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   Smoky Brown Cockroach

Smokybrown cockroaches are 1 to 1-1/4-inches long when mature, uniformly dark brown-to-mahogany, and characterized by fully developed wings that completely cover their abdomens. The protonum (i.e., shield-like area behind the head) is black. Nymphs are red-brown; the younger ones have white markings on their backs and the first four or five segments of their antennae are white at the tip. The purse-shaped egg capsule (i.e., ootheca) is dark brown-to-black, 3/8-inch long, and typically has 10 to 14 eggs per side.

During her lifetime, the female smokybrown cockroach produces approximately ten egg capsules each of which contains about 20 eggs. Using secretions from her mouth, the female firmly attaches the egg cases to some surface or object and covers them with surrounding materials. Nymphs emerge in 50 days and molt 10 to 12 times. Depending on temperature, development form egg to adult requires from 160 to 716 days. Adult females live an average of 218 days and males about 215 days.

Smokybrown cockroaches typically are outdoor pests commonly found in southern states as far west as central Texas. Outdoors they often are found in wood piles, flower planters, palm trees, water oaks, and vacant buildings. Indoors they seek warm, humid areas without air circulation, such as garages, attics, and crawlspaces. Smokybrown cockroaches have also been found established in northern states, typically in greenhouses. These cockroaches are strong fliers and attracted to lights.

Smokybrown cockroaches enter structures from outdoors. Many types of cardboard and plastic sticky traps are available to help pinpoint sources of cockroach infestation and to monitor areas about which occupants have complained but infestations can not be visually detected. Sticky traps are not intended for control but, rather, to guide and evaluate control efforts as part of the inspection process. Visual inspections can be conducted using a flashlight and aerosol pyrethrin to flush cockroaches from their harborages.

An effective cockroach management program depends on good sanitation to eliminate the food, water, and harborage they need for survival. It is critical to reduce clutter as cockroaches like to hide in stacked boxes, cartons, and stored paper and cardboard materials, especially in dark, damp locations, near food. Vacuum cleaning can be used to physically remove exposed cockroaches.

Smokybrown cockroaches like warm, humid environments so it is important to reduce moisture by repairing leaks and installing screened vents in order to increase airflow. Permanent reduction of cockroach populations can be achieved by caulking to eliminate harborage and prevent entry into structures. The most important cracks to eliminate are those around chimneys, soffits, roof joints, fascia boards, gutters, plumbing, and other penetrations of exterior walls.

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