Smoky Brown Cockroaches

( Periplaneta fuliginosa )


SIZE: As large as 1 1/2 inches in length.

COLOR: Dark mahogany brown

BEHAVIOR: 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 smoky 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 smoky 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.

Tips for Control

The best way to control smoky brown cockroaches is to determine the source and treat it directly, usually with a cockroach bait product. To keep these cockroaches from invading, the following steps are helpful:

  • Ensure the attic and/or crawl space has sufficient ventilation. Research has shown that proper ventilation creates an environment unsuitable for cockroaches and other pests. It also improves the heating and cooling ficiency of the home.

  • Make sure that all foundation and attic vents are equipped with tight-fitting screens.

  • Seal as many exterior cracks and holes as possible on the outside of the home.

  • Do not allow pet food to sit out overnight. Pick it up after outdoor pets are finished eating.

  • Store firewood as far from the house as possible, locating it off the ground and covering it with a tarp or plastic.

  • Eliminate piles of lumber and debris where cockroaches could harbor.