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. Also found in shady garden areas and yards.


  • Migrate easily between buildings through sewage systems
  • Often live in sewers where fermenting foods are
  • May carry disease-causing bacteria that are associated with these putrid conditions

American Cockroaches in Central Florida

The American cockroach is the largest common roach species in the nation. They possess characteristics that everyone thinks of when they think of cockroaches: long antennae, red-tinted brown bodies, and an impressive speed. Some of these roaches can reach 2 inches in length, which is a main reason why they’re so feared. They prefer to stay in very warm, dark, damp areas where they can feed on food scraps and other organic matter. They prefer meats, starches, sugars, and fatty foods, all of which can be found in food preparation and waste disposal areas. 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 Habitat

For the most part, American cockroaches prefer being in shaded, secluded spots. Outdoors, they can often be found in bat caves, hollow trees, in logs, etc. In many major cities, 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 able to adapt to a number of environments for feeding purposes. American cockroaches prefer warm, damp environments and can often be found outdoors around drains, garbage bins, trees and wood piles. Inside homes in the Orlando area, they’ll frequent basements, crawl spaces, and bathrooms.

American Cockroach Behaviors & Dangers

These roaches are feared, but the reality is that they rarely–if ever–bite. American 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 best to always call a cockroach exterminator when you have noticed American cockroaches in or near your home.