• Size: The Asian cockroach can grow up to five-eighths of an inch long.
  • Color: Asian cockroaches are tan to dark brown in color, with dark stripes behind their heads.
  • Behavior: When they find a good location, these cockroaches tend to take over – they are typically the dominant or only type of roach found in their habitats. There have been reports of 30,000 to 250,000 of this type of roach per acre in prime locations.

Because they have strong wings, they are often seen flying, especially when disturbed by people. Adult Asian cockroaches can fly up to 120 feet at a time. Peak season for population growth is early spring through the summer months. The populations shrink during the winter. They are most active at dusk, and are attracted to bright lights and light colors. They will fly toward homes with lights on, entering through open doors and windows.

A common misconception is that these roaches attack people, because they actively try to enter well-lit homes, and follow the trail of lit rooms. When the lights go off in one area, the roaches will fly to the next area with lighting. If they are in your home, you will most likely find them sitting on TV screens or lampshades. This is a good way to differentiate them from German cockroaches, as German roaches tend to scurry away from people, and are not as attracted to light. As with other roach species, these pests will eat almost anything. They have been observed eating pet food, flowers, agricultural crops and even waste matter.

While other species of roach are known to carry bacterium and diseases, there is not enough research to determine whether or not Asian cockroaches pose the same threat. However, due to their habitat and behavior, these roaches come into contact with outdoor pathogens, animal feces and different types of fungi. Foods suspected to have been contaminated by roaches should be thrown out and surfaces cleaned thoroughly.


The Asian cockroach is not native to the United States. These cockroaches were first documented in Japan, and are believed to have come over on boats importing other goods. In the United States, they were first seen in Florida in the late 1980s, but are now also found in Texas, Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina.

Asian cockroaches are primarily found outdoors. They gravitate toward areas that have mulch or compost, and are often found by landscapers in gardens. Large grassy areas and shaded spaces with leaf litter are also prime real estate for this type of cockroach.


Tips for Control

Because they primarily live outside, indoor pesticides are often ineffective against this type of roach. Indoor treatment will only take care of the roaches that have ventured inside. Consider the following tips instead:


  • Cutting down on the amount of mulch and plant debris on your property is one way to make your home less attractive to these pests.
  • While German roaches are resistant to many pesticides, Asian cockroaches can be controlled effectively if the proper method of treatment is used. Pesticides for outdoor use will help.
  • Proper species identification is key for treating a suspected Asian cockroach problem. If you are unsure which species is causing a problem in your home and want to know more about managing their population, call Terminix® and a Service Technician will help you find a solution.