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The American Cockroach (Periplaneta americana)

We all know what it feels like to see a roach, or even many of them, in our homes. They are nuisances that can cause a great deal of disease and other health problems if left unchecked, not to mention damage to homes. But what exactly are these little guys from a scientific viewpoint? Let's find out!

Physical Description and Behavior

The first thing that I should mention is that not all Cockroaches are the same, and they vary by region, country, location, etc. Today, we are only going to be looking at the American Cockroach. This is also because these are the largest and most widespread species of roach on Earth.

In case you have never seen one, they are small brown bugs. They can be up to an inch tall, and have 6 legs, and antennae. They can live up to almost 2 years, and the female can produce upwards of 150 offspring in her lifetime. This can explain why roach infestations in houses often get out of control really quickly if left unchecked. They also have wings, although they tend to use them more for gliding than flying.

Their diet is very opportunistic. They are omnivorous, and eat anything from food to hair, dried skin flakes, and even starch sizing on paper. They can live for long periods of time without food, and even without air. It is due to this that they have become such a pest in houses across the nation.

Habitat and Location

They are found mainly in moist places, although they can be found all over the US. They can make their homes in sewers, homes, stores, dumpsters, and the like. Because of their affinity to warmer weather, they hide in buildings in the like more during the winter months but can move outside when it gets warmer.

This video, although icky, mentions a lot of information when it comes to this kind of roach.

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