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 across the Northern United States. In the Southern United States, they are found in shady garden areas and yards.


  • Could carry and spread disease-causing bacteria
  • Often in commercial facilities and sewers
  • Both males and females are capable of flight

American Cockroaches in SE Louisiana and Mississippi

With some reaching nearly 2 inches long, the American cockroach is the largest common roach species in the U.S. They have the classic long antennae and reddish-brown bodies, and have impressive speed for their size. They prefer to stay in very warm, dark, damp areas where they can feed on food scraps and other organic matter. American cockroaches are not typically found outside in the Louisiana and Mississippi climate; instead, they migrate through steam pipes and sewer systems in urban and suburban settings. 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 Cockroach Environment

When outside in nature, these roaches are often found in bat caves and hollow trees. In urban settings, it is a common inhabitant of sewers, storm drainage systems, prisons, factories, hospitals, and hotels. The American cockroach is omnivorous and an opportunistic feeder, making them inhabit a wide range of environments that provide them with a food source. American cockroaches prefer warm, damp environments and can often be found outdoors around drains, garbage bins, trees and wood piles. When these roaches venture inside homes in search of food, they often live in damp areas such as basements, garages, kitchens, or bathroom areas.

American Cockroach Habits & Dangers

Just like other types of roaches, the American roach can bite but typically chooses not to. These cockroaches are considered dangerous pests 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, it’s important to contact your local cockroach exterminators when you’re dealing with an infestation.