Did You Know? Smoky Cockroach

|  April 16, 2015
Photo: courtesy of, and copyrighted by, Gene White, pmimages@earthlink.net

Photo: courtesy of, and copyrighted by, Gene White, pmimages@earthlink.net

The smoky cockroach, smokybrown cockroach and smokey brown cockroach are the same insect: Periplaneta fuliginosa.

Smokies love warm, moist areas near the Gulf Coast such as Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida and Eastern Texas. They’re not tolerant of cold, but can survive by moving indoors. They’ve also been found in unlikely places such as Southern California, Illinois and Indiana from being transported in nursery stock.

Smoky cockroaches are good flyers and are attracted to nighttime porch lights.

They love living outdoors and in greenhouses, but can thrive and infest if brought indoors where food is available. They eat anything that doesn’t eat them first, and they drink every two days.

The best way to manage smokies is to:

1. Remove outside nesting and harborage (clogged gutters, mulch, leaf piles, etc.).

2. Exclude them from cracks, crevices, door/window openings and pipes.

3. Treat inside (if there are signs of interior infestation) with labeled baits and gels as you would German cockroaches. 

You can reach the Kate and Jeff McGovern at jeffreymcgovern@mindspring.com.

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