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Cockroaches in Florida: All you need to know

Florida is love, and so are its sandy beaches and warm subtropical climate. Florida has everything to offer to its residents and folks of tourists that visit the state each year. However, few residents are the bain of Florida’s existence. Yes! I am talking about cockroaches in Florida.

The most common cockroaches in Florida are the infamous Florida Woods cockroach, but it rarely infests indoors and is an accidental intruder. On the other hand, the German cockroach is the most common cockroach that infests indoor spaces.

Besides these, other common cockroaches in Florida include Brown Banded, Smokey Brown, and Oriental cockroaches; they infest indoor spaces but less commonly. The American cockroach is among the notorious flying cockroaches in Florida and infests indoor spaces when the outside condition becomes unfavorable for survival.

Interestingly, a Madagascar Hissing cockroach in Florida is very famous for its unique color and texture and is kept as a pet. Moreover, unlike other feeder roaches such as Red Runner and Dubia Roaches, which are illegal in Florida, the Discoid cockroach is a famous feeder roach and is legal in Florida.

I have written this blog to help people living in Florida identify cockroaches invading their space and help prevent and exterminate them efficiently. Moreover, this blog will also help tourists avoid taking back cockroaches in their luggage to their hometown.

Before you read further, just a quick question. Tired of cockroaches and looking for a permanent solution?

Stop wasting your time, invest in these products and follow this guide: How to get rid of roaches? You will be roach-free in 10-20 days.

1. Max Force Glue Traps
2. Advion Gel Baits
3. Harris Powder Bait
4. Gentrol Insect Growth Regulator
5. Loctite Foam Sealent


Optional Items
1. Gel Bait Professional Gun
2. Torch
3. Powder Bait Puffer
4. Insecticide Spray to kill a reveled colony in a single shot

Cockroaches are common in Florida

If you ask, are cockroaches common in Florida? You might be staggered to know that cockroaches are pretty common in almost all cities of Florida.

Florida has long, hot and humid summers and mild and wet winters. This makes Florida a state with a subtropical climate loved by cockroaches to live, breed, and reproduce.

In addition, large metropolitan cities like Miami and Jacksonville have plenty of Palm trees that are the hotspot of many Peridomestic roaches, including Florida Woods cockroaches.

Florida alone house at least eight types of peridomestic cockroaches, with the Florida Woods cockroach the most common among them (Reference). In addition, a number of domestic and wild species of cockroaches are also present in Florida. They are making Florida a cockroach republic 😂 (Just Kidding).

Types of cockroaches in Florida

Roaches have started appearing on the face of the earth for 360 million years. Since the first cockroach appeared on the earth, they continuously expanded and evolved.

Cockroaches have expanded to almost every State via trade and transportation. The port of Port Tampa Bay, Gulf of Mexico, has been a significant contributor to the transmission of roaches to various parts of the state.

Florida alone house at least 18 types of cockroaches. However, here are the few very common cockroaches in Florida,

Florida Woods Cockroach

The Florida Woods Cockroach, aka Palmetto bug, is the most common cockroach found in Florida. It is the only cockroach native to Florida and is found throughout the state from Miami to Jackson Villa.

It is a peridomestic pest and is slightly different from other wood roaches. It is usually seen around the house’s area, including storage areas, greenhouses, animal farms, and water supply.

Florida Woods cockroach is an accidental intruder and rarely infests indoor spaces; they infest homes made of wood more commonly. However, if they establish a colony inside the house, they are difficult to exterminate. This is because they mainly infest spaces inside the house that are difficult to reach, e.g., Attics, Basements, Cabinets, and storage compartments under the stairs.

Other Wood roaches, such as Parcoblatta species and Pennsylvania Wood roaches, are not common in Florida and are infrequent occurrences.

Do you know the biggest cockroaches measure more than 3 inches in size?

German Cockroach

The German cockroach is the most common Florida roach that infests indoor spaces because it can’t survive in the wild.

The German cockroach is half an inch in size and has dark stripes on the back of the head. They have two sets of wings but can’t fly.

The German cockroach infests Florida’s houses, highrise buildings, damp basements, and restaurants. Bedrooms and kitchens are hotspots of German cockroaches in Florida because the former provide air conditioning while the latter has plenty of food sources.

Interestingly, Florida’s hotels, guest houses, hostels, and dormitories spread German roaches throughout the US. This is because many tourists visit them each year and serve as a medium for German roaches, their babies, and eggs.

German cockroaches are dangerous because they spread disease and trigger allergies. They also love to visit sewerage more often. Moreover, German roaches reproduce very quickly and infest very heavily.

American Cockroach

This is also a pretty common cockroach in Florida. However, it occasionally infests indoor spaces when the outside temperature and conditions become unfavorable.

American cockroaches in Florida are found mainly inside gutters, damp basements, under the rocks, and sheds. It is one and a half to 2 inches with brown color with a flat body.

The American cockroach has flight-capable wings and reproduces quickly, with a life span of up to 2 years.

The American cockroach is among the flying cockroaches in Florida, along with other roaches such as brown-banded and Smokey Brown Cockroaches.

The American cockroach is notorious for flying toward flashes of bright light or when feeling threatened.

Brown Banded Cockroach

Brown-banded cockroaches are different from the German roach because it has two noticeable lighter stripes across their back. Hence, brown-banded.

Brown Banded Cockroach measures about ½ inch long, and the male roach has wings covering the whole abdomen. However, the female Brown-Banded cockroaches have tiny wings with no ability to fly.

These roaches are also common cockroaches found in Florida but rarely infest homes. Instead, they often infest restaurants, cafes, and bars.

Oriental cockroach

The Oriental cockroach is also known as the waterbug. Interestingly, Oriental cockroaches and water bugs are quite different. Nevertheless, they have also successfully made it to the list of common Florida roaches.

The Oriental cockroach is 0.71–1.14 inches with a dark brown to the glossy black oval body. Interestingly, unlike males, the female Oriental cockroaches resemble Florida Woods Cockroaches.

The male and female both have short wings, but none of them is flight-capable, excluding them from the group of flying roaches in Florida.

Oriental Cockroaches live in dark and moist places near decaying organic matter, sewers, drains, damp basements, porches, and other damp locations.

Oriental cockroaches rarely infest indoor spaces in Florida but sometimes are seen in damp basements in hot and humid cities like Key West and Miami.

Madagascar Hissing Cockroach

The Madagascar hissing cockroach is native to the island of Madagascar. But people in Florida also love to keep it as a pet because of its beautiful looks, innocent nature, and hissing noise. This makes Madagascar hissing cockroaches in Florida a collector’s item among pet roach lovers.

Madagascar Hissing cockroach pet is also unique because of the horns on the male’s head which it uses to defend its territory by fighting with other male Madagascar Hissing cockroaches.

Interestingly, Madagascar hissing cockroach loves to live in the wild and never infest indoor spaces.

Other types of roaches in Florida

Smokey Brown, AsianOrientalBrown Banded, the Australian cockroaches are also found in Florida. However, these roaches mostly love to live outdoors and rarely infest indoors.

Therefore, these roaches do not impose a major infestation problem in Florida. However, when the external conditions become extreme, mostly during heat waves, these roaches may move indoors and cause infestation.

Another interesting roach called the Discoid roach is famous in Florida because it is a feeder roach for exotic pets like geckos and Dragon lizards. People in Florida sometimes even farm and sell them for a reasonable sum of money.

Electronic Cockroach Repellent; Does it work? Read this article to know more.

Preventing Cockroaches in Florida

In Florida, the buildings and houses are designed with open spaces to allow fresh air to flow. But unfortunately, it offers an increased risk of arthropods, including cockroach infestation.

On one side, open spaces add beauty and a sense of attachment to nature, but, on the other hand, it allows several insects, including beetles, spiders, and cockroaches, to move inside.

Therefore, you must adopt a few precautions to prevent roaches in Florida from infesting indoors,

  1. Do not leave the garbage bins open
  2. Clean the house regularly and pick up any littered food on the floor
  3. Cover the bathroom drains when not in use
  4. Fix any openings in electric power boards
  5. Close door or window gaps with masking tape
  6. Fix leaking pipes with masking tape
  7. cover windows and ventilators with mesh, especially at night, to prevent flying Florida roaches from reaching inside.
  8. Avoid the use of too much lighting inside the yard and patio to prevent Florida Woods Cockroaches
  9. You can also use Natural Roach Repellents to keep roaches in Florida at bay
  10. Use IGR spray to prevent baby Florida roaches from transforming into adults.

Read this article Where do Roaches Hide? to learn more about where to apply repellents.

Getting Rid of Cockroaches in Florida

Getting rid of cockroaches in Florida can be tricky, but if you follow these three simple methods, you can quickly get rid of cockroaches in Florida.

Method 1: Using a bait

This is an excellent method that uses bait to get rid of cockroaches inside your house, including in bathrooms, cupboards, kitchen cabinets, and the basement. All these are the favorite hiding spots of cockroaches. Baits are better than sprays as baits will kill the entire colony.

The market is flooded with many baits, but these are my favorite ones. Use each of them according to the instructions on the pack.

– Bengal Roach Killer is a dry spray bait, very easy to apply and use. (How to use guide)
– Advion Cockroach Gel Bait is the most effective gel you can buy.
– Hot Shot Liquid Cockroach Trapper and Killer is the best trap you can get for cockroaches.
– Combat Max 12 Month Roach Killing Bait is the best bait out on the market.

Method 2: Using an IGR

Using an IGR helps ensure the roach nymphs don’t grow into adults. The German cockroach is a notoriously fast breeder, and cities such as Florida and Naples offer an optimum temperature to reproduce throughout the year.

Therefore, using an IGR spray will keep roaches in check for you.

An IGR alters the internal hormones of roaches to molt. This way, the roaches will not become adults and fail to reproduce. Gentrol Growth Regulator (Amazon Link) is the only and the best IGR device for roaches.

It’s effortless to use. Just purge one of them and place it in a hidden place inside your bathroom.

Method 3: Insecticide Spray or Roach Bombs

Insecticide spray or roach bombs are quick solutions for getting rid of cockroaches in Florida However, roach bombs kill roaches but do not destroy the eggs; hence, we usually start to see roaches again after a few weeks.

To get rid of Florida cockroaches, you must seal all doors and windows, turn off ventilators or air conditioning and spray around all the corners and cockroach hiding places. Then, wait for 30 minutes before you ventilate the room.

Other methods such as using Diatomaceous Earth powder and Boric acid will also kill roaches in Florida, but these methods are messy and difficult to use.

Additional Read!

Do Cockroaches Jump?

Why do I see Cockroaches Outside My house at night?

Do cockroaches Lay Eggs When Killed?