Atlantic Pest and Termite Management Inc
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The American cockroach (Periplaneta americana), also known as the waterbug, or misidentified as the palmetto bug (see Florida woods cockroach for the differences), is the largest species of common cockroach, and often considered a pest. None of the Periplaneta species are endemic to the Americas; despite the name, P. americana was introduced to the United States from Africa as early as 1625. They are now common in tropical climates because human activity has extended the insect’s range of habitation, and global shipping has transported the insects to world ports including the Southern United States, Canary Islands, southern Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Taiwan, India, South Africa and Azores (Portugal).
The odorous secretions produced by American cockroaches can alter the flavor of food. Also, if populations of cockroaches are high, there will be a strong concentration of this odorous secretion. Cockroaches can pick up disease-causing bacteria, such as Salmonella, on their legs and later deposit them on foods and cause food infections or poisoning. House dust containing cockroach feces and body parts can trigger allergic reactions and asthma in certain individuals.
American cockroaches generally live in moist areas, but can survive in dry areas if they have access to water. They prefer warm temperatures around 29 °C (84 °F) and do not tolerate cold temperatures. In residential areas, these cockroaches live in basements and sewers, and may move outdoors into yards during warm weather. These cockroaches are common in basements, crawl spaces, cracks and crevices of porches, foundations, and walkways adjacent to buildings.
The American cockroach is a scavenger that feeds on decaying organic matter and a variety of other foods. It is particularly fond of fermenting foods.