The American cockroach (Periplaneta americana), also known as the Palmetto Bug or Waterbug, particularly in the southern United States, is the largest species of common cockroach, and often considered a pest. It is native to the Southern United States, and common in tropical climates. Human activity has extended the insect’s range of habitation. Specimens have been observed in eastern North American cities as far north as New York City, Toronto, and Montreal, though its intolerance to cold restricts it to human habitations. Global shipping has transplanted the insects to world ports including Tenerife (Spain), Southern Spain, Greece, Taiwan, and Cape Town and Durban, South Africa.
The insect is believed to have originated in Africa, but had become established in the southern U.S. by the time that it was given its name.