(kok′rōch″ )

[Sp. cucaracha]
Any of the very common insect pests of the family Blattidae that infest homes and facilities that handle and store food. There are approx. 4500 species of cockroach, of which approx. 30 are associated with humans. The most common species in the U.S. are Blatta, Blatella, Eurycotis, and Periplaneta. Cockroaches defecate on human food, thereby transmitting to it bacteria, protozoan cysts, and helminth ova. Cockroaches are also a common cause of allergies and asthma.

American cockroach

The largest of the common cockroaches (Periplaneta americana), capable of flight, native to Africa but carried worldwide on ships, and found in tropical and subtropical climates. Allergens derived from P. americana are abbreviated Per a by the World Health Organization.
SYN: SEE: waterbug

Australian cockroach

A small cockroach (Periplaneta australasiae), similar to but smaller than the American cockroach, native to Asia but carried worldwide on ships, and found in tropical and subtropical climates.

German cockroach

A small, flightless cockroach (Blattella germanica) that is a common pest in urban areas.
SYN: SEE: croton bug

oriental cockroach

A large cockroach (Blatta orientalis) that prefers dark, moist places and is often found around decaying organic matter, and in sewers, drains, and damp basements
SYN: SEE: waterbug

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