The American cockroach is the largest of the common house-infesting cockroaches. It is reddish brown with a light yellow band around the edge of the prothorax, or head shield. In adults, which fly occasionally, the wings cover the entire abdomen.
American cockroaches are 1 to 1 1/2 inches long and prefer warm, damp, dark areas such as sewers. They are found in alleyways, lawns, shade trees and other areas containing large amounts of organic matter. They often infest homes, commercial food establishments and other buildings that provide favorable shelter and ample food.