American Cockroach


Actual Size: 2.1”

Characteristics: Brown to reddish brown; winged

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Habitat: Primarily live outdoors but can be found in sewers and drains. Inside, they gravitate toward kitchen cabinets, under sinks, and in basements.


  • Prefer warm and damp locations such as steam tunnels and sewers where fermenting foods are available
  • Can spread dangerous bacteria and germs
  • Both sexes are capable of flight but prefer to run

American Cockroaches in El Paso TX and Anthony NM

The American cockroach is the largest common species of roach in the U.S. This is the cockroach that most people think of when they think of roaches. The American cockroach has the classic appearance of a roach with its long antennae, bigger red body, and quick speed. They prefer to stay in very warm, dark, damp areas where they can feed on food scraps and other organic matter. If they enter your home, they can bring potentially harmful bacteria with them, which can be transmitted to humans through infestations of food preparation areas in your home or business.

American cockroaches consume decaying organic matter but is a scavenger and will eat almost anything. It prefers sweets but has also been observed eating paper, pet food, soap, hair, fruit, book bindings, cardboard boxes, clothing, and dead insects. As opportunistic feeders, they will gladly consume a number of items in your property.

American Cockroach Habitat or Environment

American roaches can be found outside and inside. Our in nature, they are often spotted in decaying logs, bat caves, and hollow trees. In urban settings, it is a common inhabitant of sewers, storm drainage systems, prisons, factories, hospitals, and hotels. Inside, they prefer dark, humid and undisturbed areas and can be found in subfloors, basements, kitchens, roof voids, and bathrooms of homes. They forage under appliances, in drains, and in kitchen cabinets, which is why they often come as an unwelcome surprise to residents.

American Cockroach Behaviors and Threats

For the most part, American cockroaches prefer to leave people alone. They rarely bite even though they have the ability to. These cockroaches are considered risky pests of public health because they breed and feed in unsanitary areas close to humans, such as garbage storage, sewage systems, and septic tanks. American cockroaches have a characteristic odor when present and can contaminate human food and surfaces with their feces and body parts. Foraging cockroaches can also be vectors of disease, depositing germs or bacteria in areas they inhabit and causing asthma attacks in some people sensitive to cockroach allergens.

For these reasons, always contact a professional cockroach exterminator when you notice an American roach problem forming near your property.