Are Smoky Brown Cockroaches Dangerous For You

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Smoky brown cockroaches are the smallest and one of the most common cockroaches in America. They used to live in humid and damp areas. If you see brown cockroaches in your home, you should kick them off because of their harm. But do you know, are smoky brown cockroaches dangerous?

Yes, smoky brown cockroaches are dangerous because they can transmit skin rashes, allergic reactions, and asthma to you and your family. Moreover, these cockroaches can easily contaminate your food and cause life-threatening diseases like diarrhea, dysentery, and cholera.

If you have smoky brown cockroaches in your home and want to know every detail about them, read the below guidelines.

Smoky Brown Cockroaches: What are they?

Although smoky brown cockroaches are similar to other American roaches, you can easily recognize them by their brown color. They have extended bodies because of long antennae and broad wings. As they love damp areas, you may find them in humid parts of your home, like the vents of your AC.

Smoky Brown Cockroach

Even though they prefer to reside outside, you may find them entering your house through your opened windows and doors. Additionally, they are drawn to light and can make their way inside your home through it. Once they get into your home, they start looking for food, water, and shelter and will eventually make their home in your moist air ducts.

Habitat & Life Cycle of Smoky Brown Cockroaches

Smoky brown cockroaches are common throughout the United States in areas with high humidity and temperatures once a year. In outdoor places, they love to live under piles of wood and leaves, while inside your home, they are fond of the damp ventilation system and your attics.

life cycle of Smoky Brown Cockroaches

Smoky brown cockroaches have a life cycle of 320 days from eggs to adult. A mature female cockroach can produce up to 18 egg capsules containing 28 eggs. Moreover, their growth depends upon the temperature. A warmer temperature of 27°C stimulates their growth, while the cold (15°C) delays their developmental procedure.

Characteristics of Smoky Brown Cockroaches

Smoky brown cockroaches are similar to other cockroaches, but they prefer to live outside. Furthermore, they are more harmful than other cockroaches. Below are some key features of smoky brown cockroaches:

  • Smoky brown cockroaches can make a group with a length of 32-35 mm for moving together from one place to another.
  • They are most common in Japan and the Southern part of the U.S.
  • These cockroaches are almost similar to American roaches.
  • They can survive hot weather but can’t withstand freezing temperatures.
  • Moreover, they have dark and illuminating thorax, while other cockroaches have broad patterns on their abdomens.

Diet of Smoky Brown Cockroaches

The journal Medical Entomology and Zoology reports that smoking brown cockroaches used to reside beneath heaps of wood & leaves. They are nocturnal pests and hide in places far away from human beings. Their eating habits are highly noticeable during the late evening and night when they emerge from their nests in quest of food.

Above all, you may not see them drinking water. Although smoky brown cockroaches prefer to eat plant wastes, you can observe these opportunistic feeders eating anything available to them. They are fond of consuming dead insects, waste products, starch, and meat.

Why Do Smoky Brown Cockroaches Pose a Threat?

Smoky brown cockroaches are more than just a nuisance. They threaten your health because they live in contaminated areas like drainage pipes and carry life-threatening diseases, such as tuberculosis, diarrhea, cholera, and typhoid fever. It will result in serious illness in you, your kids, and even other pets.

Additionally, the exoskeleton of this cockroach has a unique protein that can cause severe allergies or asthma. Because these cockroaches are always scurrying around in your kitchen looking for food, they may contaminate your food, which could lead to the spread of a deadly disease. Moreover, giant flying cockroaches aren’t always a sight to behold.

How Do You Identify Smoky Brown Cockroaches?

The smokey brown cockroach gets its name from its color, which is a dark and glossy brown hue that appears both on its thorax and underbelly. You can identify them through the following factors:

  • They have similar shapes and sizes to American cockroaches.
  • Smoky brown cockroaches can grow up to one-fourth and a half inches in their length.
  • They use their large wings in search of their food and meal.
  • Moreover, they have an antenna that is larger than their bodies.
  • Another point to be noted is that smoky brown cockroaches mostly live in damp areas more than other roaches.

What Attracts Smoky Brown Roaches?

Although smoky brown cockroaches love to live outside your home and property, they may attract your home by piles of wood, open drains, leaking roofs, pools of water, or leftover food. They can enter your home through open windows and doors and even through mini gaps in your walls.

In outdoor places, smoky brown cockroaches are attracted to heaps of wood and leave to get protection from the worst weather conditions. While inside your home, they are drawn to everything that is damp and has food, such as the vents of your air conditioning system, attics, leftover food, and garbage cans.

Do Smoky Brown Roaches Fly?

Yes, adult smoky brown cockroaches can fly, but due to a lack of functional wings, their babies can’t fly. They can only use their wings for flight once they have fully developed into mature cockroaches. Smoky roaches may travel to other places because their natural environment is subject to temperature and humidity variations.

Both male and female cockroaches have two pairs of wings that fold on their body during flight. Although they use both pairs of wings to fly, actual flight depends upon their hind wings while the front pair of wings remain raised. Furthermore, smoky brown cockroaches love to fly alone instead of making swarms.

Are Smoky Brown Roaches Hard to Get Rid of?

Yes, getting rid of smoky brown cockroaches is somehow challenging. You need to make a proper plan to deal with their problem. Controlling smoking brown cockroaches requires different techniques than other roaches because they are more problematic than others.

Luckily, once you adopt successful preventive measures against smoky roaches, their population won’t increase rapidly because they have low reproductive capabilities. However, you can get rid of them by using insecticides, traps, and insect poisons and by making the exterior of your house cockroach-proof.

Sings of Smoky Brown Cockroaches infestation

Even though smoky brown cockroaches are known as outdoor pests, they can attack your home in search of food and water. Below are some signs and symptoms of a smoky brown cockroach infestation in your home.

  • First, smoky brown cockroaches make their nests in vents or air ducts of your house.
  • You may find their droppings and discarded skin in damp areas of your home.
  • Moreover, you can also find their egg sacks in their favorite places like the pipe of your kitchen and toilet sink.

If you notice any of the above signs, you may likely have cockroaches in your home. Therefore, you should implement the necessary safety measures to prevent these insects from entering your home.

How Do You Control Smoky brown Cockroaches?

You can’t get rid of smoky brown cockroaches completely without the help of a professional pest control company. However, there are some methods that you can try at your home to get the job done. Some of them are as follows:

By Using Traps

If smoky cockroaches accidentally make their way into your home, installing a trap is the best choice. You can use different traps like magic and bait traps to capture them. According to the Journal J-STAGE, you can use chicken extracts or crushed silkworms as bait to trap smoky brown roaches.

By Using Insecticides

Various cockroach-controlling sprays are available in the market. They are best for killing cockroaches due to their rapid killing capabilities and lasting residues. You can use boric acid powder as an insecticide to kick them off your home and property. Sprinkle some boric acid powder around the exterior of your house and inside your home where you suspect the presence of roaches.

By Seal Entry Points

Smoky brown cockroaches can enter your home through tiny holes or cracks in your wall. They may also make their way into your house through open windows and doors. You can prevent them from entering your home by sealing all the entry points. To achieve this, you can close the cracks in your walls with caulk or put insect-proof nets in your windows.

Empty Garbage Cans Regularly

Though smoky brown cockroaches are the insects of outdoor regions, they may find your home best for shelter if it has all the necessary things for their livelihood. These include food, water, and shelter. Trash cans in your kitchen are the best source of food supply for cockroaches. If you don’t empty them regularly, food may stick at the bottom of bins, which increases the risk of roaches infestation.

Consequently, routine trash can emptying is a crucial preventive measure to keep smokey brown cockroaches away.

By Regular Cleaning

As mentioned above, smoky brown cockroaches love places cluttering with dust and debris.  Leftover food like pieces of bread, cake, and fruits on your kitchen counters and floor allure them to crawl into your home. Thus, clean or vacuum your house regularly, and don’t throw food on your floors to keep roaches away from your home.

Using Natural Cockroach Repellents

The best and easiest method for controlling smoky brown cockroaches is to use natural cockroach repellents. Oils like peppermint, lavender, eucalyptus, and cypress are some deterrents. These essential oils are available from shops in your area. To use them effectively, make a dilute solution with water by adding 10-15 drops of oil. Now sprinkle this solution along your home’s exterior to prevent the entry of roaches.

Prevent Water Leakage

As smoky brown cockroaches are fond of moist and damp places, controlling water leakage prevents these critters from making their way into your home. You should fix any drainage pipe leaks right once because smoky brown cockroaches may detect the presence of water and establish a nest there.

Final Verdict

Smoky brown cockroaches may move into your home, yard, or attic if you reside in a warm and moist region for a part of the year. These roaches may be fatal to your health by transmitting deadly bacteria and other microorganisms. Thus, take action to prevent these pests immediately rather than risk the chance of contaminating your property.

Use the above control methods if you’ve seen smokey brown cockroaches in or outside your home so, they don’t multiply and spread. Alternatively, get in touch with a specialist to start specialized treatments and keep pests like cockroaches out of your house.


Nasir IA, Adeniran AI, Abdulraheem A, Yusuf SS, Samuel J, Idowu ET, Makanjuola WA, Adefioye OA, Oluwayelu DO. Insecticide resistance in Anopheles gambiae sl and Anopheles funestus mosquitoes in northern Nigeria. Med Vet Entomol. 2018 Dec;32(4):430-438.