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 across the Northern United States. In the Southern United States, they are found in shady garden areas and yards.


  • Known for their high-speed run.
  • Both sexes are able to fly.
  • Attracted to alcoholic beverages, especially beer.

American Cockroaches in Nevada

American cockroaches are a large cockroach species in the Southwest, with adults growing up to 1½”. Their color will range from red to brown, and they have a distinctive light brown band around the head. Unlike the German cockroach, the American roach will regularly use its wings to fly. Adult American cockroaches may live up to around 15 months. Females will deposit their egg cases in a sheltered area, or usually near the ground level (preferably near a food source). Their food sources vary, but American roaches prefer sweets, but has also been observed eating paper, pet food, soap, hair, fruit, book bindings, cardboard boxes, dead insects, and any other decaying organic matter.

American Cockroach Habitat

In nature, the American cockroach is found in bat caves and hollow trees. In urban settings, it is a common inhabitant of sewers, storm drainage systems, prisons, factories, hospitals, and hotels. The American cockroach is omnivorous and an opportunistic feeder. It consumes decaying organic matter but is a scavenger and will eat almost anything. It prefers sweets, but has also been observed eating paper, pet food, soap, hair, fruit, book bindings, cardboard boxes, cloth and dead insects. American cockroaches prefer warm, damp environments and can often be found outdoors around drains, garbage bins, trees and wood piles. When these roaches venture inside homes in search of food, they often live in damp areas such as basements, garages, kitchens and bathrooms.

American Cockroach Behaviors & Dangers

American cockroaches have the ability to bite, although they rarely do. These 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 foods 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.

If you think you have American roaches in your Las Vegas or Henderson property, contact your local roach exterminators.