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Red Runner Roach: All you need to Know

Red Runner roaches are also known as Turkestan cockroaches or rusty red roaches. They got their name from their natural habit of running away from danger. Red runner roaches are one of the most commonly sold feeder insects for exotic pets, including reptiles and arachnids.

Red Runner roach is a slender cockroach measuring 1.2 inches with multiple color variations from light to dark brown and black. Adult Red roach has long yellowish wings making them good gliders. In contrast, females are broader and have tiny vestigial wings with cream-colored margins. Red runner roach love to live in the outdoors and rarely infest homes.

Though Red Runner roaches are native to areas between Northern Africa and Central Asia, they can be found in many countries. Red Runner roaches have high protein content and are easy to digest than other insects, making them an ideal choice as a feeder insect. I will be sharing a complete article with all necessary information about Red Runner Roach in the blog below.

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Red Runner roach Characteristic & Identification

Because of its appearance and size, the Red Runner roach can be confused with Wood cockroaches. However, certain distinctive features make Red Runner roaches totally a different type of cockroach.


Interestingly, In appearance, the Male and Female Red Runner roaches are quite different and sometimes can confuse you into believing them to be different species. Therefore, I will separately describe both of them.

Male Red Runner Roach is a long, smooth, flat, and slender roach with light brown to orange color.

Female Red Runner Roach is a smaller, broader, striated roach with dark brown to black color.


Adult Male Red Runner roach measures 1.2 inches (3 cm).

Adult Female Red Runner roach measures 1 inch (2.54 cm).

The Nymph measures 2 to 3 mm in the earliest stage to about 8 to 9 mm long at a later stage.

Wings and Bite

Male Red Runner roach has long, thin yellowish wings measuring larger than the body and making them good gliders. The wings also help attract females for mating.

Female Red Runner roach has tiny vestigial wings that fail them to fly. Wings have a cream-colored border.

Neither Male nor Female Red Runner roaches bite, but a severe allergy has been reported to people that handle them too much with constant exposure to the fragments of the body.

Identification Points

Red Runner roach can be differentiated from wood roaches by,

  1. Red Runner roaches are slighty longer than Wood roaches.
  2. Wood cockroach has oval body whereas Red Runner roach is slender.

You may be wondering Where Do Roaches Come From? Read this article to get your answers.

Red Runner roach Distribution and Habitat

Although Red Runner roaches are found throughout the world, they are native to Africa and Central Asia.

Red runner roach is a species of outdoors, especially around deserts, rocky plains, and wadis. They rarely infest homes and are easy to exterminate compared to other roaches, including German, Oriental, and Brown-banded roaches. However, they can be a problem in certain climates, such as the tropics.

Red runner roach is attracted to light and is often found flying towards it. Moreover, they are most active at night.

How do exterminators get rid of roaches? Read this article to know more.

Red Runner Cockroach: Diet and Life Cycle

Like other roaches, the Red Runner roach is omnivorous and feeds on decomposing food, including rotten leaves, fruits, and garbage.

Once the female mate, she produces ootheca, including 15 individual eggs after 45 days, and continues to produce every month for the rest of her life. In her lifetime, she lays approximately 30 oothecae.

The Red Runner roach has an average life span of 2 years, including egg and nymph stages. However, the female has a slightly longer life span, i.e., 2 to 3 months.

Can Red Runners infest your home?

Red Runners rarely infest homes unless you belong to the tropics. In the tropics, due to the harsh weather, red runners often seek shelter with ample food and humidity. Therefore, they will love to infest homes.

In other areas such as the US, red runners never infest homes. So it is not a problem here.

Can Red Runner roaches climb plastic and Glass?

Red runner roaches can not climb plastic or glass surface that is smooth. So, if you are keeping Red runner roaches inside a glass or plastic container with a smooth surface, you don’t need to cover the container to prevent red runner roaches from escaping.

On the other hand, red runner roaches can easily escape a glass or plastic surface with a rough or serrated surface.

Uses of Red Runner Roach

In older times, people used crickets as food for exotic pets. But crickets had the downsides of noise production and easy escaping from containers.

In recent times, the red runner roach has been gaining popularity. This is because the exoskeleton of the Red Runner roach is low in chitin, making it an ideal food for certain exotic pets. In addition, the Red Runner roach has a low fat to protein ratio compared to crickets and worms.

Moreover, Red Runner roaches can’t climb glass or plastic containers with smooth surfaces, making them easy to manage.

Chinese also uses Red runner roach for medicinal use because of high Vit A & E.

Addition Read

Top 9 Signs of a Cockroach Infestation

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