Mosquitoes flying around

What is a Smokybrown Cockroach?

December 23, 2022

By Daniel Baldwin, BCE, CCFS, CP-FS

Smokybrown cockroaches are known for causing problems like skin rashes, rhinitis, and asthmatic reactions in humans because their body parts and feces are potent human allergens.  Although they prefer the outdoors, home infestations are cause for concern. Learn more about smokybrown cockroaches, what they look like and what they eat, and how to keep them away from your property.

What do smokybrown cockroaches look like?

Smokybrown cockroaches are known to live in damp, humid climates. You’ll find them in areas of the U.S. that are humid and warm, like California and the southern United States. This cockroach gets its name from its brown coloring that can range from dark, deep brown to mahogany. It’s similar in color and appearance to the American cockroach. The smokybrown cockroach is roughly about the size of a penny (1.25 to 1.5 inches in length). 

Here are some other defining characteristics of a smokybrown cockroach:

  • Males and females have wings they use to fly to look for food or mates (these wings are longer than their bodies).
  • They have very long antennae that are longer than their bodies.
  • Smokybrown cockroaches have oval body shapes.

close up of a smokybrown cockroach on a white background

These cockroaches typically enter your home via cardboard boxes or outdoor wooden materials (like firewood). Once inside, they prefer areas that are protected, dark and warm, and not exposed to any air currents. They feed on any kind of organic matter and will look for food and water in bathrooms and kitchens. Like most cockroaches, they are sensitive to light. Outdoors, they like to live in leaf piles, wood piles, planter boxes, sheds, rain gutters, or roof shingles.

The life cycle of the smokybrown cockroach consists of egg, nymph, and adult (as is typical for many similar insects). It can take between 5-23 months for an egg to become an adult, a process which is greatly influenced by the temperature of the environment. Over their adult lifespan of 2–6 months, they eat a lot of food.  Females can lay as many as 10 viable egg capsules in their lifespan, and each egg capsule (called an ootheca) can produce up to 29 nymphs.

What do smokybrown cockroaches eat?

Due to their habit of digging through your trash, smokybrown cockroaches love a delectable combination of food leftovers, feces, and other dead insects. They can also eat starches, like paper and dead leaves.

One of the best ways to prevent cockroaches from setting up camp in your home is to immediately clean up any crumbs, seal up uneaten snacks and effectively close off their food sources.

Are smokybrown cockroaches dangerous?

Smokybrown cockroaches can transmit bacteria as well as potentially cause allergic reactions in your family, although it’s unlikely that they’ll bite you. Because these cockroaches are able to get into your food sources, they can easily contaminate the food your family eats. 

Smokybrown cockroaches can carry diseases that include strep, staph infection, cholera, dysentery, diarrhea, and even salmonella.

Hawx has proven methods, qualified technicians, same-day service, and the best products available. We’re the undisputed local leader in solutions for cockroach control, and our teams focus on ensuring the highest quality results, leading to a safer and more reliable outcome that keeps pests out of your home.

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