The Florida woods cockroach gets its name because it is usually found in wooded areas with a lot of trees. True to its name, this roach is common throughout Florida where it is also called the “Palmetto Bug”. It is also found in coastal Alabama and Mississippi and parts of Georgia.
The Florida woods cockroach is also known as the Florida Stink Roach because of the foul smelling fluid that it produces. The roach uses the fluid for defense and it is strong enough that some people use the name “Skunk Roach”.
Adults of the Florida woods roach are almost 2″ long. They are about 1″ wide, so they look very large. Both male and females have very short wings, so these roaches do not fly.
Florida woods cockroaches live in rotting stumps, under woodpiles, and under piles of branches and leaves. Mulch in flowerbeds is also a common hiding place for these cockroaches.
Although these roaches cannot fly, they sometimes crawl into houses. More often, they are brought indoors with loads of firewood. These roaches do not usually survive in homes, possibly because the indoor climate is too dry.
Control of Florida woods cockroaches begins outdoors. Homeowners can eliminate the roach hiding places around the home. Mulch and dead leaves should be raked away from the foundation. A clear zone of 12″-24″ will be less attractive to the roaches. Stack firewood on a rack and move it away from the home.
Secure the access door to the crawl space and repair any damaged screens on the crawl space vents. Make sure exterior doors close tightly and replace missing weather-stripping.
Granular cockroach bait can be effective when it is applied in flowerbeds and ground cover. Liquid insecticide can be a barrier to the Florida woods cockroaches when it is applied to the outside of the home’s foundation.
Because sun and rain break down insecticide, the bait and insecticide will have to be re-applied periodically. For convenience, many homeowners have pest control professionals make these applications/