Since most cockroaches are dark-colored, brown-to-black, a green cockroach is very distinctive. The most common green cockroach is sometimes called the green banana cockroach. It is also called the Cuban cockroach because it was first collected in that country. The scientific name of the green cockroach is Panchlora nivea (L.).
The green cockroach got the name green banana cockroach because it arrived in United States ports in boxes of bananas. It is common along the Gulf Coast from Florida to Texas. Because of truck transport, it has spread inland in several Gulf Coast states.
The green cockroach is actually only green in the adult stage. The immature roaches, called nymphs, are brown to dark brown in color. The green color develops as the roach matures.
An adult green cockroach is about one inch long. It is more slender than many other species of cockroach. Both male and females have fully developed wings and both are good fliers.
The green cockroach is an outdoor roach. It is commonly found in damp, shady areas with plenty of vegetation. These roaches will live in rotting logs and under piles of leaves. They feed on plant material.
Adult green cockroaches are attracted to lights. They fly toward doors and windows of houses where light shines out. If there is a gap under a door, they will move inside. However, they do not reproduce indoors and they seldom infest homes.
Controlling green cockroaches starts outdoors. Homeowners can rake mulch and dead leaves away from the foundation. Firewood can be stacked on a rack and moved away from the home. Gutters and downspouts should be cleaned so that they are free of leaves. They should also be checked to see that they work properly and drain away from the foundation.
Exterior doors should close tightly without a gap underneath. Crawl space access doors should fit securely and vents should all be screened. Porch lights can be changed to yellow “bug light” bulbs. Shades may be necessary to prevent room light from shining out and attracting roaches to the house.
Granular cockroach bait may be effective for controlling green cockroaches outdoors. Many brands of bait are water-resistant. They can be applied in flowerbeds and ground cover.
A barrier of liquid insecticide can be applied to the foundation and around doors and windows. This will repel some of the green cockroaches from gathering on the house. Since rain and sun break down insecticide, the barrier will have to be re-applied periodically. Many homeowners prefer to have a pest control professional take care of these pests.