The American cockroach is the largest of the species common to Texas. Adults are approximately 1-1/2 inches long with fully developed wings that cover the entire length of the abdomen. Nymphs are similar in appearance but are smaller and do not have wings. American cockroaches are capable of flying. The American cockroach can be identified by its large size and reddish brown colour with faded yellow edges on the thorax.
When indoors, the nymphs and adults are usually found in dark, warm and moist areas, and in and around bathtubs, clothes hampers, and floor drains. American cockroaches feed on a variety of foods, with a preference for decaying organic matter. The adults can survive two or three months without food but only about a month without water.
American cockroaches have three developmental stages: egg, nymph, and adult. The eggs are laid in capsules that are dark brown, symmetrically shaped, and about 5/16 inch long. The female drops her egg capsule within a day after it is formed. Each capsule averages 14 to 16 eggs. Usually one capsule is produced each week and is often glued to a hidden surface with secretions from the female’s mouth.