10 Different Types of Cockroaches in Florida

Different Types of Cockroaches in Florida
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Cockroaches are seen as filthy pests, but most of them aren’t harmful, and you can find them in various habitats worldwide.

Unfortunately, Florida is home to some of the country’s most troublesome nuisance cockroaches. In this article, we shall discuss the different types of cockroaches in Florida.

These cockroaches feast on human and pet food, producing an unpleasant odor. In addition, cockroaches prefer dark, warm, and humid conditions, which Florida’s subtropical and tropical climate offers.

Here is a list of the different roaches you will likely come across in the state.

1. Florida Woods Cockroach

The Florida Woods cockroach, often known as the ‘palmetto bug,’ is common in the southeastern United States. Florida homeowners discover large numbers of these big insects outside their homes, hidden beneath rocks or in the mulch.

These cockroaches are sometimes known as “stink roaches” because of their foul odor to scare away predators.

Since they don’t have wings, it’s simple to tell them apart from American roaches. Additionally, they favor moist environments and thrive in hot, humid conditions.

2. German Cockroach

The German cockroach comes to seek food and water at night and will flee if you switch on a light or disturb them. They scavenge for both plants and meat.

This cockroach likes meats, grains, sweets, and fatty foods. If they can’t locate food, they may devour household items like soap, glue, and toothpaste.

They break into homes, flats, restaurants, hotels, hospitals, and other establishments. During the day, this cockroach hides in tight spaces such as refrigerators, stoves, sinks, and walls. So it can be challenging to determine if you have a cockroach infestation.

3. American Cockroach

This is among the different types of cockroaches in Florida. The most common way for American cockroaches to infiltrate homes is through sewer pipes or other similar openings.

To find shelter, they can squeeze through tiny cracks near windows, doors, or vents. They may sneak into houses by hiding in firewood heaps.

American cockroaches inhabit sewers, storm drains, steam tunnels, water meter boxes, gardens, and garbage cans. They prefer warmth and humidity, especially when it is warmer than 82 F. 

Also, they hide indoors in the bathrooms, kitchens, boiler rooms, and laundry rooms. Though they can invade houses, infestations are more common in grocery stores and restaurants.

American cockroaches prefer decaying organic waste but will eat almost anything, including crumbs and kitchen trash. They eat leaves, wood, mushrooms, algae, and smaller insects outside.

4. Smokybrown Cockroach

Smokybrown cockroaches are fairly large, measuring about 1.5 inches long. You can also find these cockroaches in Florida. By observing their wings, which are longer than their bodies, you can tell them apart from several other varieties of roaches.

The most common entry points for smoke-brown cockroaches entering houses are pipes and vents, especially where vegetation touches the house.

However, these roaches are an outdoor kind that prefers to hang out in gutters, planting boxes, and woodpiles.

They also inhabit garages, water meter boxes, siding, trees, shrubs, and other vegetation. They even occasionally reside in sewers.

Finally, these cockroaches sometimes find their way inside homes, but it’s unusual. After that, you can find them in the attic.

5. Brown-banded Cockroach

Brown-banded cockroaches frequently enter homes through electronics, furniture, grocery bags, food containers, and food storage.

They can quickly develop into a major problem in apartment buildings because they can migrate between apartments through shared ductwork and piping.

Brown-banded cockroaches like to live in warm (about 80°F), dry, sheltered, and higher-up locations. So, you should look behind wall decorations, inside hollow furniture legs, under electrical appliances, and around clutter.

They’re among the species of cockroaches in Florida homes. Furthermore, brown-banded cockroaches like homes without air conditioning. They cause problems in offices and other locations with a lot of paper storage.

These cockroaches are serious pests inside homes because they can spread germs to food and food preparation areas. In addition, they leave behind egg casings and old skin that can cause allergies and asthma attacks.

6. Oriental Cockroach

The oriental cockroach is a harmful pest that prefers to live outside. They are especially common in homes with a lot of vegetation around them. 

They are slower than other types of roaches and do not fly. These cockroaches often get stuck in sinks and bathtubs because they can’t climb smooth vertical surfaces.

However, because they mostly stay outdoors doesn’t mean they’re not among the different cockroaches in Florida homes. 

The most common entry points for oriental cockroaches into homes are cracks around windows, doors, and vents. Some enter through drains or sewer lines that pass through exterior walls.

They might also move by walking on a wood pile they’ve been living in. You can find these roaches in dark places such as woodpiles, trash bins, garages, and basements.

Oriental roaches also inhabit meter boxes, sewers, and drains. These roaches are tough and can endure colder temperatures pretty well.

They spend much time searching for food by crawling over feces, decaying objects, and other bacteria-filled materials.

Also, they will contaminate food, food preparation areas, and utensils merely by stepping over them. Fortunately, their odor will inform you if your food has been infected.

7. Australian Cockroach

The size of Australian cockroaches is comparable to that of American cockroaches. You can differentiate them by looking for the characteristic brown ring-like pattern on the back of an Australian roach, just below its head.

Australian cockroaches enter houses and other structures through small gaps in external walls and areas where pipes or wires enter.

They hang out in piles of leaves and garden mulch, which means they are already near your home. They’ll start looking for ways to get inside when it becomes cold outside.

Most Australian cockroaches reside outside in warm climates. Their preferred environments are hot and humid with high temperatures. Sometimes they invade greenhouses but don’t really harm the crops.

They are among the largest insects you might discover crawling throughout your home. Be calm; they have no intention of hurting you. Almost all of their time is spent in hiding.

8. Surinam Cockroach

These cockroaches are one of the most common cockroaches in Florida. They have a sleek, smooth body and are dark brown or black in color. Also, they are roughly 12 inches long and can only fly for a short distance. 

Surinam cockroaches are not dangerous to people but can be unpleasant. These roaches prefer damp, gloomy environments. They are widespread around drains, basements, and crawl spaces.

In addition, Surinam roaches feed on decomposing organic waste. You’ll often find them near garbage cans or in compost piles. They reproduce fast and can lay up to 50eggs at a time.

9. Asian Cockroach

The Asian cockroach looks so much like the German cockroach. They’re so close in appearance that when they were originally discovered, even professionals mistook them for German roaches.

Asian cockroaches are obsessed with lights, and they will fly toward any nearby source of light using their strong wings. They invade residences solely for this reason. Otherwise, they are happy to remain outside.

Asian cockroaches primarily reside outside under mulch and the shaded regions of homeowners’ lawns.

They consume waste and decaying matter, among other things. This leads them to compost piles and landscaping covered in wet mulch or piles of fallen leaves.

Moreover, if they enter a building, they will fly in the direction of lights and televisions. They often hide near food sources or in locations with the most humidity. 

These cockroaches can fit through the space beneath a garage door or a hole in the wall of a shed. So don’t be surprised if you find them there.

10. Pennsylvania Wood Cockroach

This list of cockroaches in Florida won’t be complete without mentioning the Pennsylvania wood cockroach. They’re usually dark brown with short wings. These cockroaches enter your home by hiding in the pile of firewood you brought in.

In addition, this specie can only survive indoors for a short period. This is because it’s too dry inside, and they prefer eating compost, dead plants, and manure. 

After dusk, you can find this cockroach on tree trunks, lower oak branches, and elm trees. Thankfully, this species does not enjoy cohabitation with other cockroaches. As a result, they are uncontaminated and won’t make you ill.


There you have it – the different types of cockroaches in Florida. These insects can be quite harmful, and they reproduce quickly. If you notice any infestation in your home, ensure to call a professional pest exterminator. Thanks for reading!

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