC and Association of Systematics Collections, Washington DC, 1988