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Smokybrown Cockroaches in the House

Entry Into Homes

In many of the Gulf Coast states and the coastal region of the Carolinas, smokybrown cockroaches are one of the most prevalent indoor and outdoor (peridomestic) cockroaches. When living outdoors, they prefer to occupy habitats that are very moist such as leaf litter, mulch, shade trees, tree holes, woodpiles, planter boxes, downspouts and sewers. Rain gutters, commercial and private greenhouses are other common places where smokybrown cockroaches are found.

Smokybrowns often move indoors in the process of foraging for food or seeking a better place to live. Their movements inside coincides with rising temperatures and reduced moisture conditions outdoors. Since these cockroaches fly, they may move onto roofs and gutters and end up in the upper parts of homes, in attics, under roof shingles and inside gutters. Other favored places include under siding, in crawl spaces, garages and attached storage sheds.

Problems with Smokybrown Roaches in the House

Smokybrown cockroach pest pressures are not too bad as long as they remain outside and they do not affect the homeowner flying around outdoor lights. However, as mentioned above, they like to move inside when outside conditions warrant. Since smokybrown cockroaches are attracted to light, they will get inside through loose fitting doors, or when a door or window is left open. They also get inside through cracks leading into the attic, the roof, around the chimney and through weep holes to get inside.


Since smokybrown cockroaches are peridomestic, homeowners need to know how to prevent them from getting inside the home, as well as how to prevent large populations outside. Some of the ways to reduce pest pressures caused by smokybrown cockroaches include:

  • Seeking the advice and assistance of your pest management professional (PMP) and requesting an interior and exterior inspection of your home. Upon completion of this inspection, your PMP will prepare a science-based management plan designed to reduce pest pressures from smokybrown cockroaches.

  • Sealing gaps and cracks around windows and doors.

  • Sealing gaps where the siding and foundation meet.

  • Keeping rain gutters clear of leaf debris that might attract smokybrown cockroaches and also maintaining gutters to ensure they drain completely.

  • Repairing holes in foundation air vents and screens, plus sealing cracks or gaps in the home’s foundation.

  • Since these cockroaches are often living in attics, inspect and seal around kitchen and bathroom vent openings leading to the attic.

  • Smokybrowns eat just about anything, so don’t leave spilled pet food, pet feces, fruit that has fallen from trees or food scraps outside or inside overnight. Remember, smokybrown cockroaches are nocturnal and active at night.

  • Keep trash and garbage containers as far from the house as possible.

  • Seal around pipe openings that lead from walls into kitchens and bathrooms.

  • Repair leaks in the roof or the soffits.

  • Remove leaf litter and do not allow it to accumulate next to the foundation and under shrubs or trees.

  • Remove piles of debris such as bricks, rocks, limbs, leaf piles, unneeded woodpiles, lumber piles or other materials that are in direct contact with the ground. If these items can’t be removed entirely, place them on racks that will prevent contact with the ground.

  • Do not place thick layers of mulch next to the foundation or in plant beds.


Dig Deeper on Smokybrown Cockroaches

Smokybrown Cockroach vs. American Cockroach

Do Smokybrown Cockroaches Bite?

Smokybrown Cockroach Life Cycle

Smokybrown Cockroach Eggs

Smokybrown Cockroach Nymphs

Can Smokybrown Cockroaches Fly?

Smokybrown Cockroaches in the House

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