Riley Pest Management
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 FLORIDA ROACHES
A source for information on roaches

Smokey Brown Roach
Periplaneta fuliginosa

Appearance:
Smoky Brown roaches are shiny dark-brown or mahogany in color; they closely resemble the American cockroach except they have no eye-patterns behind their head.

Size:
1 ¼ to 1 3/8-inch in length.

Behavior:
Smokey brown cockroaches have a tendency to lose moisture rapidly and require water every 2-3 days. Thus, they prefer moist, dark, protected areas with poor ventilation. They avoid areas with heavy air currents, such as vents, which can dry them out.

They are good fliers and easily travel from trees to homes. It is commonly attracted to homes to feed on improperly maintained trash containers and pet food on patios and decks. Smokey brown roaches normally prefer plant material and often inhabit greenhouses. They also tend to congregate around lights.

Habitat:
Smokey Brown roaches are abundant outdoors and are found in tree holes and the canopies of palm trees. They can also be found in block walls, leaf litter, gardens, flower beds and mulched areas. Indoors, they are commonly found in the attics and other poorly ventilated environs of homes, as well as in rotting soffit and fascia or other areas with excess moisture. They prefer living in gutters, roof eaves, under shingles, in sheds, wall and roof spaces, and in and around grease traps and drains.They will usually invades the attic or crawl space where it finds conditions similar to those found within a tree hole. Once populations grow large inside these areas, the cockroaches regularly venture down into the home. The occasional cockroach may wander into a home from harborage outside but chronic infestations are most always associated with attic or crawl space populations. Research has shown that attics and crawl spaces that have good ventilation are less likely to have these cockroaches living within them. The smoky brown is a common pest of homes along the Gulf Coast from central Florida to eastern Texas. It is also found in a few areas of Southern California, especially in the Los Angeles area.


Interesting Fact:
Smoky Brown cockroaches are scavengers and will eat any kind of organic matter. They may even grow to large numbers by feeding on dog droppings left in a yard.


Control:
To deter Smokey brown cockroaches from infesting your home, keep your attic or crawl space airy and well-ventilated, since they dry out easily. Repair any roof or plumbing leaks or water-damaged areas to reduce excess moisture areas. Cover any vents or other openings with screens, and seal any cracks or holes leading indoors with caulk or other sealants. Make sure not to leave pet food on patios or decks and turn off any unnecessary outdoor lights.

The best way to control smoky brown cockroaches is to determine the source and treat it directly, usually with a cockroach bait product. To keep these cockroaches from invading, the following steps are helpful:

  • Ensure the attic and/or crawl space has sufficient ventilation. Research has shown that proper ventilation creates an environment unsuitable for cockroaches and other pests. It also improves the heating and cooling efficiency of the home.
  • Make sure that all foundation and attic vents are equipped with tight-fitting screens.
  • Seal as many exterior cracks and holes as possible on the outside of the home.
  • Do not allow pet food to sit out overnight. Pick it up after outdoor pets are finished eating.
  • Store firewood as far from the house as possible, locating it off the ground and covering it with a tarp or plastic.
  • Eliminate piles of lumber and debris where cockroaches could harbor.


 

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-- Duggan Cooley, former CEO- RCS

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