Smoky Brown Cockroaches

Picture of Female Smokey Brown Cockroach Laying An Case
Smoky Brown Female Roach
© Toby Hudson Creative Commons

The Smoky is also known as the “Smokey Brown Cockroach”. No one seems to know whether the “e” belongs or not. Therefore we will use both versions of its name. Just to be fair. The Smokey Brown is slightly smaller than its cousin, the American Roach, the largest species in America.

It has a tendency to dehydrate more quickly than most roach species which is why it prefers to inhabit more humid, tropical regions along the Gulf Coast states in the south. Smoky thrives in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and East Texas, and other areas extending north along the Mississippi River.

Moisture and hydration is crucial to its survival. Whereas most roaches can survive a couple of weeks without water, the Smokey Roach must drink water at least every two days. Like all roaches, Smokey will eat almost anything, but they are very often found in green houses eating decaying plant life.

Identifying Factors and Characteristics

Smokey is distinguished by its shiny, dark brownish-black mahogany color. It is a relatively large roach reaching an adult length of about 1.250 inches long. Both male and female adults have wings and use them well often flying from trees and high places to lower targets.

Smokey Cockroaches are less mobile on surfaces versus other types of roaches and is attracted to lights which is unusual among roaches. They tend to congregate under porch lights at night.

Smokey’s Habitats and Behavior

In residential areas, they hangout in the canopies of palm trees and decaying tree holes. Smoky thrives around home perimeters in block walls, mulched areas, gardens, piles of leaves and litter in gutters. You will also find them in other moist areas including around roof eves and under roof shingles.

Although Smoky Cockroaches prefer outdoors, it will invade indoors, particularly when weather turns colder. They will penetrate inside and will very infest indoors if they find enough sources of food and water. So don’t assume Smokey will not establish a permanent home inside. They will eat anything that provides nutritional value.

Smokey Roaches will occupy any part of your home extending well beyond just kitchens and bathrooms.

Since they are avid fliers they will fly onto roofs and enter attics and crawl spaces. Because if their sensitivity to fluid loss, they will likely be found near a water source. For the same reason they will avoid ducts and places of forced air flow that will dry-out an area.

How To Control Smoky Brown Cockroaches

Like all roaches, Smokey Cockroaches enter homes through cracks, crevices and openings. So, the best ways to prevent entry without resorting to insecticides include the following three preventative measures:

  • 1. Remove unnecessary nesting places outside.
  • 2. Seal obvious entry points into your home.
  • 3. Practice good maintenance and cleanliness.


Always keep gutters clean. Remove piles of leaves and debris. Don’t put bark mulch near the foundation. Flow water way from the home. Remove unnecessary items that would contain standing water. Stack firewood at the farthest point from the house. Remove dead trees and stumps. Keep garbage cans clean and away from doorways.


Best Way To Kill and Control Smoky Brown Roaches

Once you’ve taken preventive measures both outside and inside and that fails to eliminate them from your home, you will have to resort to using insecticide. Of course, you will want to use the safest and least toxic product that will effectively do the job.

Inside the home, place roach baits in likely spots where roaches are likely to travel as close to nesting locations as possible. Place the baits against the wall and in corners where children and pets cannot get to them. Remember, Smoky Roaches will infest areas well beyond kitchens and bathrooms into living areas, bedrooms, attics, storage areas and closets. Basements are particularly vulnerable to roaches.

Cockroach baits are available as Roach Bait Stations and Roach Gel Baits. Food attractants are mixed with an active insecticide to entice roaches. Stations have the ingredients enclosed in a containers. Gels are applied directly to specific spots as small dollops. Obviously the intent is getting roaches to eat the bait.

The insecticide has a slow-kill advantage. A delayed kill permits the infected roach to return to its colony to infect other roaches in the nest via feces, sputum, and preening of other roaches. Other roaches will even eat corpses of dead roaches. The absorbed poison which is low toxic to humans and pets will kill roaches. Always read the insecticide label before administering the product.

If Smoky Roaches have infested your yard areas and you are finding them in your home, apply a liquid insecticide spray about 3 feet from the foundation around the home’s perimeter. If there are infestations among piles of leaves and other outside areas, the liquid insecticide should be sprayed in those areas as well.

See The Best Ways To Kill Roaches

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