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American Cockroach damage
(John Obermeyer, Purdue University)
Common Name: American Cockroach - damage
See also: adult | larva

Scientific Name: Dictyoptera: Periplaneta americana

Status: common pest in homes and buildings

Damaging Stage: nymph and adult

Injury: American cockroaches can feed on a number of pantry holdings: bread, fruit, fish, peanuts, rice, cheese, and even the paper and glue found in books. However, since they tend to favor areas with damp conditions, they are the most common roach found in sewers. As a result, American cockroaches can transmit a number of disease-producing organisms and can be responsible for food poisoning, dysentery, and diarrhea.

Action Threshold: Typically, any number of cockroaches in a home or restaurant is considered a health hazard. Usually, the roaches are not noticed until their populations are quite high. Thorough inspections, concentrated in areas where American roaches congregate is the best method of determining if infestations exist. Sticky traps are very effective monitors.

Management: Chemical and cultural controls are effective means of management. Great improvements have been made recently in the area of baiting.