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Smoky-brown Cockroach

Smokybrown Cockroach

Smokybrown cockroaches are close relatives of the American cockroach, but can easily be distinguished by their dark-brown/mahogany colouration. Smokybrown cockroaches prefer the warm and moist areas around buildings, and are a regional pest in warmer climates. However, the egg cases (ootheca) attach themselves to surfaces within a day of being laid and can be unknowingly transported by travelers.

Problems / Damage

Why should I be concerned?

Smokybrown cockroaches are most active from dusk to dawn when they come out in search of food. As they travel from one area to the next, they can carry many pathogens onto food and preparation areas. Smokybrown cockroaches have been associated with several human allergens, and they can evoke a response from asthmatics.

Habitat and Behaviour

A day in the life of a Smokybrown cockroach

Smokybrown cockroaches are typically found in the warmer climates of the southern United States around the Gulf of Mexico and bordering areas. While the Smokybrown cockroach is not cold-tolerant, they may survive indoors in colder areas. Every year, thousands of Canadians travel to the Florida and the Gulf of Mexico during their vacations. Travelers staying at poorly maintained hotels may unknowingly bring back these and other pests.

The Smokybrown cockroach is a detritivore and can eat all sorts of organic materials, but they tend to prefer decaying plant matter. They seek out dark, protected areas with a lot of moisture. This is because they tend to lose moisture very quickly through their cuticles.


close-up picture of smokybrown cockroach

  • A shiny dark-brown colouration
  • Adults can range from 25 to 38 mm in length
  • Have functional wings that cover the abdomen
  • A great flyer that is attracted to light

Tips for prevention and control

These tips may help you get rid of smokybrown cockroaches in your home:

  • Do not leave food out overnight
  • No not leave pet food and water out overnight
  • Wash you dishes, pans, and utensil as soon as you are done using them
  • Remove all food or spilled drinks from counter tops and clean counters, sinks, and tables with soapy water
  • Vacuum all cracks and crevices to remove debris and food
  • Sweep or vacuum any food and debris on floors
  • Take garbage out daily in closed plastic containers; keep waste containers washed and clean
  • Repair any leaky water pipes or faucets
  • Recycle cans and bottles on a regular basis; wash and clean containers that hold recycling items
  • Increase ventilation where condensation is a problem

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