American Cockroaches

The American cockroach (Periplaneta americana), also known as the waterbug, or palmetto bug, particularly in the United States, is the biggest species of all domestic cockroaches in Australia, & considered a pest. None of the Periplaneta species are originating from the USA despite it’s name. Periplaneta americana was introduced to Australia from Africa.

They’re most common in all tropical areas of the world.

Biological Features

American cockroaches grow to around 4 centimetres long and around 7mms tall. They are coloured a reddish-brown. They have a characteristic yellowish markings on the body area behind the head. Young cockroaches (nymphs) look like adults excepting that they are without wings. This insect is able to crawl quickly, & can fit into tiny gaps and under doorways despite its large size. This cockroach is considered to be one of the world’s fastest running animals.

In an experiment in 1991, an American Cockroach registered a lightning record speed of 5.4kms per hour , which is about 50 body lengths per second! This is comparable to a man running 330kms per hour. Habitat American cockroaches prefer warmer temperatures of around 29 °C and don’t tolerate colder temperatures. In domestic residential areas, these species of cockroach live under houses & sewers, & sometimes may move outside into yard areas during warmer weather. These cockroaches are common in subfloors, cracks & crevices of porches, verandahs, and footpaths adjacent to buildings.

The American cockroach is a pest scavenger that feeds on decaying organic matter & a variety of other foods. It is very fond of rotting foods. Life cycles Females will lay an egg-case called an “Ootheca” which sticks out from the end of the abdomen. After about 2 days the egg cases are laid on a stable surface in a safe location. Egg cases are about 0.9 cms long, brown, & purse shaped. Immature cockroaches emerge from egg cases in 6 to 8 weeks & are required 6 to 12 months to mature.

Adult cockroaches can live up to one year, during which females produce an average of 150 young.

Due to their large size and slow development, large infestations of these insects are not common within houses. However, during certain times of the year, these cockroaches may move inside a house from outside. In cold weather these cockroaches may move indoors, seeking warmer temperatures and food. Cockroaches may enter houses through sewer connections, under doors, around plumbing, air ducts, or other openings in the foundation.

Cockroach Control

The American cockroach is quite easy to control under the right treatment strategies. They breed and develop at a slow rate which means one thorough treatment should knock down the population quite heavily. Combined with an IG (Insect Growth Regulator) you can demolish any infestation!

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