This species of cockroach is large, usually reaching one and a half to two inches in length. Florida woods cockroaches are wide in body, glossy. They have short, almost invisible wings behind their heads. This lack of developed wings in both sexes results in small wing pads and missing hind wings. The short, leathery pads are called tegima. The tegima almost meet at the midline of the body, but do not cover any of the abdominal section. Adult Florida woods cockroaches have ceri and tooth-like protrusions on the edges of their dorsal segments. Female Florida woods cockroaches have a v-shaped notch in the rectal area. Male Florida woods cockroaches have filaments near the cerci and do not have the v-shaped notch in the rectal area.
Florida woods cockroach nymphs have wide yellow bands located at the top of the thorax.
Florida Woods Cockroach Habitat
These cockroaches are often seeing hanging around in Palmetto trees. This roach is native to Florida, coastal Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and the West Indies. It likes a sub-tropical or tropical environment and cannot stand the cold. This pest requires a lot of moisture to survive. It thrives in damp areas in warm climates. It is mostly found outdoors and is therefore not considered a major household pest. It can be found living under leaf litter, under boards and lumber, and in holes and crevices in trees. The Florida woods cockroach also likes bushes and other wooded spots. When it does invade the home, it tends to like moist, damp places like bathrooms. This pest likes to eat decaying organic debris outside the home.
Florida Woods Cockroach Life Cycle
This species reproduces sexually. Female Florida woods cockroaches produce 21 eggs per ootheca. She drops the egg case and glues it to a nearby surface. The eggs take 48 days to hatch with nymphs molting six to eight times before adulthood. Typical egg to adult development is around 100 days.
Florida Woods Cockroaches and Humans
Aside from their unsightly appearance, these bugs carry diseases, especially ones related to gastroenteritis such as diarrhea, dysentery, and food poisoning. Their desiccated carcasses, egg cases, and fecal matter can cause breathing problems in asthma sufferers and people with allergies.
Florida Woods Cockroach Control
Florida Woods Cockroach Identification: A pest control professional will look for discarded egg cases, feces, adults, and nymphs of the Florida woods cockroach and identify them by their distinguishing features.
Bait and Insecticide: A pest control specialist will use boric acid to poison Florida woods cockroaches from the inside out. They can also use ground silica gel sprinkled in cabinets, cracks, crevices, along baseboards, behind appliances, in electrical outlets, within walls, and underneath sinks. The roaches crawl through the ground silica gel, which clings to the oily substance that coats their bodies, and then dehydrate to death. Pesticides found in bait, powders, or sprays containing insect growth regulator, amidinohydrazone, carbamate, organophosphorous, and/or pyrethoid can be used by an exterminator to kill Florida woods cockroaches.
Removal of Florida Woods Cockroaches: The exterminator can vacuum up Florida woods cockroach carcasses, eggs, and egg cases and then sanitize the previously infested area.
DIY and Green Solutions for Florida Woods Cockroach Control
Do not invite them in! Close up voids around switch plates, plumbing fixtures, and wall outlets to keep Florida woods cockroaches from traveling from one infested location to another. Make sure open windows have tightly fitted screens and close all windows and doors, if possible. Run some water through little used plumbing fixtures to keep Florida woods cockroaches from climbing up dry drain traps into the house. Cover vents pipes on the roof to keep them from crawling into windows and attics. Inspect everything you carry in from the grocery store to verify that you have not brought in any roaches on food.
Tidy up! Put away clutter to get rid of potential hiding and breeding places for Florida woods cockroaches. Take trash and yard debris far away from the house. Cockroaches like to hide in woodpiles—carrying firewood away from the home. Clean up ungainly branches that touch the roof.
Sop it up! Fix all leaks in plumbing fixtures. Look at your outdoor spigots and sprinklers for leaks. Florida woods cockroaches are fond of drinking water and liquid left in soda cans, cups, dishwashers, pet water bowls, tubs, and sinks. Dry up all water where possible.
Trap them! Rig up a homemade trap using a beer-soaked piece of bread in the bottom of a jar. Place the jar against the wall and grease the inner lip of the jar with a little Vaseline. The roaches will climb in, be unable to climb out, and eventually, drown.