Cockroaches are found around the world, but some of them, like the green cockroach, have hitchhiked their way to new territory.

Of the more than 3,500 species of cockroach worldwide, around 50 of which are found in the United States, two-thirds found their way here by accident. The green cockroach is one of these. Also called the green banana cockroach or the Cuban cockroach, they are often brought to ports via banana shipments from Central America.

Once in the country, they spread along the warmer coastlines, in states such as Texas, Alabama and Florida. Some pet stores sell these roaches, so it is also possible to own this type of roach as a pet. Escaped pet roaches are believed to be another reason this insect has spread.


Adult Cuban cockroaches are about three-fourths to one inch long. They have clear colored wings that extend past the length of their pale green, pear shaped bodies. Cuban cockroach nymphs are dark brown or black. As they develop into adults the nymphs turn green. These cockroaches can also fly.


Cuban cockroach females have a large ootheca that allows them to carry more than 100 eggs at a time, in some cases. These eggs develop into the nymph stage inside the female, which takes about two months. After that, the nymphs spend 100 days growing into their adult form. The lifespan of a Cuban cockroach is 20 months. They are rarely seen inside a home and have trouble reproducing in an indoor setting.


In its native landscape, the green cockroach is often found in banana trees, but in the United States it is most commonly found outdoors. You may see it on trees, bushes or plants and sometimes under logs or piles of debris. They are nocturnal, and are attracted to bright lights. Cuban cockroaches seen indoors are most likely escaped pets.


Because they are rarely found indoors, most people do not consider green cockroaches to be a major problem. They can be considered a pest in outdoor settings when large numbers take up residence in debris, log piles or under bushes.

To minimize your yard’s attractiveness to these bugs, clear away piles of trash and other materials. Screen windows and doors and seal up cracks to keep them away from buildings.

If you are not sure about potential problem areas, or want a more advanced pest control option for green cockroaches, call Terminix® and a pest management professional will help you find a solution.