The American cockroach (Periplaneta americana), also known as “waterbug” or “palmetto bug”, is the largest species of common cockroach. They are reddish brown and have a yellowish margin on the body region behind the head.
American cockroaches grow to an average length of around 4 cm (1.6 in). They can travel quickly, and can fit into small cracks and under doors. It is considered one of the fastest running insects. An adult American cockroach can also fly short distances. They generally live in moist areas, and prefer warm temperatures around 84 °F. In residential areas, these cockroaches live in basements and sewers, and outdoors in yards during warm weather. These cockroaches are common in basements, crawl spaces, cracks and crevices of porches, foundations, and walkways adjacent to buildings.
American cockroaches have three developmental stages: egg, nymph, and adult. Females produce an egg case (ootheca) which, after about two days, are placed on a surface in a safe location. Immature cockroaches emerge from egg cases in 6 to 8 weeks and require 6 to 12 months to mature. Adult cockroaches can live up to one year, during which females produce an average of 150 young.
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