e-Bug: Do It Yourself Pest Control

American Cockroaches, Waterbugs, Palmetto Bugs, Big Roaches, Roaches, Cockroaches, and Big Wood Roaches


Picture of a American Roach, Kill Roaches with Roach Spray American cockroaches are one to two inches long when mature, red-brown with fully developed wings that completely cover the abdomen. The pronotum (a shield-like area behind the head) has a yellow "halo-like" band around its edge. The nymphs are 1/4-inch long when they emerge from the egg capsule and are initially gray-brown. As they develop they become more red-brown and the yellow "halo" becomes more prominent.


American cockroaches are NOT common pests in most homes, however; they may enter homes through plumbing traps and are found near bathtubs, clothes hampers and basements. They are very abundant in sewers and are often found in large numbers in groceries, prisons, restaurants, hospitals, office buildings, housing authorities and apartment buildings. The American cockroaches like to inhabit warm, damp locations and are often found by the thousands in steam tunnels and boiler rooms. They are excellent fliers and can migrate from building to building on the wing. The American cockroach feeds on many substances but seems to prefer decaying organic matter.

Each female American cockroach can produce an average of 60 egg capsules during her lifetime, each one being about 1/4-inch long, brown to black and containing an average of 14 eggs. The females like to deposit their egg capsules in damp, protected locations within a day after they are formed. The nymphs develop and emerge in about 60 days. They molt 13 times before becoming adults, which takes 280-600 days. The adults live an average of 400 days. American cockroaches can become very abundant in secluded locations despite their long life cycle because they are very long-lived and the females produce so many.

Control of Roaches

Just like other types of cockroach control, sanitation is very important in American cockroach control. It is very helpful to eliminate food materials as much as possible as well as harborage areas to reduce the population. Large existing populations can be reduced or eliminated with careful application of residual sprays, dusts and baits.

Outside Spraying

Spray a six-foot swath around the entire house foundation and one-foot up the foundation wall. Spray all the potential entry points the windows, doors, vents, fireplaces, plumbing, etc. Spraying harborage areas such as retainer walls or hollow trees will also help eliminate them. ALWAYS SPRAY MONTHLY.

Inside Spraying

Spray the areas where you have noticed the roaches. Pay special attention to any areas of your home where there is a moisture problem. Spray along the baseboards throughout the entire house. ALWAYS SPRAY MONTHLY.

A good residual spray that you can use is Demon WP Demon WP is a wettable powder, has an excellent residual effect and no odor. Some liquid concentrates that can be used are Suspend SC which has a longer residual and no order versus Viper, Demon EC and Cynoff EC which have a small odor. All of these products will require a Chapin pump-up type sprayer.

An excellent dust to use in areas where spraying would not be feasible would be Delta Dust. You will need a Hand Duster to apply the dust. Maxforce Fine Granule Insect Bait is an excellent bait to use if you prefer not to spray any concentrated insecticides or use a dust.

Some aerosols that can be used are Orthene Aerosol which has a light residual or Cessco 5E if you prefer a quick kill.

Always wear Safety Gloves and a Dust Mask when using any type of insecticides.


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