Periplaneta fuliginosa – Smokey Brown Cockroach
Size: As large as 1 ½ inches in length
Color: Dark mahogany brown
This cockroach is a ready flier and easily travels from trees onto houses. It is commonly attracted to homes to feed on improperly maintained trash containers and pet food on patios and decks. Once by the house, the insect may then enter.
The smokey brown cockroach 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 smokey 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.
Blatta orientalis – Oriental Cockroach
Size: About ½ inch in length
Color: The female is all black, while the male has two brown wings.
The female oriental cockroach differs in appearance from the male which often leads homeowners to believe they have two types of cockroaches. The female is black, oval in shape, and has no wings, only two small wing pads just behind the thoracic “shield.” The male is thinner in shape, about the same length, and has two brown wings that extend partway down the abdomen.
The oriental cockroach is a pest in homes throughout much of the United States. It is rarely seen in southeastern states, however. During the summer, oriental cockroaches move outdoors where they may venture into neighboring buildings. During the colder months, they reinvade homes, establishing themselves in basements and crawl spaces.
This cockroach commonly inhabits sewers and storm culverts and will enter buildings through floor drains. It will also live outdoors in firewood, leaf litter, sheds, dog houses, and similar locations. Indoors, the basement, crawl space, and occasionally the attic will be the primary harborage for this pest.