Identifying & Dealing with American Cockroaches

Atlanta, Georgia holds the unfortunate honor of being the 4th most cockroach-infested city in the US.

Cockroaches are hardy, pervasive, and difficult to control, making them a common problem in households and businesses across the state of Georgia, South Carolina, and the United States at large.

Read on to learn how to identify, prevent, and treat infestations.

About the American cockroach

The American cockroach, sometimes mistakenly called a “waterbug” or "palmetto bug," is the largest species of common cockroach.

They are nocturnal—usually hiding in cracks, walls, and beneath cabinets and appliances during the day. They are very resilient, requiring little food and water to survive and reproduce. They generally prefer dark damp places like bathrooms, garages, and kitchens.

Cockroaches are disease-carriers, and should be dealt with as soon as possible. If you’re seeing roaches around the home or in your work environment, contact Compass Pest Management to get a free inspection & estimate!


American Cockroach
American Cockroach Underside



  • Length: about 1.5 – 3” long
  • Color: reddish-brown
  • Distinguishing marks: yellow band behind the head, figure-8 pattern on back of head



American cockroaches typically prefer moist areas and warm temperatures in the 80s °F. They usually live outdoors, but often move inside to avoid cold weather or search for food and water.

They can be commonly found in:

  • Kitchens
  • Bathrooms
  • Laundry rooms
  • Basements
  • Cracks & crevices in foundation, walls, porches, & walkways
  • Crawl spaces
  • Yards
  • Sewers


Cockroaches feed on crumbs, grease spots, and pet food. They prefer to hide in dark areas and forage at night. They can run quickly when startled, and are capable of flying.

They can enter homes or businesses through cracks in doorways, windows, garages, sewer lines, air ducts, and other openings.


Signs of an American cockroach infestation

You may have an infestation if you see the following signs:

  • Active large roaches in the home
  • Droppings in basements, cupboards, or behind appliances
  • Dark reddish-brown egg capsules in hidden spots
  • A musty odor


Treating & Preventing American cockroach infestations

If you think you have a serious infestation, you’ll want to contact a pest control professional. There are steps you can take to mitigate the problem, including:

  • Seal small cracks in walls, windows, doors, and foundations
  • Keep all food in sealed containers and do not leave crumbs, food residue, or dirty dishes out in the open
  • Vacuum floors weekly
  • Spray doors, windows, cracks, and crevices with a cockroach repellent
  • Lay cockroach bait traps in corners, under sinks, near toilets, and other water sources


Professional cockroach treatment in Georgia & South Carolina

Compass Pest Management is an award-winning, family-owned pest control company that serves clients in Georgia and South Carolina. Our friendly staff go the extra mile making sure your cockroach problem is dealt with quickly, effectively, and affordably. Contact us to schedule a FREE inspection and estimate today, or learn more about our services.

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