This roach can grow to be 1 ½ inches long and can range from a light brown color to a dark red with a set of tan wings. Other common names include the water bug, sewer roach and the palmetto bug. American cockroach fecal matter can often be mistaken as mouse droppings.
When inside a structure, American roaches are often found in dark, moist areas. These places include crawlspaces, basements, floor drains, wall voids, pipe chases, and sewers. This roach can also flourish in outdoor environments. Popular locations include irrigation valve boxes, wood piles, under rocks, and around pool pump equipment. They prefer decaying organic matter for food, but will also feed on clothing, paper, book bindings, and even finger nails. This roach can survive for month with no water and 3 to 4 months without food.
Control can be achieved through a variety of methods. A complete inspection of the area is necessary to determine sanitation improvements, routes of entry, and major harborage areas. Reduction of food, water, and shelter certainly can discourage roaches. The use of residual insecticides, dusts, and bait materials can also be implemented for rapid population reduction and lasting control. Manholes are often targeted and treated with specialized products several times a year.
American roaches rarely use their wings to fly unless the temperature exceeds 85 degrees.