Tucson Cockroach Exterminator | Cricket Control & Removal Service

American Cockroach

American cockroaches are among the most common pests in Tucson homes and businesses, known for their large size and rapid breeding. In some parts of the country they are commonly known as a water bug, sewer roach, palmetto bug, or Bombay canary. Although their name suggests otherwise, American cockroaches are not native to the U.S. but instead are believed to have originated in African and brought to American via ships in the 1600s.


  • Color: Typically reddish-brown with yellow pattern on the back of the head.
  • Size: Adults range between 1 ¼ inch to 2 1/8 inches (32-54 mm) in length. They’re generally one of the largest cockroach species in Arizona.
  • Legs: They have 6 legs.
  • Antennae: Yes, 2 long antenna coming off the top of their head.


American cockroaches prefer to live outdoors in dark, moist areas like flowerbeds, irrigation boxes, and under potted plants. However, they will move indoors when they experience food shortages or significant change in outdoor conditions. They get one of their common names, sewer roach, because they are the most common cockroach species to infest sewer systems. It’s been reported that one manhole cover had been observed to contain more than 5,000 individual roaches.

When found indoors, American cockroaches will typically be located in areas with drains and water sources. They often gain entry through sewer pipes or fresh water plumbing protrusions. Once inside, they typically make their way to kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms looking for food and water. They feed on many kinds of food including fermenting materials like decaying leaves, fungi, algae, decomposing food scraps, or even pet food left uncovered. 

One reason American cockroach infestations can become a serious problem quickly is due to their life cycle. A single cockroach can become sexually mature in just 6 months. Females can produce more than 150 offspring in their lifetime which exponentially grows the infestation over a short period of time.


American cockroaches are filthy pests and can pose a significant health risk. They pick up germs on their legs and body as they crawl through sewage and decaying matter and then transfer those germs to the surfaces they transverse or food they come into contact with. Cockroaches are known to spread at least 33 kinds of bacteria, including E. Coli and Salmonella, as well as parasitic worms and other human pathogens. In addition, American cockroach saliva, urine, and fecal droppings contain allergen proteins that have been found to cause allergic reactions and asthma attacks, especially in children. 

Control Measures 

Cockroaches have a reputation for being difficult to eliminate, so prevention is the best defense most homeowners can use to protect their homes. First, homeowners should look for small cracks and gaps where cockroaches can entry. Using a silicone-based caulk around plumbing protrusions and other openings where cockroaches can easily gain entry can limit their access points. In addition, water should be run through drains regularly to ensure that p-traps remained filled. If certain drains are used regularly, the stopper should be placed in the closed position or place a plastic sandwich bag filled with water over the open to prevent access through the drains. 

Homeowners should also keep their homes as clean and sanitary as possible. Counters, sinks, tables, and floors should be cleaned regularly to ensure crumbs and other food materials don’t sit overnight for cockroaches to feast on. Food should be stored in airtight containers and pet food should only be left out while the pet is actively eating.

If a cockroach infestation is present, a licensed pest control professional should be consult as quickly as possible. Using their technical training, a pest professional can identify the infestation and develop an appropriate treatment plan to effectively eliminate the infestation in a timely and responsible manner keeping the safety of people and pets at the top of mind. Contact the pest professionals at Bill’s Home Service at (520) 277-2720 to help eliminate your American cockroach problem today.

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    Jake Swinehart
    Service Technician

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