The adult American cockroach is reddish brown with a pale brown or yellow band around the edge of the pronotum. They are the largest of the house-invading cockroaches and are on average 1 1/2” long.
American cockroaches are opportunistic feeders and will feed on a variety of foods. They prefer sweets and decaying organic matter, but they have also been observed eating paper, boots, hair, bread, fruit, book bindings, fish, peanuts, old rice, the inside of animal hides, cloth and dead insects. The American cockroach inhabits numerous environments and has been found in caves, mines, privies, latrines, cesspools, sewers, sewage treatment plants, and dumps. Their presence in these habitats is of epidemiological significance because at least 22 species of pathogenic human bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoans, as well as five species of helminthic worms, have been isolated from American cockroaches collected from the field.
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