Florida Cockroaches: Different Types & How to Identify them

Most people know what a cockroach is and associate it with dirt and grime. It’s true, cockroaches are drawn to trash and leftover food, but they can exist anywhere. 

Cockroaches are simply an insect that is anywhere between 1/2 to 3 inches in length, and a reddish-brown or black color. 

They are always oval-shaped insects with a flexible exoskeleton that moves through small spaces, and often hide in the darkness. The one thing they always have in common is that they are not welcome inside anyone’s home.

What are the Different Types of Florida Cockroaches?

There are eight different types of cockroaches that homeowners may find in Florida.

American Cockroach 

Sometimes referred to as Palmetto Bugs, the American Cockroach is the most commonly found type in the south of the United States. They enjoy the heat and humidity because they were originally found in the tropics. These cockroaches range between 1/2 to 2 inches in length. 

Typically the American cockroach will be found hiding in insulation, especially in attics. They also tend to enter through plumbing, a sewer, or a septic system. This is common if you are remodeling your home, especially in the kitchen or bathroom. 

If you have old cast iron pipes that need work, sometimes there are deteriorated holes that can end up being an entry point for the American Cockroach. 

Smoky brown Cockroach

The Smokybrown Cockroach can reach up to 38 mm in length. They have big wings and are a black mahogany, shiny color. When in the nymph stage, they have a white stripe on their thorax. This helps them to hide in leaf litter and mulch. 

Although found primarily in the southeastern United States, such as central Texas to Florida, they can also cause issues as far north as North Carolina, Indiana, and even Southern California. This is because they live in areas that are warm with high humidity, especially in wooded areas. 

The smoky brown cockroach is also nocturnal, which means they hide during the day away from humans. This usually leads them to be found in greenhouses, nurseries, and gardens, as well as in tree holes, beneath mulch, and in gutters. However, they are also found in attics.

Florida Woods Cockroach

The Florida wood cockroach typically measures 1.5 inches tall and 1 inch wide. They are reddish-brown to black and do not have fully developed wings like most other species of cockroaches. They are found in Florida, but also in coastal Alabama, coastal Georgia, Mississippi, and the West Indies.

Sometimes called the stinking cockroach, it can release chemicals from a gland under their abdomens. This helps them survive because they are generally slow-moving but releases an odd smell.  

They typically feed on decaying plants, mold, and moss. They generally live in wooded areas, but can also be found in bathrooms, basements, leaky pipes, or palmetto leaves. 

Australian Cockroach

Often mistaken for the American cockroach, the Australian cockroach is dark brown and somewhat large, between 1 to 1.25 inches in length. They have a yellow band on the top of their head and are almost always found outdoors.

Typically you can find the Australian cockroach under the bark of trees, but also in firewood. This is why you should keep firewood away from your home’s foundation. If found indoors, the Australian cockroach is usually near water, such as pipes, sinks, toilets, and other dark areas.

Brown Cockroach

The brown cockroach was originally native to Africa but is found all over the world. In colder climates, it can only survive when inside homes, therefore it has become a household pest. 

Similar in appearance to the American cockroach, it is darker in color and a bit wider. The color is reddish-brown, with fully developed wings. They can reach up to 4 centimeters in length.

German Cockroach

German cockroaches have many differences from American cockroaches. They have a similar body shape, but the German cockroach is smaller, growing to between 1/2 and 5/8 of an inch. 

They are usually found inside a home, apartment, or kitchen. They are particularly found near water and food sources such as a sink or refrigerator. 

This type of cockroach breeds very fast, which means if you see one, there are most likely more. In serious infestations, it is common to find hundreds on the ceiling, and even behind picture frames.

The easiest way to spot an infestation is to look for their scat. This will look like small dots around where they spend their time. However, German roaches consume their fecal matter, which means they do not need another food source and can continue to live off of their own excrement.

Brown-Banded Cockroach

One of the smallest of the invasive cockroaches, as an adult, this cockroach may reach 11 to 14.5 mm in length at the most. Different from other roaches, the Brown Banded Cockroach receives its name from the light brown or tan transverse bands across the wings.

Brown-banded cockroaches are usually found in dry and warm locations. Inside the home, this might be in a cabinet, closet, or pantry. They can also be found around refrigerator motor housings or even clocks and picture frames. 

Unlike other cockroaches, they avoid water but prefer ceilings and food sources. Food sources might include anything with starch content, such as book bindings, wallpaper glue, and stamps.

Asian Cockroach

Asian cockroaches appear exactly the same as German cockroaches. They are anywhere from 13 to 16 mm long and are light brown with two parallel lines behind their head. Similar to other types of cockroaches, they are omnivorous and feed on anything that is available. They often carry germs and can spread diseases to humans. They breed the most in warmer conditions of the spring and summer.

Originally most commonly found in Southeast Asia, these cockroaches have spread worldwide. In the United States, they are found primarily in the South East, in shaded and moist areas. Most often they are outdoors but do enter homes. They look for light and are often found near TV screens or on lamps.

Tips to Prevent a Florida Cockroaches Infestation

Here are a few tips to prevent a cockroach infestation in your home. 

  • Clean your kitchen 
  • Sweep and vacuum up crumbs often
  • Wash dishes daily
  • Change the garbage frequently
  • Clean the pantry
  • Seal all foods in hard containers with lids that fit
  • Clean the bathroom and patio
  • Fix dripping faucets
  • Reduce moisture with dehumidifiers and fans
  • Seal off gaps around windows, doors, and lanai screens
  • Use screens on laundry vents and attic fans
  • Trim shrubs and palm trees away from your roof
  • Check any firewood or boxes for roaches 

Get a Free Quote on Cockroach Control

Cockroaches are a danger to your health and if you are struggling to handle pest problems, we can help. At Impact Pest Elimination we offer high-quality pest control services to remove roaches and other pests, to get you back to a healthy home. 

Get a free quote on all of our pest control services by contacting us today!