Forest Huval, Reagan, Thomas E., Carlton, Christopher E.
Several species of cockroaches are considered to be pests and can contribute to unhealthy, unsanitary conditions when infestations are severe. Pest cockroaches include only a few species, while others may be encountered in outdoor situations and are not considered household pests. These other species are not known to cause any health problems or create unsanitary conditions. Although they may occasionally be found indoors, no control treatments are recommended. All species may occasionally enter houses as a result of their attraction to lights or through cracks or open windows or through compost, firewood or other organic substrates that are transported into homes. Contact the LSU AgCenter for any further questions or identifications.
Cuban cockroach/banana roach (family Blaberidae: Panchlora nivea): Adults are lime green, possess fully formed fore and hind wings, and are capable of flight. Adults are approximately 1 inch (25 mm) in length. Adults are most active during the months of March and June and will fly to lights. Adults do not produce oothecae but give live birth after the eggs hatch within the females’ abdomens. Nymphs are commonly found beneath or within decaying logs and leaf litter.
Wood roaches (family Ectobiidae: Parcoblatta spp.): Adult coloration ranges from light tan to darker mahogany brown. Body lengths range from 0.5 to 0.8 of an inch (14 to 21mm), depending on the species. The largest member of this genus is smaller than pest species within the genus Periplaneta (the American cockroach and relatives). Wood roaches are commonly found roaming up and down trees during the late evening and nighttime hours. Adults and nymphs are most active in the summer months with activity peaking during July and August.
Red-legged cockroach (Ectobiidae: Ischnoptera deropeltiformis): Males and females are both black with red legs. Males possess fully developed wings and are capable of flight. Females have reduced forewings (tegmina), lack functional hindwings and are incapable of flight. Body lengths range from 0.6 to 0.7 of an inch (16 to 17 mm). This species is common throughout Louisiana.
September cockroach (family Ectobiidae: Pseudomops septentrionalis): The pronotum (top of thorax) of adults is red directly behind the head, and the tegmina (forewings) are black and outlined with cream-colored margins. Males and females have fully developed wings and are capable of flight. Body length ranges from 0.3 to 0.4 of an inch (11 to 12 mm). Adults are most active during the summer months and are highly mobile during the afternoon and evening hours. Nymphs are light brown. They are commonly found in foliage and leaf litter.