The Green cockroach or “banana” cockroach is rumored to have been named after the banana crate in which it arrived in America. Many people choose to keep these friendly creatures as pets due to their attractive green coloring and exotic status. Native to Cuba and the Caribbean, these tiny pests may travel to similar tropical climates as found in north and south America. They search for fruit and warm habitats or may be imported and bred or sold as pets.
Green cockroaches are an outdoor species, which means they do not typically present themselves as a pest indoors, but keen gardeners may notice influx in numbers during the summer when these creatures come into season. Unlike many other insects, the female Green cockroaches are larger in size and may grow up to two inches; their male counterparts are about a quarter of an inch shorter. They are also strong fliers who enjoy grassy areas with trees and flowers. Their young may be found under shrubberies or plants or in greenhouses.
Green Cockroach Identification
This Cuban cockroach is easy to identify by its colors; the green is significant to this species, and while they may look like most other cockroaches in general, it is this defining feature that sets them apart. Adults are a pale, grassy green with wings and a set of antenna. Some people may misidentify these creatures as grasshoppers in spite of their smaller, shorter legs. Their wings are an even paler and translucent green, which is not typical of traditional, dark brown or black oriental cockroaches.
Green Cockroach Habitat
Green cockroaches have a very specific diet which is reflective of their tropical native country of origin. They have a rich, sugary diet and mostly feed on fruit for nutrients and water. Despite their desire for warm, tropical climates, they are most commonly found in areas of shade such as under trees or bushes. They are an outdoor species and are attracted to bright lights; as are many other roaches.
Life Cycle of Green Cockroach
Green cockroaches have a similar life cycle to other roaches, in that a male and female mate and produce eggs, which develop into fully mature Green cockroaches. A female attracts males by excreting a pheromone that attracts male green cockroaches only. They are not an aggressive cockroach, and as such, male Green cockroaches are continually seeking out new families when confronted by a matched pair.
Female Green cockroaches will harbor their young inside them before giving birth to an ootheca, or sac, which contains her multiple eggs. She will nurture her young for a few weeks before they are able to look after themselves, a trait which exists in only a few roach species. Females may only produce up to 30 ootheca during her lifetime, or 1000 eggs, which is considerably lower than many other roaches who can lay upwards of 300,000 eggs per year.
Once the eggs have hatched, they are then considered larvae. This is a developmental stage which is categorized by instars and is particularly essential to this species. The instar stages allow for feeding and then shedding to help accelerate growth, and it requires strict climate conditions. Larvae also feed on fruit and do not eat other plants or insects like their omnivorousness sibling species. The mother may leave at any point during this time if she flees her young are adequately equipped with food and are independent.
The final stage is adulthood, and is signified by sexual maturity. This is also marked by the growth and use of their wings, which make them strong fliers. Females tend to be a quarter of an inch larger than males, and each will mate during the warmest months in spring time. They are closely related to termites, and unlike other roaches, are a sociable species who care and nurture for their young before becoming independent from their family once again.
Green Cockroach and Humans
Many people choose to keep green cockroaches as pets. They are a non-invasive pet that can be kept in its own right, or similarly, they may also be kept by people or pet shops to feed other creatures, as they are considered a protein-packed, live food source. They have a unique appearance and diet which makes them exotic within the cockroach genus and are a firm favorite amongst collectors.
Green cockroaches are harmless in their presence and may only damage fresh fruit which has been left out, or has fallen from trees. They are not known to carry any disease and are unlikely to bite. Not capable of stinging, these creatures cause no significant concern for humans or pets.
Green Cockroach Control
Preventative methods for Green cockroach control are encouraged, particularly in summer months. This may include screening over windows and doorways and ensuring crawlspaces are adequately covered to prevent flying roaches from finding their way inside by accident. Greenhouses should be monitored regularly for existence of reproduction.
It should also be noted that green cockroaches do not typically breed inside (its very rare), so if you have found signs of reproduction, ensure correct identification of the pest so that the correct treatment is applied.
Green methods: Bug lights offer year-round protection from many other flying insects who are also attracted to bright lights. They are a green method of control, and electrocute green cockroaches who fly into their bright bait and die. These areas should be sanitized regularly.
Granular baits: Are commonly used for cockroaches in general, but may be particularly useful with the Green cockroach because they prefer to hide beneath flower beds or ground cover. They are water resistance and can be used all year round.
Liquid insecticides: Are recommended for use around pants where soil treatment is also advised. This can help stop the life cycle and prevent further contamination. These may need to be reapplied periodically to ensure maximum effect.
Please ensure correct application as per the manufactures instructions when using baits or chemicals in your home.
Green Cockroach Entomology
Green cockroaches belong to the animalia kingdom under the arthropoda phylum and are classed as insecta. They are significant to the panchora genus and have their own distinct species, the P. nivea, which is categorized under the baberidea family.
Green cockroaches are native to Cuba and other tropical countries and were first introduced to America in the 1900’s. They are not known to live in any geographical areas beyond these boundaries and are local to Florida, Louisiana and Texas.