Roaches are common in Florida. They are mostly seen in the kitchen or any other food storage area. But most Florida roaches are not seen as they live in remote areas.
There are over 30 species of roaches in the state.
1. Surinam Cockroach
The Surinam Cockroach (Pycnoscelus surinamensis) is the most popular roach in the state. It grows anywhere between 0.7 and 0.98
inches depending on its food sources. This roach doesn’t specifically like to live inside the house, but it doesn’t live away from humans.
Research shows it prefers to live next to man-made buildings, gardens, and crops. It rarely prefers to live outside this perimeter.
The population of these roaches is mostly female. They carry around 30 eggs which are then expelled as they become nymphs.
These roaches can get inside the house, mainly in homes with potted plants. Specific plant treatments keep them away from the potted plants inside the house.
2. American Cockroach
The American Cockroach (Periplaneta americana) is one of the most common roaches in Florida. Unlike its name suggests, it’s native to Africa. It’s now found all around the US, particularly in warm climate states such as Florida as it doesn’t like cold weather. The roach prefers to take shelter in homes in cold weather.
This roach eats many things around the house from carpets to leather or food. It even eats dead animals. This allows it to be one of the largest common roaches in the state. It reaches an average length of around 1.6 inches which allows it to be considered among the most visible invasive species.
The roach is kept away from homes by sealing all cracks, including those around the basement. People in Florida also remove all food traces from inside and outside the house to get rid of this roach.
It’s important to keep it away from the house as much as possible as it lives a long life. The American Cockroach lives up to 700 days.
3. Florida Woods Cockroach
The Florida Woods Cockroach (Eurycotis floridana) is a red-brown roach known for its foul smell. Males release a foul smell when alarmed. Humans can smell it up to a few feet away. However, these roaches aren’t interested in living in the same habitat as humans, as their name suggests.
The Florida Woods Cockroach prefers to live in trees or around trees as well as in abandoned buildings in areas with warm weather.
Native to the US, the roach prefers humid environments as well. This is why it doesn’t like to sit out in the sun-seeking shelter in damp shaded locations. When the weather turns bad it seeks shelter from cold temperatures.
It may wander inside the house. But it’s not found in the kitchen as many Florida roaches but in the bathrooms, as it’s actively seeking high humidity habitats.
4. Australian Cockroach
This Australian roach (Periplaneta australasiae) has made its way to Florida. It likes tropical climates, especially habitats with water sources. Unlike the Florida Woods Cockroach, the Australian Cockroach lives around buildings. It lives outside occasionally seeking food and shelter inside the house.
This roach prefers humid environments. However, it survives arid conditions with the provision there’s enough water nearby.
It’s a type of roach that has a varied diet being known to eat all types of food. It doesn’t stay away from decaying food either.
It grows to over 1 inch in size when there’s enough food and it can be recognized by its brown color body with brown legs.
5. Banana Cockroach
These roaches (Panchlora nivea) have a pale green color and they don’t live inside homes. This is the reason they aren’t considered pests. The Banana Cockroach is only found in Florida and Texas in the US, but normally outside homes out in nature.
The roaches prefer to live under trees, logs, and vegetation. They are sometimes grown indoors as roach pests given they look rather friendly due to their vivid color.
While they grow up to 30mm in size, they are normally offered as food to other animals. These roaches are also prolific breeders.
They lay up to 60 eggs at once. However, it’s common to have the female lay as few as 20 eggs in some regions of the state. The nymphs mature in around 180 days.
6. German Cockroach
The German Cockroach (Blattella germanica) is the most troublesome household roach. It breeds frequently and it reaches maturity faster than other roaches which means it’s found in high numbers in habitats such as restaurants, hotels, or private homes.
The roach is of African origin establishing itself in Europe. It later made its way to North America becoming one of the most feared small (up to 0.6 inches) house pests.
The roach exclusively lives inside human-populated buildings. It dies outside as it doesn’t survive cold weather.
It likes to eat meats and fatty foods. This is why it’s highly present in restaurants. On the other hand, it also eats ordinary objects in the absence of food. This can be anything from soap to pieces of leather.
The roach is recognized by its light brown color and long wings that run from the back of its head. While it can’t fly, the German Cockroach can glide and make a quick escape in face of danger.
7. Asian Cockroach
The Asian Cockroach (Blattella asahinai) looks very similar to the German Cockroach. Unlike the German Cockroach, the Asian Cockroach has been seen as a beneficial insect. It’s widely used to control a type of larva that damages cotton crops.
The cockroach is among those that have wings but can’t fly a long distance. However, it also gets its popularity for its vast colonies in the summer, particularly around agricultural fields.
The cockroach is often seen in colonies of up to 250.000 which makes it a prolific breeder and one of the most feared hordes of roaches.
The Asian Cockroach dies as the temperature starts to drop towards the end of the fall.
8. Smoky Brown Cockroach
This dark cockroach has marks on its back and it can be distinguished from the more popular American Cockroach. It’s also considerably smaller only reaching a quarter of an inch at best in adulthood.
The roach is often seen around buildings and in buildings.
The Smoky Brown Cockroach (Periplaneta fuliginosa) lives both inside and outside Florida homes. It only goes inside to look for food and to seek shelter from cold weather. Otherwise, it prefers to be outside near human-made buildings in the summer.
It likes to eat food leftovers and it regularly goes inside the house to look for food if there are no food leftovers to be found outside.
9. Neoblattella detersa
This roach has a black body with white lines and white markings on its back. Part of the Ectoviidae family, this species is comprised of multiple smaller sub-species that are all known to live indoors. This family of roaches prefers to live inside the house where they are protected from cold nights.
All species of the Neoblattella detersa live around basements and the kitchen. They prefer humid areas of the house and they come out at night looking for food. These roaches tend to disappear completely during the winter as their reduced size makes them vulnerable to cold weather.
10. Rehn’s Cockroach
Rehn’s Cockroach (Latiblattella rehni) is characterized by a brown-golden color.
Part of the Ectoviidae family, this cockroach lives inside the house where it’s seen most of the time.
The small cockroach doesn’t live long either, like most other roaches of this family. It mostly lives during the summer when the temperatures are high.
Identified by its long golden wings and long golden head with black markings, this roach is considered a pest.
11. Small Yellow Cockroach
The Small Yellow Cockroach (Cariblatta lutea) is seen across Southern Peninsular Florida in hammock plants. It also lives in the tall grass next to the beach. This species is the smaller brother of the Cariblatta lutea lutea, also found in Florida.
Both species are common in the state. They have a natural distribution around plains of pine, beaches, and next to water sources. They live in pieces of wood, pine litter, as well as in any damp shaded ground area. They rarely sit in the sun.
Both species are rather small and sometimes hard to see when out in nature.
Some roaches might reach a maximum body size of 7mm.
12. Arenivaga floridensis
This species of roach is native to the Florida sand ridges. It prefers to live in sandy areas where it can dig easily. These are also warm areas of the state where the green-brown roach can feel safe and thermally protected.
Part of the Corydiinae family, the roaches also live in the sand burrows of other mammals. They are also known as wandering roaches as they tend to move a lot. Their long antennae help guide them around these soft warm grounds.
13. Bilunate Cockroach
The Bilunate Cockroach (Ischnoptera bilunata) likes to live in high humidity. It can live indoors but it loves natural habitats close to water sources.
It has a brown-amber body with long wings which reach up to 1 inch in length.
Unlike other roaches, the Bilunate Cockroach can fly with its wings. This makes it fast and agile. The roach can also climb walls having a very easy time getting inside the house.
Many people use Bilunate Cockroaches as pet roaches. These are quite rare to catch out in nature and their amber color look makes them perfect to look at when raised as a pet. These roaches mature quickly and they are also legal to raise as pets.
14. Dark Wood Cockroach
These roaches (Ischnoptera deropeltiformis) are known for their dark body which is mostly black. Leg color can differ according to age and sub-species. Legs can be tan, amber, brown, and even bright red.
These roaches aren’t pests but they can get inside the house easily. Attracted by sources of light such as light bulbs, roaches can accidentally get inside the house.
They also like to live in secluded areas such as under firewood which recommends checking all pieces of wood that are brought into the house to keep them out.
15. Small Yellow Texas Cockroach
This small roach (Chorisoneura texensis) is vastly found in Southern US, particularly in Florida and Texas. It only measures a few millimeters being hard to see outside the house on the ground. Its amber-yellow color makes it visible when held on the hand.
The small roach is also seen in a vast number of sub-species. It’s estimated there are more than 90 Chorisoneura texensis species, each with its color and different habitat preferences.
16. Pale-bordered Field Cockroach
These roaches (Pseudomops septentrionalis) get their name from the off-white lines that run along the edges of their wings. They have a dark-color body and a tan-brown head which makes them some of the easiest to recognize roaches in Florida.
The roaches aren’t considered invaders. They are among the friendliest roaches as they only live outdoors, particularly in gardens. They only eat leaves and plant fibers that are fallen which means they don’t damage gardens either.
They wander into the house at times but they don’t set up colonies inside homes as they prefer to live outdoors in gardens with flowers.
17. Cariblatta minima
This roach is small and brown. It is part of the Ectobiidae family. A terrestrial creature, it is found in peninsular Florida. Preferring to live outside on the ground, they are often seen eating wood and laying larvae on pieces of rotten wood.
These roaches are brown when they’re young. Their color darkens as they mature.
18. Florida Beetle Roach
This small species (Plectoptera poeyi) is found in Florida as well as in the Caribbean. Part of the Plectopera species, the roach has a brown head and a brown body. It was first described in 1862 as part of the Ectobiidae family. The roach is related to the German cockroach, the Asian Cockroach, and the Small Yellow Cockroach.
19. Chorisoneura parishi
First described in 1918, this species is mostly found in Florida, but also parts of Central and South America. It can be identified by its small body of a tan shiny color with a tan shiny back of the head. The roach has long wings but it can’t fly.
It’s mostly seen in gardens on warm summer days where it prefers to eat plants and leaves.
20. Maya Cockroach
Part of the Blaberidae family, the May Cockroach (Epilampra maya) is known for its unique defensive mechanisms. It starts to go underwater when it feels alarmed. This roach is semi-aquatic. It prefers to live next to freshwater streams and it’s normally not found inside Florida homes.
The roach feeds on decaying vegetation found in water or next to water sources.
21. Discoid Cockroach
The Discoid Cockroach (Blaberus discoidalis) gets its name from its round body shape. It has large wings on the top of its back but it can’t rely on them to fly. The roach is not even known for moving efficiently at it seems to be wandering around without a clear direction most of the time.
The species is widely known as food for other animals and as a result, it’s grown inside the house. Lizard owners grow Discoid Cockroaches as a source of food. These roaches breed quickly and reach maturity within a few months. Their maximum body length is 35mm. Still, lizards and bearded dragons love to eat Discoid Cockroaches.
22. Fulvous Wood Cockroach
This red-brown roach (Parcoblatta fulvescens) is mostly seen around Florida swamps, oaks, and pine forests. It likes to live under leaves where it spends most of its life. This roach is also closely tied to mesic hammock and xeric hammock. It’s easily found around Florida hammock.
The female of the species is identified by a more pronounced color closer to red while the male Fulvous Wood Cockroach has a more intense brown color.
23. Oriental Cockroach
This roach (Blatta orientalis) is known for living both indoors and outdoors with good resistance to cold weather in case it doesn’t find shelter inside homes. It gets inside the house along sewage pipes as this is where it feeds most of the time. It also eats decaying animals.
The small roach is known for causing problems to homeowners who leave exposed garbage next to the house. It’s normally identified as a pest. Most pest controllers look at spider webs where small Oriental Cockroaches often get trapped to establish if a home has a pest issue with these roaches.
24. Southern Wood Cockroach
The Southern Wood Cockroach (Parcoblatta divisa) is a dark brown roach with a long body. It can grow to 17mm. However, most individuals are a bit smaller at a length of around 12mm.
These are normally found in woodlands and areas with plenty of wood. They like tall grass habitats as well as areas around oaks and longleaf pines.
25. Tawny Cockroach
The Tawny Cockroach (Ectobius pallidus) is also found in Florida. This roach is present in many countries around the world, including Europe.
It can be recognized by its yellow-golden color. It features black spots on its body and small black dots on its head. The number of these dots isn’t fixed from one individual to another. The legs of the roach are also yellow-golden but without any black marks. Its antennae are of similar aesthetics without any black markings.
26. Brown-banded Cockroach
Similar to the German Cockroach, the Brown-banded Cockroach (Supella longipalpa) is known for living its entire life inside homes. It has the same brown color as the German roach but without the black lines on the back. This roach is known for preferring the warmth inside homes as it cannot survive outdoors in the cold.
It’s considered a pest since it carries bacteria and it can infest food. This roach has been tied to multiple health problems in humans such as allergies.
Most of these roaches get inside the house through small cracks in the walls, by crawling under doors, or by taking advantage of a forgotten open window.
27. Aglaopteryx gemma
This small roach is also found in Souther US states such as Florida and Georgia. It’s considered a pest that lives in all areas of the house. It finds a resting spot in the attic, in the living room, or the basement.
You can distinguish it from other common household roaches by its back coloring which resembles a bee. The upper side of its back is black with off-white markings while the lower side of its back features horizontal yellow and black lines, similar to those on bees and wasps.
28. Brown Cockroach
The Brown Cockroach (Periplaneta brunnea) looks similar to the American Cockroach but it has a triangular body with a brown color. It grows up to 2 inches and it prefers tropical warm climates.
It’s believed to originate in Africa. The Brown Cockroach doesn’t lay as many eggs as the average Florida roach. Once the ootheca is produced, it normally contains just 24 eggs compared to up to 60 eggs in the oothecal of most other roaches in the state.
Once it reaches adulthood, the roach starts to eat everything it can. It’s an omnivore which means it eats both vegetables and meat.
29. Small Hooded Cockroach
This small roach only grows to a few inches. Part of the Compsodes genus, the roach (Compsodes cucullatus) is only found under the bark of dead trees. Roaches eat the wood inside, lay eggs inside the tree, and rarely leave the tree if left undisturbed.
30. Caudell’s Wood Cockroach
The roach (Parcoblatta caudelli) is characterized by a yellow-red head and a black body with red legs. It’s found in woodlands and dead trees. There’s growing evidence to suggest the roach also loves to live in sawdust.
Native to the US, the species needs further scientific exploration. Some studies suggest that the roach can fly while others say it can’t.
A smaller percentage of studies claim that only females of the species can fly. However, the roach is part of the native Parcoblatta roach family where most species can fly, especially towards light sources.