Giant Cockroach

Most people who discover a cockroach in their home will tell you later how HUGE it was. Things that disgust people often seem gigantic.

Scientists discovered a fossil cockroach that was almost 4″ long. They called it Arthropleura pustulatus. It is the largest cockroach that has ever been found. Scientists estimate that it lived before the time of the dinosaurs. By all appearances, cockroaches have not changed much since this one lived.

The largest cockroach on earth today may be the Madagascar hissing cockroach from Africa. Its scientific name is Gromphadorhina portentosa. People also call it the hissing cockroach. This giant cockroach can reach 3″ in length.

Many people raise these hissing roaches at home or at school. They are called hissing roaches because of the noise they make when they force air through their body.

They are excellent climbers. They can scale smooth surfaces and easily escape from the glass cases where people keep them. Fortunately, they do not have wings, so when they escape, they cannot fly away.

The largest cockroach that commonly invades homes and businesses is the American cockroach. Its scientific name is Periplaneta Americana (L.), but many people call it the “Palmetto Bug”.

Adult American roaches can reach almost 20.5″ in length. The size is deceiving, however. The wings of the male roach extend past the end of its abdomen. This make the roach look even bigger than it really is.

This giant cockroach is common in many parts of the United States. In cool climates, thousands of these cockroaches live in the sewer system. In warmer climates, it is found in alleys and yards. It lives in trees and under ground cover.

The American cockroach enters homes by walking under doors. It usually comes for food or water. It prefers a humid environment, so people find it in the basement, crawl space, kitchen, or bathroom.

The American cockroach is a good flier. It often frightens people to see something that large suddenly begin to fly. It can also run very fast. Scientists found that this roach can run 50 of its body lengths in one second.

Most people find that it is easier to keep this giant cockroach out of their home than to eliminate an infestation. This starts with eliminating the food and hiding places outdoors. Closing the cockroach entrances is critical.

Keep lids on trashcans and keep the cans away from the door. Move firewood away from the house and keep it on a rack. Keep grass trimmed near the foundation and rake mulch away from the foundation. Make a 12″ strip next to the foundation that is free of mulch and leaves.

Make sure exterior doors close tightly. If a dime can slide under the door, a cockroach can crawl under it. Replace missing weather-stripping. Make sure the access door to the crawl space closes securely. Crawl space vents should all have screen.

Granular roach bait can be applied in flowerbeds and in ground cover. An insecticide barrier on the foundation can help prevent these giant cockroaches from trying to get inside. Because of rain and sunshine, the barrier will break down. It will have to be re-applied periodically. Many people prefer to have pest control professionals make these applications.