American Cockroach

Periplaneta americana

Adult American cockroach

Adult American cockroach (Daniel R. Suiter, University of Georgia,

American Cockroack nymphs

American cockroach nymphs (Daniel R. Suiter, University of Georgia,

American cockroach egg case

American cockroach egg case (Gary Alpert, Harvard University,


  • reddish brown with a lighter border around the head
  • largest species commonly found in Utah; up to 2 inches long
  • immatures: smaller than adults; coloration variable; no wings (see middle image)

Nesting Habits

  • can live outdoors and indoors
  • usually found in basements or on the first floor
  • move indoors during hot weather and flooding
  • found in warm, moist areas—under sinks, in bathtubs, in sewer drains and in furnace and boiler rooms


  • eat almost anything but mostly decaying vegetation, insect remains and sweets


  • may transmit disease pathogens
  • cause allergic reactions, similar to asthma, in some people
  • can be an asthma trigger

IPM Recommendations

  • Continually monitor for roaches in pest vulnerable areas, especially kitchens, boiler rooms, custodial closets, etc. using sticky trap monitors.
  • Educate occupants of building or room(s) of their role in eliminating roaches.
  • Dispose of trash regularly to remove food/shelter sources.
  • Store food in pest-proof containers.
  • Repair any leaks or plumbing malfunctions because cockroaches are attracted to damp environments.
  • Caulk, install weather stripping or replace door sweeps where cockroaches can potentially enter buildings.
  • Use roach baits and/or boric acid dust.
  • Vacuum (with ah HEPA filter) roaches and egg cases.

Additional Resources:

Cockroaches fact sheet

IPM for Cockroaches: Integrated Pest Management in Sensitive Environments (University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension)