How to Identify and Get Rid of Florida Woods Cockroaches

Big, slow, and smelly best describes this Florida invader of homes. Take care of them quickly and efficiently.

Slow yet fearless, the Florida Woods cockroach (Eurycotis floridana) is a southern pest, found primarily outside but known to wander indoors for a safe and food-filled shelter in the warmer climates around the world.

What are Florida Woods Cockroaches

Commonly found in the southeastern United States, the Florida Woods cockroach is a particularly foul-smelling roach, hence its name the Florida stinkroach. Larger and slower than some other types of cockroaches, this pest enjoys warm and moist climates, making Florida a perfect home for them,

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What do Florida Woods Cockroaches Look Like

This cockroach typically has a reddish-brown to nearly all black coloration. One of the larger cockroaches, the Florida Woods roach grows anywhere between one to 1-1/2 inches long, showcasing a shiny and leathery exterior. They have short wings and protruding cerci at the back of their bodies, giving them a bit more of a V-shape.

Florida Woods Cockroach Behaviors

The Florida Woods cockroach is large, slow and land-based, unable to fly like some other types of cockroaches. While most cockroaches will scatter quickly when they sense danger, this one doesn’t act quite the same. One reason it is less fearful than others is due to their chemical defense mechanism.

Under their abdomen, they have a gland that holds a defensive secretion, which they use to wart off or attack predators. The oily secretions create a horrifying smell, while also causes issues to skin and eyes if applied directly. Their defense is effective against other insects such as ants, spiders and other roaches, and predators like lizards, birds and frogs.

For food, the Florida Woods cockroach mainly feasts on decaying plants and greenery. While you might find one or a few indoors, they prefer the outdoor environment, sticking to moist, warm areas out in the woods.

Florida Woods Cockroach Life Cycle

Possibly due to their size and defense mechanisms, this roach lives longer that most, with an average lifespan of more than a year. The Florida Woods cockroach goes through the typical metamorphosis stages of egg, nymph, and adulthood, with the female able to give birth to their oothecae every eight days.

Signs of Florida Woods Cockroaches

Usually one will find Florida Woods cockroaches outdoors, hiding in warm and moist locations such as under leaf piles, under mulch or near trees. If a few make it indoors, their size make them relatively easy to spot. Similar to their outdoor environment, they will seek dark, warm and moist environments like the basement, bathroom or attic.

How to Get Rid of Florida Woods Cockroaches

Like many other pests, it’s important to get rid of cockroaches quickly before they cause issues to the health and safety of people. To make sure Florida Woods cockroaches don’t enter the house, seal up any unwanted entryways such as cracks or holes in the foundation, broken screen doors or leaky pipes. In the home, keep a clean and sanitized environment while ensuring food is safely put away.

Florida Woods Cockroach Safety

Florida Woods cockroaches use their secretions to defend themselves, giving off a foul smelling and sometimes harmful substance that can irritate eyes and skin. Like all cockroaches, they are excellent transporters of disease and bacteria, so make sure your home is clear of them. Since these roaches do not typically prefer the indoors, check for the signs of infestation before taking action. If a larger problem persists, contact your local exterminator to provide analysis and a solution for your unique situation.

Cockroach Resources

For more information about cockroaches and what it means when you find this pest in your home or business, check out these pest control articles.

Sources

  • http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/urban/roaches/florida_woods_cockroach.htm