Smoky Brown Cockroach

How to get rid of Smoky Brown Roaches inside & outside

Smoky Brown Roaches
Smoky Brown Roaches

Smoky Brown Roaches

Smoky brown cockroaches (Periplaneta fuiginosa) are one of the larger roaches found around your home. They have a uniform color, and both males and females can fly. These roaches move about readily, going in and out of buildings.

They look similar to another large roach, the American roach, but they have a uniform color.

Smoky Brown Roach Identification

smoky brown roach id
Smoky brown roach id

Color: They have a uniform mahogany, black color.

Wings: Their wings extend beyond their body.

Length: Adults can reach about 1.49 inches long.

How Smoky Brown roaches enter your home.
Smoky brown roaches enter houses in the summer or hitchhike on firewood. They can enter around doors and windows, through ventilation areas, or through any other small crack and crevice that lead inside.
Where to find Smoky Brown roaches

These roaches fly at night toward lights. They fly from trees into your home, being attracted to any trash or pet food left out. Smoky brown cockroaches are found many times under shingles and gutters (feeding on organic debris). They are commonly found along roof lines. These roaches are found in moisture-prone areas because this roach dries up rapidly and requires a constant water source. They avoid areas that could dry them out, such as vents and any place with a sizable current of air. They are often found dead indoors, likely due to dehydration. They are found in mulch, woodpiles, leaf litter, tree bark. They are there as protection against drying out. For the southern states, the Smoky Brown roach is abundant outside and can be found in tree holes and canopies of palm trees. Other harborage areas are in attics, crawl spaces, greenhouses, flower beds, leaf litter, woodpiles, mulched areas, block walls, and gardens.

Smoky Brown Roach Prevention

(Sanitation and Home Repairs)

  • Keep attic and crawl space well ventilated, reducing moisture.
  • Stop water leaks, screen equipment overflow drains, and take overflow water away from buildings; keep drain traps full or capped.
  • Store firewood as far away from the house as you can. If you can lift it off the ground, it will help eliminate harborage areas.
  • Discard old boxes and piles of papers where roaches can hide.
  • Use a tight-fitting lid on your trash can.
  • Fix leaky drains and faucets, these roaches need water to live.
  • Clean kitchen appliances thoroughly to eliminate food sources.
  • It is not wise to allow pet food to sit out overnight for indoor pets. For outdoor pets, pick up the food after they are finished eating.
  • Stop water leaks, screen equipment overflow drains, and take overflow water away from buildings; keep drain traps full or capped.
  • Remove rotting leaves from window wells and gutters.


Although the Smokybrown roach has many places to habitat outside, it will enter if there is an entry point.

  • Seal as many exterior cracks and holes as possible on the outside of the home
  • Caulk all penetrations through ground level walls.
  • Caulk and repair holes around doors, windows, water pipes, and baseboards.
  • Place mesh screens over windows, floor drains, and vents.
  • Seal any cracks or holes leading indoors with caulk or other sealants. These places serve as roach locations.
  • Make sure that doors and windows fit securely inside the frames, to eliminate entry.

Prevention and Exclusion of Smoky Brown Roaches

Sanitation and exclusion are the first procedures required for this type of roach.

Since Smoky brown roaches are susceptible to desiccation, it is advisable to correct any moisture problems. If you eliminate food sources, moisture or their harborages, it will put such pressure on the roach population, leading to better results with your pest control measures. Although the Smoky brown roach has many places to habitat outside, it will enter if there is an entry point.

Where to Spray Outside:

  • Spray outside around doors, windows, pipe openings, and dryer vents. These insecticides are microencapsulated or suspended concentrates and work well on difficult porous surfaces.
  • Spray a 3-6 foot band around the entire house.

Where To Spray Inside:

  • Apply inside on the baseboards near the entry points (doors, windows, plumbing under sinks).
  • On the inside, apply around the plumbing under the sinks and washer and dryer connections. You don't have to spray all the interior baseboards, just the corners, and baseboards inside the garage and basement areas.

Recommended products are in the table below. They would require pump sprayers.

How To Get Rid of Smoky Brown Cockroaches

Generally speaking, most of the control measures should concentrate on the outside of the building and points of entry. This control measure is called a "perimeter or barrier" treatment.

Outdoor Building Treatment and Points of Entry and Inside Treatments

Insecticide Sprays:

You may use concentrated residual sprays: Avesta CS or Demon WP inside or outside.

Avesta CS will dry without a visible residue on sprayed surfaces. Demon WP will leave a visible powdery residue against surfaces.

Additional Treatments

Insecticide Granulars: You may apply granular around the base of the house, particularly in areas of pine straw and mulched areas. Bifen Lp is the recommended insecticide granular.

Granular Insect Baits:

Insects baits like Invict Xpress Granular Bait or Intice Perimeter Bait can be used indoors, outdoors, or in turf areas. Invict Xpress has multiple food attractants to attract not only the Australian Roach, but also Crickets, some Ants, Silverfish, Earwigs, and Firebrats.


You may apply Bifen LP Granules around the base of the house, particularly in pine straw and mulched areas, and or Intice Perimeter Bait as supplemental treatments. If you have these larger cockroaches entering inside your home from the attic area (due to trees that overhang the attic or gutters that are not clean) using baits like Intice insect baits, will give you excellent results.


Insecticide dust is effective in attics and crawlspaces.


Apply with electric-power dusters, hand dusters, or crank-style dusters. In addition, if necessary, dust cracks on the outside of the building and dust in the cracks of wood shingle roofs.

The recommended dust is D-Fense Dust.

Recommended residual sprays for perimeter treatments and basements.

Retreatment of Insecticide Granules and Baits

The residual insecticides: Avesta CS and Demon WP, as well as the residual granular, Bifen LP Granules, should be repeated every three months during the season.

The top recommendation is Avesta CS. It has an improved encapsulated formula to cause it to bond to surfaces better and holds up under ultraviolet light and rain longer.

The Invict Xpress Granular, Intice Perimter last about 6 months, free from rain. D-Fense Dust lasts from 6 months to a year, if free from rain.

Smoky Brown Roach Biology/ Habitats

Smoky Brown Cockroach Diet

The Smoky brown generally feeds on plant material but can feed on any organic debris once inside your home. They feed on plant material and may inhabit greenhouses.

Biology of Smoky BrownRoaches

The female Smoky brown roach lays about 24 eggs in her egg capsule and each female produces17 capsules. These capsules are black and measure about 3/8 inch long. She carries this capsule for one day before dropping it. The average life span is about half of the American Cockroach. In a protected environment, they can live 200-300 days at room temperature. The young will become an adult in 10-12 months.

Distribution of Smoky Brown Roaches

Smoky brown roaches as a tropical cockroach are not all over the USA. They are common in central and east Texas, Gulf Coast, throughout Florida, and up the eastern seaboard. They are now found in some areas of California. This roach is occasionally shipped all over the U.S. on fruit or nursery stock. This roach is not usually found in the Northern States unless they are brought inside.

How Smoky Brown Roaches Enter Your Home

Smoky brown roaches enter houses in the summer or hitchhike on firewood. They can enter around doors and windows, through ventilation areas, or through any other small crack and crevice that lead inside.



Various Roaches That Invade Homes and Businesses

( American and German Roaches are the most common and have two different types of treatments.)

Small Roaches (German and Brown-Banded) 1/2"-1 " in the adult stage
Large Roaches (American, Australian, Oriental, Smokey Brown and Wood ) 1.5 " or longer in the adult stage

Written by our resident pest control expert Ken Martin.

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