The American cockroach is the most recognizable roach in the United States. While not the most common of all pest roaches (that distinction belongs to the German cockroach), it is a roach species that has gotten a lot of attention—particularly from Hollywood. The cockroaches in the movie, "Joe's Apartment" were American cockroaches, and American cockroaches are often the roaches used in horror movies, probably due to their large size. If you haven't had the pleasure of being introduced to American cockroaches, they are shin chestnut brown roaches with a yellowish-orange coloration on the back, just below the head. If you look at a cockroach at the right angle, the yellowish-orange coloration with its two brown spots can look like an infinity symbol, which is also the number eight. If these are the cockroaches you're seeing inside your Merrimac, Massachusetts home, here are a few things you should know.

cockroach on water line
cockroach on a wall

American Cockroaches Prefer Moisture

This species of cockroach is often referred to as a water bug. They love to be near water. When they come into your yard, they'll be drawn to damp habitats. When they get into your home, they'll be near moisture points such as where your pipes enter into your kitchen, underneath your sink. This is the first place to look for evidence of American cockroaches. What evidence? Black specks on surfaces, shed skins, and sometimes egg cases (called oothecae).


  • Fix leaky faucets and showerheads.

  • Fix leaky pipes and garbage disposals.

  • Install dehumidifiers in areas of your home that stay humid.

  • Use the fan in your bathroom to vent moisture out of that space when you take a shower or bath.

American Cockroaches Are Looking For Food

These insects eat a variety of things. They'll get into your kitchen or pantry and eat foods that are high in proteins or carbohydrates. But they're by no means limited to the food you eat. They'll eat dog food and cat food. They'll eat rotting organic matter in your trash. They'll eat the gunk in your garbage disposal. They'll also eat things that you would not consider to be food, such as dead skin, hair, wallpaper, fabrics, feces, and more.


  • Deep clean around appliances, particularly the sides of your oven.
  • Clean shelves to remove food debris.
  • Clean your dishes as you go, or put dishes in soapy water.
  • Store your food in sealed plastic containers.
  • Make sure to remove trash from your home before odors develop.
  • Keep your bathroom as clean as possible.  

American Cockroaches Need Harborage

When cockroaches get into Merrimac homes, they may stay for no other reason than because it is a whole lot nicer inside than it is outside. Cockroaches won't want to be outside on a winter day. As they explore your home, they're going to look for even greater harborage than your home provides. They'll get into dark voids, cracks, crevices, between floors and subflooring, behind sheetrock, in the voids above drop-down ceilings, and more. Often, their preferred harborage will be in areas of high humidity, near a food source.

  • Use a caulking gun to seal gaps, cracks, and holes in your exterior. This helps to prevent roaches from getting inside.

  • Use a caulking gun to seal around moisture points, like that pipe that comes into your kitchen underneath the sink. This limits cockroach mobility in your home.

  • Make sure your exterior doors and windows have working screens, door sweeps, and weatherstripping.

American Cockroach Sighting

There are some cockroach species that are only active at night. Seeing a German cockroach during the day, as an example, is an indication of a severe infestation. This is not the case with American cockroaches. You might see one of these roaches during the day and not have thousands of cockroaches in your home, but this isn't always the case.

American Cockroaches And Disease Transmission

These roaches can contaminate your foods, surfaces, dishes, silverware, and more. They are linked to the spread of 33 kinds of bacteria, six parasitic worms, and at least seven human pathogens. Why are they so good at spreading illness? It is because these insects climb around in sewers, culverts, dumpsters, trash receptacles, recycling bins, compost heaps, and other dirty places before they come into homes. Once they're inside, they'll continue to come in contact with dirty things such as the mop in your mop bucket, material in your trash, the rim of your toilet, rotting organic matter in your drains, and more. When you roll your sleeves up and clean your home, you reduce the risk of sickness.

Cockroach Control In Merrimac

Are you seeing cockroaches? If so, reach out to us here at Freedom Pest Control. We offer advanced pest control for difficult pests like the American cockroach. Get freedom from those roaches. Connect with us today. 


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