Smoky Brown Roach Identification and Biology

By staff

Print article   Share Article

Physical Appearance

  • Uniformly mahogany brown in color, with no other distinctive lines or colorations
  • Closely related to the American cockroach, but smaller in size at just over 1 inch
  • Both males and females have wings longer than their bodies


The Smoky Brown Cockroach is limited in distribution to central Texas and eastward, including the Gulf Coast, Florida, and up the east coast, and some parts of California. This species is not normally found in the North except when carried in accidentally. Outdoors, the Smoky Brown roach finds harborage in and around trees, bushes, garbage cans, woodpiles, wood shingle roofs and gutters. Inside, this pest may be found hiding in crawl spaces, attics, and garages.

Feeding Habits

The Smoky Brown cockroach prefers to feed on plant material, but will eat almost anything that other roach species would eat once inside a structure, including sweet, starchy, and greasy foods, book bindings, glue, hair, etc. This roach is an active forager and moves readily between inside and outside in search of food and water.

Reproduction & Life Cycle

The female Smoky Brown roach lays a dark-brown to black egg capsule containing up to 24 eggs. Each female produces about 17 capsules. The average life span of a Smoky Brown Cockroach is about 250-300 days.


Cockroaches can multiply very quickly and become a nuisance in large numbers. Roaches are unsightly, intrude on our homes and lives, contaminate food, and are capable of transmitting diseases.

Basic Control Methods

  • Repair damage to screens, door frames, or exterior siding that may provide entry from outside.
  • Repair any leaks or excess water floor near the structure and ventilate other moist spaces. Smoky Brown cockroaches are highly attracted to water.
  • Remove rotting leaves, garbage cans, or compost piles as far from the structure as possible.
  • Use a residual spray such as Talstar One or Cynoff WP outside around all points of possible entry including windows and door frames, dryer vents, and pipe openings. Use the same residual indoors along baseboards and framed entry points. You will need a 2 gallon sprayer.
  • For added protection, apply Talstar or Bifen granulars outside around the base of the house as a perimeter treatment.


For more detailed information on Smoky Brown Cockroach prevention and control, see How To Get Rid of Smoky Brown Cockroaches

View all Roach Control Products


Was this article informative and helpful to you?   Yes No