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American Cockroach


Actual Size: 2.1”

Characteristics: Brown to reddish-brown; winged.

Legs: 6

Wings: Yes, adults have wings and can fly.

Antennae: Yes

Habitat: American cockroaches  can be found most anywhere, thriving in natural, suburban, and urban environments.


  • Both sexes are capable of flight for short distances.
  • Largest of the house-infesting cockroaches.
  • They are omnivores and opportunistic feeders.
  • They can carry and spread various pathogens, bacteria, and parasites.

American Cockroaches in Atlanta, GA

The American cockroach, also known as a water bug or palmetto bug, is the largest house invading cockroach species. Measuring over 2 inches in length with fully developed reddish-brown wings, this unsavory and resilient insect is widely distributed across the United States. Despite its name, the American cockroach is not native to the United States. It most likely was originally introduced to our country via ships from Africa. They are known for their quick movements and are equipped with six spiny legs, allowing them to navigate various surfaces with incredible agility. American cockroaches reproduce rapidly and can quickly become an infestation.

American Cockroach Habitat

American cockroaches can be found most anywhere, flourishing in natural, suburban, and urban environments. They are attracted to warm and moist areas, frequently locating themselves outdoors near drains, garbage bins, trees, and woodpiles. Once these roaches infiltrate indoor spaces in pursuit of food, they will typically take up residence in humid areas, including basements, garages, kitchens, and bathrooms. As omnivores and opportunistic feeders, American cockroaches consume a wide range of items, including sweets, paper, pet food, soap, hair, fruit, book bindings, dried wood, cardboard boxes, cloth, and dead insects. Whether dwelling in the hidden nooks of city infrastructure, the secluded spaces of the natural world, or a quiet suburban household, the American cockroach is one of the most persistent and disliked pests.

American Cockroach Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

American cockroaches are known to carry and spread various pathogens, bacteria, and parasites. They can pick up germs from unsanitary places, such as garbage bins and sewage systems, and then transfer them to your food, utensils, and the surfaces of your home. This can lead to the spread of diseases such as gastroenteritis, salmonellosis, and other infections. The droppings, saliva, and shed skin of the American cockroach contains proteins that can act as allergens. These allergens can trigger allergic reactions and exacerbate asthma symptoms, especially in individuals who are sensitive to them. If you suspect an American cockroach infestation, contact a professional cockroach exterminator at Inspect-All Pest Services.