Asian Cockroaches

Asian Cockroach Scientific Name: Blattella asahinai

Asian Cockroach Facts

As you might expect by their name, Asian cockroaches are most commonly found in Southeast Asia. But because they move easily outside, especially in the spring, the Asian cockroach can be found in just about every house on the planet. Thankfully, the Asian cockroach prefers to live outdoors.  You can find them just about anywhere there is a shady area, under trees, in mulch or leafy soil.

The adult Asian cockroaches are about ½ inch long and have wings.  They are light brown in color and their definite identifying marks are two parallel lines that run along their abdomen.

Asian cockroaches are voracious eaters and omnivores, meaning they will eat just about anything.  They are very social among themselves and when they discover the best places to eat, they share that information among the swarm.

Unfortunately Asian cockroaches carry lots of germs, and because of their large numbers, are known to spread disease to humans. That is one very good reason not to want them in your house.

Asian Cockroach: Coming to America

In the summer of 1986, Asian cockroaches were first discovered in great quantities in the State of Florida, around the city of Lakeland. These cockroaches are commonly spread from one area to another by the transporting of mulch and other plant materials, even crossing continents.

Once they got here, they immediately began to mate, increasing their numbers. Populations of Asian cockroaches will peak in late summer: tens of thousands can inhabit a one acre area. As winter arrives along with cooler weather their numbers will be reduced.  Spring time is when the females will lay eggs and start the cycle all over again. There may be as many as three generations of Asian cockroaches each year.

Asian Cockroach Control

One thing to remember is that Asian cockroaches are happiest outside and are attracted by light.  Instead of keeping your property dark, it would be a better idea to replace your regular outdoor bulbs with yellow bulbs.  This is one way to keep the Asian cockroach away from your home.

Spraying outdoors with pesticides can help reduce their population.  Granular baits are also effective. Any product containing permethrin or cyfluthrin will also help keep the population down.  Pay particular attention to mulched or naturally leafy areas, also making sure to spray around the lights in your yard.

It is no surprise that most farmers think cockroaches are horrible, hungry pests.  In the summer of 2006, cotton farmers in South Texas discovered a large infestation of Asian cockroaches in among their soybean plants.  The farmers were surprised to discover that the pests had not damaged the plants.  It turned out that Asian cockroaches love to eat bollworm eggs that rest on the soybean plants.  Bollworms cause great damage to the plant so farmers were excited to learn that the Asian cockroaches were happy to eat the bollworm eggs, reducing the damage done later when the eggs hatch, making the Asian cockroach an unexpected benefit.

Asian Cockroach Migration: Where will they go next?

It seems that the Asian cockroach prefers warmer, even subtropical areas, but since they are very strong fliers, they easily travel long distances.  Besides flying they’ve been known to hitch rides on soil and mulch transports moving along America’s highways. There is no way of knowing how far north Asian cockroaches will eventually end up.