The Asian cockroach is related to the German cockroach. In fact, the two roaches look so much alike that they have even fooled pest control professionals. The Asian cockroach was first found in Florida in the 1980’s. Since then it has spread across the Gulf Coast from Florida to Texas. It has also moved northward into Georgia.
The Asian cockroach, Blattella asahinai (Mizukubo), is a little less than ¾” long when it is full-grown. It is a tan-colored roach with two dark stripes that run the length of its body. The German cockroach, Blattella germanica (L.), looks almost exactly the same.
Both the Asian and the German cockroaches reproduce quickly. There have been reports of Asian cockroach populations as high as 250,000 insects per acre.
There are several physical differences between the Asian cockroach and the German roach. However, these many of the differences are hard to see, especially without a strong magnifying glass. However, there are two very obvious differences between the Asian and the German cockroaches.
The first obvious difference is that the Asian cockroach is an outdoor roach. It lives in shady yards and flowerbeds. It hides in the thatch of the grass or under the mulch or leaves in the flowerbed.
The German roach is an indoor roach and seldom ventures outside. Small striped roaches in a kitchen are probably German roaches. Small, striped roaches outside in the yard are probably Asian roaches.
Another major difference between the two species is that the Asian cockroach is a good flier. It will fly if disturbed, even during the daytime. It is attracted to bright lights and it will fly toward houses in the evening. The Asian roach will land on windows or doors and try to get inside. If it finds an opening, it will fly toward the TV screen, the computer monitor, or any similar bright light. However, once it gets inside, the Asian roach does not usually create infestations like the German roaches do.
German cockroaches have fully developed wings. If they are disturbed, they will sometimes flap their wings. However if they are threatened, German roaches will run, not fly. Small, striped roaches that fly are Asian roaches, not German roaches.
Since Asian cockroaches try to enter houses by flying to the windows and doors, they will not be controlled with liquid insecticide barriers. Granular roach bait can be very effective, but it must be applied in the yard where the roaches gather.
Since Asian cockroaches can occur in great numbers, a fairly large amount of bait might be needed. The bait will have to be re-applied from time to time because more roaches will fly into the yard. Many homeowners find it more convenient to rely on pest control professionals to control the Asian cockroach.