Madeira Cockroaches

Facts, Identification, & Control

Scientific Name

Rhyparobia maderae


What Do They Look Like?
  • Color: Adult Madeira cockroaches are pale brown to tawny-olive in color.
  • Size: These cockroaches are about 1 1/2 to 2 inches long.
  • Characteristics: These pests have a mottled appearance on their front wings that have a fishnet-like pattern and fully cover their abdomen.

How Did I Get Madeira Cockroaches?

Madeira cockroaches are invasive pests that can be found indoors from newly purchased plants. Homeowners may bring potted plants into homes, not realizing they may have started a cockroach problem.

How Serious Are Madeira Cockroaches?

Madeira cockroaches start food infestation problems in homes. Adults crawl quickly and are good flyers, so it is hard to stop these pests before they spread and become a more serious problem.

Signs of Infestation

Appearances of the adult and nymph cockroaches, plus their egg cases are obvious signs of infestation. These pests may be hard to identify from their small and localized populations.

How Do I Get Rid of Madeira Cockroaches?

What Orkin Does

Your local Orkin technician is trained to help manage Madeira 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 Madeira cockroaches in their place and out of your home or business.

Behavior, Diet, & Habits

If startled, these pests emit a foul odor from their abdomens, which is unpleasant for residents dealing with an infestation. Madeira cockroaches are commonly used as research animals in many research laboratories.

Where Do They Live?

Despite their preferences for environments with high temperatures, they can adapt to sheltered lives in temperate climates. These pests have also proven that they can survive in climates outside their native habitats.

Some preferred Madeira cockroach habitats include:

  • Atriums
  • Greenhouses
  • Imported goods
  • Indoor plantscapes
  • Nurseries
Geographical Range

This species has been reported in the United States from the Puerto Rico section of New York City and Hawaii, but can occur sporadically in other parts of the country.

Life Cycle


Madeira females cockroaches can produce egg cases with about 35 eggs that are initially carried by the females. Their egg cases are about 1/2 to 3/4 inches long and are bright yellow in color.

This trait is not unusual for cockroaches, except Madeira females will carry their egg cases, extrude them, and rotate these cases. Finally, they draw the egg cases back into the body and incubate them internally for about two months.


In ideal conditions, Madeira cockroaches live relatively long for insects and can live up to 2 1/2 years. Their life cycle is quite long, so they are around long enough to infest food items if they become an indoor pest.