Cockroaches – Pest Profile
Scientific Name: Periplaneta americana (American cockroach only)
Common Name: Roach, cockroach, American cockroach, waterbug
Appearance: Adult American cockroaches will typically grow to be about 4 cm in length, with relatively flat bodies which are capable of fitting in small spaces. Their bodies are mostly a reddish brown color, with some yellow around the head. Cockroaches have 6 legs, as all true insects do, with 2 relatively large antennae on their head. Cockroaches move very quickly, and will usually scurry out of sight as soon as the light in a room is turned on.
Region & Habitat: Despite their name, American cockroaches are found throughout much of the world. They have been spread mostly through international shipping, and their environmental resilience allows them to live in a wide variety of habitats. Cockroaches prefer to live in warm, moist habitats such as basements or around sinks.
Behavior: Cockroaches are scavengers, and will feed on any decaying organic matter they can find. This includes not only human foodstuffs, but also dead flakes of skin, paper, and even dead cockroaches. Cockroaches take a relatively long time to mature, compared to some insects, taking up to a year to reach full maturity. However, a female can spawn up to 150 young in her lifetime so cockroach populations can get out of control if they are not maintained.
Why They Are Pests: Cockroaches feed on human foodstuffs, and in doing so can not only leave behind an offensive odor, but actually spread diseases. Some people are even allergic to some of the bacteria that cockroaches commonly leave behind.