American Cockroach vs. German Cockroach

The origin of cockroaches dates back to the epoch of dinosaurs.

Can you imagine this? They have been creeping around for millions of years!

So, do not be astonished if you find a bunch of German or American cockroaches hanging around in your kitchens and bathrooms!

These are the bearer of numerous diseases and filth; therefore, you ought to handle them sternly.

But to do that, you first must distinguish and identify them successfully.

Well, that’s what we are here for to discuss these two most common species of roaches that usually infiltrate our houses and create havoc!

So let’s get started.

American Cockroach vs. German Cockroach

Perfect knowledge of the type of cockroach pestering you and sullying your peace is indispensable to deal with them accordingly.

Hence, here are a few differences between two most commonly confused species.

Although found worldwide, German cockroaches are shy beings who like to stay indoors and are seldom seen roaming in the open.

If we compare the American roaches with them, they are mostly found outdoors and for good!

Once they enter your households, they are inclined to be a hazard for you; the former do not bite humans; the latter, unfortunately, do so but rarely.

American cockroaches are moderate flyers, while the German roaches have wings too, but they seldom use their gift of flight.

A trait of paramount importance that helps distinguish them is their colour.

American roaches are reddish-brown, whereas German roaches are brown-coloured.

Similarities & Differences between American and German Roaches


The American cockroach is of a reddish-brown colour with a yellowish-coloured pattern of 8-figure on the back of its head.

Oval-shaped with a flattened body, it has six legs and two antennae on the top of its head.

An adult American roach’s size may vary between one and one-fourth inches to two and one-eight inches in length.

With colour variations found from brown to tan, a German roach has two dark and prominent stripes on its back.

These stripes appear almost parallel; it also has six legs, two antennae, and an oval body shape.

A fully-developed German roach sizes from half an inch to five-eighth of an inch.


A German and American roach prefers warm and dingy areas with abundant food sources and moisture available.

However, an American cockroach prefers to stay outdoors in sewers and drains.

It may also be found indoors, posing as a menace as it is considered a ‘filthy pest.’

A German roach is mainly found indoors, in residential and commercial spaces, bathrooms, and kitchens.

To detect its activity, the German roach’s droppings are sufficient to indicate that the area around which they are found is likely to be infested.

american cockroach


Fatty foods and items containing starch form a significant part of German roaches’ diet; other items in their food include meat and sugary foods.

As a result, due to their dependence on both kinds of proteins, they fall under the category of omnivorous scavengers.

In cases of a shortage of food sources, they tend to feed on household items such as toothpaste and soap.

Similarly, American roaches are omnivores that feed on various items such as soap, milk, plant shoots, cosmetics, glue, toothpaste, and fruits undergoing fermentation.

Save your beauty soap bars and products to forestall these crawlies from ruining them!


German cockroaches can flourish from a hundred to up to two hundred days; they undergo three phases of transition in their lives, namely, egg, nymph, and adult.

To a great extent, their lifespan also depends on the temperature of their surroundings and their diet.

An adult American cockroach survives for as long as a year; their lifecycle includes the same stages as a German cockroach.

Their growth and development from an egg to an adult takes almost six hundred days.

german cockroach


The population of German roaches multiplies rapidly as they lay fifty eggs at once, contained in an ootheca.

In addition, the development process from a nymph to an adult takes only about three months, increasing their numbers quickly.

On the other hand, an American capsule contains merely sixteen roach eggs.

After hatching, the development of the nymph babies to an adult takes approximately five and a half months.

Eliminate Pests Through Professional Exterminators

Irrespective of whether it’s American roaches or German roaches, an infestation of any kind is bad because once inside, these buggers are tough to eliminate.

This is where an adept and licensed exterminator comes into the picture!

Final Words

As we conclude, American cockroaches are comparatively more dreadful than their German mates.

Still, the presence of either of them is equally daunting and dreadful.

And while there are many ways to eliminate and get rid of these roaches at home, ensure that you take proper care of your surroundings to keep them at bay.

Since you have become aware of their preferences in terms of diet and habitat, controlling and preventing them from causing an infestation should be easier!

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