- American Cockroach -
What is the history of cockroaches?
What are some physical attributes of roaches?
What are American roaches?
The American cockroach is also known as the water bug, flying water bug, and, in some areas of the South, the palmetto bug. It is the largest of the common roach species, growing to be 1.5 inches long or more. Although they are the least common among domestic (residentially found) species, they rank second in abundance to the German cockroach in many commercial buildings. They are reddish-brown in color with a pale brown or yellow border on the pronotum. Both sexes are fully winged, though they rarely fly. The males’ wings extend beyond the abdomen while the females’ are the same length as the abdomen.
The time it takes for an American cockroach to fully develop depends on temperature; however, it averages around 600 days under room temperature. Egg capsules are formed at the rate of about one per week until anywhere from 15 to 90 capsules have been produced. The capsule is dropped within one day of being produced in a suitable location, such as near a food or water source, or in a protected area. If it is in the South, they are sometimes deposited outdoors in moist or decaying wood. The ootheca (egg case), which is black in color, can be glued into these locations by a secretion that the female produces from her mouth. Since the ootheca requires such high humidity to hatch successfully, it is not feasible at times for the female to deposit her eggs outside. For this reason, the American cockroach will often find indoor sources to live and lay their eggs. In cold or arid regions, American cockroaches can be found in large numbers in damp basements, restaurant dishwashing rooms, bathtubs, clothes hampers, floor drains, and sewer systems. In basements, they are often found high on the walls. After being at room temperature, the eggs will hatch in 50-55 days. Young nymphs are grayish-brown in color and will molt 9-13 times before reaching maturity. With each molt, they become more and more reddish-brown in color. The nymphal stage can last anywhere from 160-970 days. After reaching adulthood, females can live from 14-15 months; males live slightly shorter lives.
What is their behavior like?
What do they eat?