Home PestsRoaches

How Bad Are Roaches in Florida?


Roaches are unpleasant pests, and they are an unnecessary evil for families in Florida. If left unchecked, these bugs may destroy the homes they invade. But considering their infestation in Florida, how bad is the situation? Let’s check the statistics together to find out.


With many Florida homes made from stucco, the chances of a roach invasion are very high. In fact, out of the many pests that invade Florida homes, roaches top the list.

Stucco is a cheap building material consisting of thin cement layers that give homes a beautiful, polished finish. However, this material can easily crack, allowing moisture and crawling pests like roaches to seep through.

Roach infestation is also prevalent in Florida because of the high humidity in the environment.

The common roach species in Florida are:

  • American roach (palmetto bug)
  • Florida woods (stink roach)
  • SmokyBrown roaches
  • German roach

Here’s a quick summary of how bad roaches are in Florida. Keep reading the guide to learn all there is to know about Florida’s roach problem and how to protect against it.

In the following sections, we will discuss the roach infestation problem in Florida — the severity, the common species found, and practical ways to deter them.

Is There a Roach Problem in Florida?

There is a significant roach problem in Florida. This is first due to the prevalent use of stucco in building construction in the state. Although cheap, stucco is highly prone to crack. As a minor household pest, roaches can easily creep in through tiny cracks.

The second reason for the high roach infestation cases in Florida is the climate in the area. Florida is one of America’s humid states, and this weather creates the perfect environment for most pests to thrive. A recent Department of Housing and Urban Development survey reports 2.9 million roach and rodent sightings.

These roach sightings were higher in houses with structural issues like leaks, cracks, and damaged roofs. Roaches are some of the common pests affecting Florida homes, and they are often challenging to eliminate.

For this reason, a seemingly common roach sighting can soon become a serious infestation problem in Florida homes. These roaches feast on filthy garbage and sewage and can pass to human occupants.

What Are the Common Roach Species in Florida?

Now that we’ve affirmed the presence of a roach problem in Florida, you may want to know what species are common there. Below, we consider some common roach species found in Florida:

1. American Roaches (Palmetto Bug)

American Roaches (Palmetto Bug)

The American roach, sometimes called the Palmetto bug, is one of the terrifying roach species found in Florida. The reason is that this six-legged creature with long antennae is one of the few flying species.

There is only one thing worse than sighting a roach — one that can fly. Adult American cockroaches are brown with cream markings around its head.

This roach typically lives outside, among dumpsters, drainage, decaying organisms, and wood piles. But even as outdoor animals, they sometimes enter homes to avoid the rain. Or whenever they see an opening to do so.

2. Florida Woods Roaches

Florida Woods Cockroach

Like its American counterpart, the Florida Woods roach is nicknamed the palmetto bug. The reason may be that it is often found near palmetto leaves.

The foul smell it releases to scare its predators away distinguishes this species from others. This has so far earned it another less-popular nickname — stink roach.

Florida residents may find these roaches in hiding spots outside their homes, especially among fallen leaves and mulch. Another way to distinguish this roach from the American roach is the absence of wings.

This specie only grows about 1.5 inches and has yellow lines along its sides. But like all roaches, the Florida Woods roach loves damp environments and the warm climate that Florida has.

Residents may find this specie among decaying wood, mulch, and fallen plants. However, it is not much of a threat as it cannot survive indoor living conditions.

3. Smokybrown Roaches

Smokybrown Cockroach

SmokyBrown roaches are the most common species flying around Florida and are much smaller, growing to about one inch long. Residents may find these roaches hovering outdoors, around lights, looking for a warm shelter.

These roaches have a darker brown consistency than other species. They also feature slightly bent antennae and wings that grow past their bodies.

SmokyBrown roaches prefer to perch on higher fixtures, protecting themselves from harsh weather elements. These include 1attics and rafters.

Although not an indoor species, SmokyBrown roaches can still enter a Florida home. This often means that someone had left a window open at night.

4. German Roach

Close Up Blattella Germanica German Cockroach Isolated On White

This is arguably the smallest roach species found in Florida. It measures about half an inch but makes up for its size with its destructive abilities.

Unlike other species, the German roach is more of an outdoor pest, making it the scariest. It is easier to keep outdoor species away by fixing holes and damages around the house.

With German roaches, the story is different, as they are domestic pests by nature. These roaches prefer humid areas like basements, kitchens, and garages and are active after daylight.

The German roach has an unmistakable brown color with two vertical lines running down its head. Its wings are almost transparent, making its brown color more pronounced.

Once inside a home, this specie multiplies fast and can take up available crawl spaces in no time.

Why Are Roaches a Problem in Florida?

In Florida, roaches are a severe problem because the warm environment helps them to thrive. Whatever these creatures lack in size, they make up for it in speed. So, trying to chase down roaches physically is almost an impossible feat.

These pests can adapt to almost any living condition and survive even with their heads out off. Since they have an open circulatory system, roaches do not need their head to breathe. They can breathe fine through holes in their bodies.

Roaches are more likely to die from starvation than from lack of air.

Unfortunately, these resilient pests mingle with outdoor filth and bring these into the homes they evade. This can cause sickness to spread among residents through contaminated food and water.

The best way to safeguard your home against these pests is to clean the house, seal cracks, and repair leaks. Other methods include storing food properly, taking out the trash, and clearing bushes.


Most people are drawn to Florida because of the warm environment. But this comfortable lifestyle may sometimes come with unpleasant pests.

While Florida has a pest problem, roaches top the list. However, knowing what species of roaches run around town is one step towards stopping the problem.

This guide contains everything there is to know about Florida’s roach problem and how to protect your home against them.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Prominent Signs of a Roach Invasion in Florida?

Roaches are sneaky pests, but their musty smell often gives them away. Other signs to look out for are discarded egg casings and roach carcasses.

How Can I Deter Roaches in Florida?

Many commercial insecticides sold in stores can help with a roach infestation problem. But for more efficient results, it is best to call pest control experts to deal with the situation.

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