American Cockroach vs. German Cockroach | A Detailed Comparison

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 and therefore you ought to handle them sternly.

But to do that, you first need to successfully distinguish and identify them right?

Well, that’s what we are here for- to discuss everything about 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 in order to deal with them accordingly.

Hence, here are a few differences between two of the 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 which helps in distinguishing between them is their color.

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

Similarities & Differences between American and German Roaches


The American cockroach is of a reddish-brown color with a yellowish-colored 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 color variations found from brown to tan, a German roach has two dark and prominent stripes located on its back.

These stripes appear to be almost parallel; it, too, 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 roach and an American roach both prefer warm and dingy areas with abundant food sources and moisture available.

However, an American cockroach is more inclined to stay outdoors in sewers and drains.

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

A German roach is mainly found indoors, in residential and commercial spaces, in 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 those beauty soap bars and products of yours in order 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 is also dependent on the temperature of their surroundings and their diet.

An adult American cockroach survive for as long as a year; their lifecycle is inclusive of 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 to this, the development process from a nymph to an adult takes only about three months, hence, increasing their numbers quickly.

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

The development of the nymph babies, after hatching, 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! To know more about this, fill the below-mentioned form to get free multiple quotes from the professional Pest Control Companies in your vicinity so that you can make an informed decision for your infestation problem.

Don’t worry; all your personal details are completely safe here! And by filling the form, at least, you’ll know how much you will have to pay if you take the help of your local exterminators.

Final Words

American cockroaches, as we conclude, 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, make sure that you take proper care of your surroundings to keep them at bay.

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

We hope you have a clean, healthy and a roach-free year ahead!

Joe Moran
Joe has a few years of experience in Pest control. Apart from his interest in sports, he has helped many people to get rid of cockroaches and other pests.

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