How to Deal with Roaches in Florida

Florida is known for its beauty, beaches, flora, and fauna. However, there are other things for which Florida is famous: Humidity, heat, and Florida Cockroaches! You will find 70 types of cockroaches in Florida, the most common as Palmetto Bugs or Water bugs.

Types of Florida Cockroaches

Many species of cockroaches can be generally found in Florida; however, these are the major ones you will come across at least once during your stay in the state.

The American Cockroach

An American cockroach, aka a Palmetto Bug, is generally mahogany or reddish-brown in color, with two yellowish-brown circles just behind the head and black markings.

They have long, straight antennae, and while maturing into an adult, they tend to grow slightly longer than 3 inches.

They have two wings that cover their back and are a little longer than their body, and they have six legs, which are, on closer observation, lined with spines.

Both female and male cockroaches can fly.

Usually, these giant roaches live outside in warm damp areas, like underneath mulch or a flowerbed, etc.

Although they prefer to live outside, they will enter your homes for food and water.

Once inside the house, you will usually find them in kitchens, basements, laundry rooms, and other places that are warm and moist.

These Florida cockroaches emit an odor caused by an aggregate pheromone chemical. 

This chemical makes these creatures stick together in a group.

This odor is often recounted as ‘musty’ smelling and is more noticeable when there is a larger cockroach population around.

The German Cockroach 

Another common Florida cockroach is the German cockroach.

These roaches are quite easy to identify since they have two horizontal stripes behind their head on the pronotum.

 They are light brown to tan in color and can grow up to a length of 16mm.

These cockroaches also have straight, long antennae and six legs lined with spines.

german roach in florida

Although they have wings, they don’t often fly.

Although German cockroaches can live outdoors in tropical Florida environments, they are still commonly found indoors.

Like their American cousins, they also prefer to live in homes that provide a warm and moist area.

Once inside the house, they freely and easily move between rooms or apartments through plumbing and pipes.

These roaches usually enter the house in cardboard boxes, used containers, appliances, shopping bags, etc.

The Smokybrown Cockroach 

The Smokybrown cockroach, as the name suggests, is a smoky-brown in color cockroach found in large numbers in Florida.

They usually appear shiny black with six legs lined with spines and a slightly curved antenna generally sticking out. This type of Florida cockroach is also a good flyer with wings beyond their bodies. 

They can grow to be as long as 38mm in length.

Since these roaches are prone to dehydration, they usually prefer warm and moist places.

They can be found under mulch, in tree holes, and around soffits and eaves.

These roaches will eat anything from animal feces to dead trees.

 These cockroaches are known to nibble on non-food items such as nylon stockings, presumably attracted to skin flakes and body oil remnants.

Asian Cockroach

Asian Cockroaches look quite similar to German cockroaches, which is what they are often mistaken to be.

However, there are certain differences between them, and one of the major differences is that Asian cockroaches are strong flyers and have longer wings than German cockroaches.

Another major distinction is that they are unusually attracted to light, anything from the glow of TVs, light bulbs, and computers.

These Florida cockroaches were found in Florida in the late 1980s. However, now they can be found throughout the southeast. 

They are usually found under mulch, tree trunks, shaded areas, leaf litter, etc.

They enter the houses through open windows and poorly fitted drains and seals.

 Even open trash cans and dirty dishes can draw them indoors.

The Oriental Cockroach 

The Oriental Cockroach is another very common cockroach found in Florida.

They are also called ‘black beetle’ or a ‘water bug’ because of their shiny black head and glossy appearance.

They are 1.5 inches long and generally prefer outdoors; however, during droughts and food and water shortages, they may venture inside houses.

Once inside, they usually dwell in high moisture places like drains and sewers that are out of harm and sight from humans.

They like to feed on decaying matter, thus attracting them more to garbage bins and piles.

They are seldom spotted on walls or in cabinets and furniture.

How to Deal with Cockroaches in Florida

Once inside your house, these cockroaches can be a big nuisance and can also cause various diseases; here are some of the tried-and-tested solutions to get rid of cockroaches:

Thoroughly Clean Your House 

This may seem fundamental, but cockroaches are attracted to filth and dirt; that is why you commonly see them in garbage bins. 

Another thing they look out for is moisture; hence the drains and sinks are a common choice for the cockroaches.

clean house to prevent roaches

You need to keep your house clean and dry all the time to make your place as inhospitable for them as possible.

Use Boric Acid & Diatomaceous Earth

Boric Acid and food-grade Diatomaceous Earth powder are extremely lethal for cockroaches and kill them instantly.

keep roaches away in florida

You can spread them around your house or mix them in flour and sugar, make small balls and keep them in common hiding areas of these cockroaches, like under your refrigerator, in drawers, etc.

Use Store Bought Baits

Another common way of getting rid of Florida cockroaches is using store-bought baits.

Insecticides, often disguised as chemical baits, are used as a food source to get rid of cockroaches.

baits to kill roaches

The cockroaches eat them, return to their dwelling and die.

They also help spread the poison to the rest of the dwelling, thus killing other cockroaches.

Seal All Cracks and Holes

By now, you must know that cockroaches like warmth and places hidden away from the sight of humans.

And what is better than a hole or crevice in your foundation wall or a leaky pipe in your bathroom?

seal cracks to avoid roaches

These spots are like jackpots for Florida cockroaches, where they live and breed, causing an infestation.

One of the most important steps that are sealing all the gaps, cracks, and crevices, replacing broken pipes, and closing all drains and other openings in your house where these hell-raisers can hide.

Hire A Professional

In case all the above-mentioned remedies do not work, and you still spot a couple of cockroaches crawling in your home, then you might be facing an infestation.

Cockroaches are persistent creatures, and despite taking all the correct measures, you still might get them in your house, especially if you live in Florida.

During such times, hiring a professional and calling an exterminator is always better.

They are trained and well-equipped to handle such situations.

They will ensure to get rid of the infestation without causing any harm to you or your property.

FAQ about Florida Cockroaches

Are Cockroaches Common in Florida?

Yes, cockroaches are quite common in Florida. 

Florida is home to hundreds of insect species, including around 70 different types of cockroaches.

The most common cockroach in Florida is the American Cockroach, also known as the ‘State Bird of Florida’ or Florida roach.

Are There Flying Cockroaches in Florida?

There are many different species of cockroaches in Florida, including flying ones.

The most common flying cockroaches that you can spot in Florida are the American Cockroach, The Smokybrown Cockroach, and the Asian Cockroach.

How Do I Keep Palmetto Bugs Out Of My House In Florida?

Some of the most common and efficient ways to keep the Palmetto bugs out of your house are:

  • Spread boric acid or food-grade diatomaceous earth around your house.
  • Seal all the cracks and holes in your walls, repair leaking pipes, and open drains.
  • Keep your house clean and organized – dirty dishes washed, garbage taken out regularly, empty boxes put away, etc.

What Do Cockroaches Look Like In Florida?

An average cockroach in Florida is usually blackish-brown in color with six legs lined with spines and long antennas which are generally sticking out. 

Depending upon the cockroach species, they can grow as big as 1.5 inches in length and might have wings on their back.

How Big Do Roaches Get In Florida?

Among all the roaches you can find in Florida, the biggest one is the American Cockroach, also known as the ‘Palmetto Bug’.

They are also called ‘roaches on steroids’ because of how big they can get as adults.

The American roaches’ length usually ranges between 1.5- 2 inches or sometimes even bigger.

Why Are There So Many Bugs In Florida?

The state of Florida provides a great arthropod and insect diversity, the reason being the climate.

Florida is warm and humid throughout the year, making it a favorable place for many exotic species of insects and animals to live and thrive.

Exterminate Florida Roaches with Professional Pest Control Services

Now that we’ve discussed the various Florida roaches and how to eliminate them, let’s further talk about what you should do if you ever face a serious roach infestation.

Well, this is where a licensed exterminator comes into the picture! He will eliminate these buggers effectively and permanently for you and ensure they do not make their way back inside your home.

Final Words

There is no denying that roaches are a big problem in Florida, and the truth is that most homeowners will deal with an infestation at some point in their lives while they live there.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t get rid of them or keep them from entering your house.

Many solutions are now available that you can undertake to keep these bugs at bay.

And in difficult situations, you should hire an exterminator to eliminate this problem by taking the correct steps.

We hope this article helps you to deal with roaches in your house in Florida.

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask us in the comments below!

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