Cinereous (Lobster) Cockroaches

Facts, Identification, & Control


Nauphoeta cinerea


What Do They Look Like?
  • Size: They are about 1 1/2 inches long as adults.
  • Color: Cinereous cockroaches are ashy gray in color.
  • Body: They have wings, but are unable to fly. These wings do not completely cover their abdomen. They have a lobster-like design on their shield that covers their head.

How Did I Get Lobster Cockroaches?

Lobster cockroaches can enter homes inside imported goods or escape from captivity. Pet stores and hobbyists breed these pests to use as feeder insects for exotic animals. Lobster cockroaches are widely raised and are used as food for pet reptiles and amphibians, so the possibility of these cockroaches escaping and establishing populations is very likely.

How Serious Are Lobster Cockroaches?

Like most cockroach species, these pests may spread bacteria and other disease organisms as they feed on crumbs and move across surfaces.


Evidence of an infestation includes the presence of their nymphal and adult stages, as well as their egg cases.

How Do I Get Rid of Lobster Cockroaches?

What Orkin Does

Your local Orkin technician is trained to help manage lobster cockroaches and similar pests. Since every building or home is different, your Orkin technician will design a unique program for your situation.

Orkin can provide the right solution to keep lobster cockroaches in their place and out of your home or business.


Where Do They Live?

These roaches are also are called lobster roaches, speckled roaches, or Tampa roaches (the species was first spotted and identified in Tampa, FL). Cinereous cockroaches are nocturnal species and are mainly active at night. When disturbed during the day, they are more likely to retreat to hidden areas. Periodomestic cockroaches are more likely found in outdoor structures, but can also infest homes and other dwellings.

Geographic Range

Cinereous cockroaches, originally a native of northeastern Africa, was accidentally introduced into the U.S. and many other places around the world. In the U.S., these pest infestations are uncommon.

Life Cycle

Adult female lobster cockroaches can reproduce asexually in the absence of males and will produce eggs when conditions are favorable. While this can occur, few females actually reproduce asexually.


Populations can grow rapidly as long as they have access to food. These cockroaches live about one year, mate about six days after becoming adults, and produce six broods of about 33 eggs per year.