American cockroach adults grow to an average length of around 4cm (1.6 inch) and about 7mm (0.28 inch) tall. They are reddish brown and have a yellowish margin on the body region behind the head. Immature cockroaches resemble adults except they are wingless.
The cockroach is divided in 3 sections; the body is flattened and broadly oval with a shield-like pronotum covering its head. A pronotum is a plate-like structure that covers all or part of the dorsal surface of the thorax of certain insects. They also have chewing mouth parts, long, segmented antennae and leathery fore wings with delicate hind wings. The third section of the cockroach is the abdomen.
The insect can travel quickly often darting out of sight when someone enters a room and can fit into small cracks and crevices and under doors despite its fairly large size. It is considered one of the fastest running insects.
American cockroaches generally live in moist areas but can survive in dry areas if they have access to water. They prefer warm temperatures around 29C(84F) and do not tolerate cold temperatures. In residential areas, these cockroaches live in basements and sewers and may move outdoors into yards during warmer weather. These cockroaches are common in basements, crawl spaces, cracks and crevices of porches, foundations and walkways adjacent to buildings.
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