Periplaneta americana (L.)
The American cockroach is the largest of the house-infesting
||Reddish brown, with a yellowish figure 8 pattern on the back of the head
American cockroaches are found in food processing areas and food
storage areas, as well as other types of buildings. They are active
when the temperature is 70 degrees or higher, but they can survive
lower temperatures with the right conditions.
American cockroaches are often found in sewers and basements,
particularly around pipes and drains.
Cockroaches have been reported to spread at least 33 kinds of
bacteria, six kinds of parasitic worms, and at least seven other
kinds of human pathogens. They can pick up germs on the spines of
their legs and bodies as they crawl through decaying matter or
sewage and then carry these into food or onto food surfaces. Germs
that cockroaches eat from decaying matter or sewage are protected
while in their bodies and may remain infective for several weeks
longer than if they had been exposed to cleaning agents, rinse
water, or just sunlight and air. Recent medical studies have shown
that cockroach allergens cause lots of allergic reactions in inner
city children. They were even shown to cause asthma in children.
These allergens build up in deposits of droppings, secretions, cast
skins, and dead bodies of roaches.
Good sanitation and habitat reduction, along with vacuuming,
surveillance, a baiting program, and some sealing of cracks can
usually quickly reduce or eliminate a cockroach population.