Roaches may be a valuable part of the ecosystem, but that doesn’t mean you want them in your home. The good news is that most species of cockroach would rather avoid human structures.
But what kind of roaches live in Florida? It would honestly take a small encyclopedia to list all the different cockroaches you can find in the Sunshine State, but here are 25 you might run into.
Types of Roaches Found in Florida
#1 – American Cockroach (Periplaneta americana)
One of the Big Three, the American cockroach can live up to 700 days and may reach two inches in length. These are some of the most common home invaders in the US. Despite their name, this species actually originated in Africa.
Despite their larger size, they can easily slip through small cracks and are notoriously difficult to get rid of.
Sandy areas are the territory of choice for these roaches, who love to burrow in. And speaking of burrows, they’re also known to confiscate the abandoned burrows of other animals.
However, they don’t usually stay in one place for too long and like to wander about the sands.
#3 – Asian Cockroach (Blattella asahinai)
Cockroaches actually have a role in the ecosystem, and the Asian cockroach illustrates this well. They feed on larval pests and, while they can form colonies of 250,000 roaches, rarely invade homes. As these are night dwellers, said home invasions are usually caused by attraction to lights.
These little guys caused a bit of confusion when a pest control agent found them in Lakeland, Florida in 1986. He initially identified them as German roaches, but it was later discovered the specimens were of a species discovered in Okinawa in 1981.
#4 – Australian Cockroach (Periplaneta australasiae)
It shouldn’t be surprising that you’ll find the Australian roach in Florida. This invasive species likes to live near buildings and are especially attracted to greenhouses. It’s also known to seek out humid places, such as the bathroom.
Their reddish-brown bodies have yellow markings, making them easier to differentiate from similar species. Outdoors, they can be found hiding under trees, logs, or other objects that provide shelter while still being moist.
Read Also: Do Cockroaches Bite?
#5 – Banana Cockroach (Panchlora nivea)
This species is only found in Florida and Texas within the US, and much prefers the outdoor life. Banana (or Cuban) cockroaches are most often found hiding beneath heavy vegetation, logs, and trees.
A female will lay between 20 and 60 eggs at once, but their population tends to remain under control naturally. In fact, this particular species is often raised to be fed to pets such as spiders and lizards.
#6 – Bilunate Cockroach (Ischnoptera bilunata)
One would think this species would prefer the indoor life, considering it craves high humidity. However, it’s far more common to spot them in more natural habitats close to water.
Their amber-brown bodies can reach up to an inch in length and they’re both skilled climbers and fliers. Oddly enough, the most common reason you’ll find them in Florida homes is as pets due to their coloration.
#7 – Brown Cockroach (Periplaneta brunnea)
It’s easy to mistake this species for the American roach, with the biggest difference being stubby cerci. Boasting a length of up to two inches and a brown, triangular body, these roaches only produce 24 eggs per ootheca. However, they can become quite the pest, as a mature brown cockroach will eat just about anything it sees.
#8 – Brown-Banded Cockroach (Supella longipalpa)
This is one of many cockroach species that prefer homes to the outside and will gladly spend its entire life as your roommate. They’re notorious for being disease vectors and contaminating food.
Brown-banded roaches have two lighter bands on their body and prefer infesting places higher up. Thus, you’ll be far more likely to find them in a high kitchen cabinet than on the floor.
They don’t need moisture, so it’s possible to find them in almost any room and often infesting the furniture or hiding behind light fixtures and picture frames.
#9 – Caudell’s Wood Cockroach (Parcoblatta caudelli)
It’s hard to miss this species of wood roach, as it has a black body, red legs, and a reddish-yellow head. It loves to nest in dead trees and may also enjoy sawdust as an alternative.
Oddly enough, this species hasn’t been well observed, meaning scientists don’t even know for sure if it can fly, let alone many other common details.
#10 – Cariblatta minima
These tiny roaches are brown as nymphs, slowly darkening in tone as they mature. They feed on wood and will also deposit their offspring on rotting wood. It’s rare for one to wander inside.
#11 – Chorisoneura parishi
Only found in Florida within US borders, this small, shiny tan roach likes to visit gardens in the summer where it snacks on leaves and plants.
#12 – Dark Wood Cockroach (Ischnoptera deropeltiformis)
This species isn’t a pest, although it can find its way indoors sometimes. They have nearly black bodies but the legs can vary in coloration.
The usual reasons to find a dark wood roach indoors is if it was attracted through an open window by the lights or if it was carried in on firewood.
#13 – Discoid Cockroach (Blaberus discoidalis)
Of all the peculiar roach species out there, this one is certainly worth scratching your head over. It has a rounded body which not only prevents it from flight but also seems to affect its ability to pick a direction and stick with it.
This wandering about has made it a popular food source for reptiles and lizard owners often keep these fast-breeding roaches on-hand for feeding their pets.
See Also: 15 Bugs That Are Mistaken for Roaches
#14 – Florida Woods Cockroach (Eurycotis floridana)
This reddish-brown cockroach is notorious for the horrible odor makes release when they feel alarmed. Thankfully, Florida Woods Roaches (aka: palmetto bugs) prefer the great outdoors and is mainly found near trees. They may take shelter in abandoned buildings, and tend to only invade homes to escape the cold.
In these cases, expect them to hang out where there’s plenty of moisture, such as a bathroom. As they generally feed on decaying plant matter, they’re rarely found invading kitchens.
#15 – Fulvous Wood Cockroach (Parcoblatta fulvescens)
Thanks to its preference for hiding under leaves, you’ll most often see this roach in pine or oak forests, as well as swamps. They also have a close relationship with hammock plants.
#16 – German Cockroach (Blattella germanica)
While these small cockroaches are only a little over half an inch long, they’re considered one of the Big Three. This is because a female only needs to mate once to continue laying eggs for the rest of her life.
Even worse, German cockroaches live almost exclusively in human structures and while they love fatty foods, they’ll eat just about anything, including your carpets, leather, paper, etc.
#17 – Maya Cockroach (Epilampra maya)
The Maya cockroach feeds on decaying matter it finds in or near water sources. When possible, it prefers to live near freshwater streams, allowing this semi-aquatic roach to dive underwater when threatened.
See Also: Are Roaches Related to Shrimp?
#18 – Neoblattella detersa
These roaches have white markings on black bodies and prefer infesting homes to the cold, usually taking up residence in kitchens or basements. At night, they’ll sneak out of their hiding places in search of food.
It should also be noted there are actually several subspecies of Neoblattella detersa.
#19 – Oriental Cockroach (Blatta orientalis)
The Oriental cockroach is one of the Big Three and is quite resilient. Their black, one-inch long bodies are easy to spot. You’ll find them hanging around garbage, although they’ll readily invade your home as well in search of food.
Basements, pipes, and sewer systems are some if its favorite spots.
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#20 – Pale-Bordered Field Cockroach (Pseudomops septentrionalis)
With off-white lines edging their wings, this little species rarely wanders indoors and will usually wander right back out again if they do. In fact, they’re about as far from being pests as a roach can get.
They like to make their homes in gardens or other fauna-heavy areas where they feed on the leaves and debris dropped by nearby plants.
#21 – Rehn’s Cockroach (Latiblattella rehni)
With their distinctive golden-brown coloration, this indoor pest tends to only survive the summer. This makes them more of a seasonal nuisance than a full-blown pest.
#22 – Small Yellow Cockroach (Cariblatta lutea)
Found mainly in tall grasses and hammock plants, this species isn’t keen on the indoor life. Instead, it prefers to hide amongst pine needles, wood, and other debris that provides shade and a moist ground underneath.
#23 – Small Yellow Texas Cockroach (Chorisoneura texensis)
Not to be confused with the small yellow cockroach, this is an extremely small species of roach that’s only found in a few southern states. It has a distinctive amber-yellow coloration.
However, what makes this species so special is the fact that there are an estimated 50 different subspecies out there.
#24 – Smoky Brown Cockroach (Periplaneta fuliginosa)
While somewhat similar to the American cockroach in appearance, the smoky brown cockroach only grows to 1/4 inches long and have the ability to fly. They’re commonly found invading homes in search of food, but generally prefers to be outdoors in the summer.
Smoky brown roaches dehydrate quickly, so they’ll try to remain near sources of moisture.
#25 – Surinam Cockroach (Pycnoscelus surinamensis)
Measuring only a little less than an inch long, these roaches like to live on your property but don’t necessarily like to enter your home. A single female can give live birth to up to 30 nymphs. On the rare occasion they do invade a home, they’ll target your houseplants.