General Info
  • Also known as American roaches or Palmetto Bug, including Australian, Brown, and Smoky Brown roaches
  • Adult roaches are up to 1 inch long and generally rest in the daytime
  • After dark, they come out of hiding to mate and forage for food
  • American roaches can fly but are most often seen running quickly in and out of homes, storage areas, and garages
Where They Hide

In Southern homes with yards:

  • In Southern states American roaches live outdoors
  • They are often found around the foundation of the home, near patios and porches, or under mulches, shrubs, and other plant material
  • Once inside, American roaches can be found hiding in dark, humid areas like laundry rooms, utility rooms, basements, garages and crawl spaces

In Northern homes and apartments:

  • American cockroaches can be found outdoors only in semi-warm areas like sewer systems and steam tunnels
  • Indoors you can find them in storage areas, building basements, and garbage collection areas
What They Want From You
  • American roaches will treat your home or apartment as an all-inclusive resort; they’ll invite themselves over for food, water, and shelter, especially during very cold or hot weather
  • American roaches are attracted to foods with sugar, starch, or grease, but will feed on nearly anything including pet food
Why They Are A Problem
  • Some American roaches can pick-up, carry, and spread harmful bacteria, such as Salmonella, to other surfaces that they walk across
  • Many people are scared or repulsed by roaches due to their unsightly appearance and smell
Tips & Tricks

Eliminate their food and water sources and hiding places:

  • Remove food spills and exposed food, especially near appliances
  • Store food in sealed containers
  • Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink
  • Take out the garbage regularly and tie it closed tightly
  • Toss out old boxes and newspapers that serve as good hiding places and hard places to treat
  • Clean and vacuum regularly, especially behind ovens, microwaves, toasters, and refrigerators
  • Keep food out of bedrooms and living rooms
  • Keep basements and storage areas dry

Seal up entryways and point of access to keep them out of the home or apartment:

  • Caulk cracks and crevices where roaches can enter from the outside or neighboring units
  • Do not store items like firewood or other debris near the home, which provides areas for outdoor roaches to hide and breed
  • Identify and repair indoor water leaks that provide moisture and high humidity that these roaches prefer to live in.

Avoid common mistakes during treatment:

  • When using baits or gel, be sure you do not place them on areas that have been sprayed with an aerosol or liquid insecticide - roaches traveling over sprayed areas will die before they have a chance to bring the bait back to the nest
  • Never spray the bait or gel with an aerosol or liquid insecticide – cockroaches will not eat it
  • When using baits or gels, be sure to remove competing food and water sources so the pests are forced to eat the bait
  • Replace baits at intervals prescribed on the label or when they are completely eaten
  • The more baits you can place and the closer you place them to where the roaches hide during the day, the better your control will be
  • Remember to place baits around the access points of the home (entrances, openings, soffits, under steps, the garage) to intercept the roaches as they travel to and from the home 


American-Cockroach size bar

3/4 to 1 1/2 inches long


Commonly Mistaken for

The following bugs match your description