Field Cockroaches

SCIENTIFIC NAME

Blattella vaga

APPEARANCE

The field cockroach looks similar to the very common German cockroach – about ½-inch long and grayish to olive-brown with two brown to black stripes on the top of its head. If you wish to make a personal identification, look at the face of the field cockroach. If you can see black stripes between the eyes, the specimen is a field cockroach because German cockroaches do not possess these stripes.

BEHAVIOR, DIET & HABITS

Field cockroaches go through three developmental stages – eggs, nymphs and adults. Leaf litter and other types of outdoor plant debris are their preferred habitats. At times, field cockroaches may enter inside areas, especially when it is hot or dry outdoors. When this occurs, homeowners often mistakenly think they have an infestation of German cockroaches.

Adult field cockroach females carry their eggs in specialized cases, with each egg case generally containing from 30 and 40 eggs. Unlike many other cockroach species, field cockroach adults do not shy away from light and are active during the day and may also be attracted to lights in and around homes at night.

REPRODUCTION

Field cockroaches complete a life cycle in about 90 days.

SIGNS OF AN INFESTATION

Seeing field cockroaches either inside or outside is the most obvious sign of an infestation.

DISTRIBUTION

Originally from Asia, Blattella vaga has been introduced into the Southwestern United States, including Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and parts of southern California. Within this region, field cockroaches are most common in irrigated areas.

OTHER INFORMATION

Field cockroaches are not usually a serious pest problem, but if you suspect a problem with this cockroach be sure to contact your pest management professional and request an inspection and appropriate cockroach management plan.