Species category: Cockroach
Scientific name: Periplaneta americana
The largest of the common cockroach species, it can grow up to 50mm. Reddish-brown in colour and has a yellowish margin behind head region. When present in large numbers, they can be recognized by foul odour.
Originating from tropical Africa, the American cockroach now has a world-wide distribution.
It prefers a warm, humid, dark and hidden environment and is often found in sewers. Typically, it will live in drains, ducts, in other underground structures and in boats. As it feeds on a large variety of foodstuffs, it will thrive wherever food is stored and prepared.
Gregarious and nocturnal, they spend the day hiding in cracks and crevices. They travel fast and are opportunistic feeders. They are omnivorous and feed on various kinds of food stuffs like bread crumbs, cut fruits, wheat flour, starch or glue in book bindings, dead animals, etc. They are particularly fond of fermented foods and may cannibalize on other cockroaches as well.
Although the main harbourages are often outside the building, this cockroach will typically forage for food in the inhabited parts of buildings, along ducts, service pipes and crevices.
Cockroaches can pick up disease-causing germs like bacteria, fungus, virus on their hairy legs and body parts which may get deposited on food thereby causing food infections or poisoning. Cockroach feces and body parts can trigger allergic reactions and asthma in certain individuals.