American cockroach adults grow to an average length of around 1.6 inches and about 0.28 inches 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 insect can travel quickly, often darting out of sight when someone enters a room, and can fit into small cracks and under doors despite its fairly large size. It is considered one of the fastest running insects.
It has a pair of large compound eyes, each having over 2000 individual lenses, and is a very active night insect that shuns light.
American cockroaches generally live in moist areas, but can survive in dry areas if they have access to water. They prefer warm temperatures around 84o F and do not tolerate cold temperatures. In residential areas, these cockroaches live in basements and sewers, and may move outdoors into yards during warm weather. They are common in basements, crawl spaces, cracks and crevices of porches, foundations, and walkways adjacent to buildings. Cockroaches may enter houses through sewer connections, under doors, around plumbing, air ducts, or other openings in the foundation.