More than 4,000 cockroach species have been documented worldwide, and the majority of these species can only be found in tropical regions. Surprisingly, of all documented roach species, only 30 are known for being pests of homes and buildings. The United States is home to around 70 documented cockroach species, but only around a dozen of these species are known for demonstrating pest behaviors. German, American and Oriental cockroaches are the most persistent home-invading roach species in all US states, including Georgia. Given Georgia’s largely subtropical climate, several other cockroach pest species can be found in the state. These cockroach pests include brown-banded, Surinam, Florida woods, Argentine and Australian cockroaches. One of the newest members of Georgia’s cockroach pest community, the Asian cockroach, has become well known for establishing lasting infestations within homes.
As their common name makes clear, Asian cockroaches are native to southeast Asia, and they were first discovered in the US back in 1986 when specimens were recovered from an infested location on Florida’s southern coast. Today, this roach species is well established in the Gulf Coast states, and it will likely continue to migrate to new areas. The Asian cockroach looks identical to the closely related German cockroach, but unlike German cockroaches, Asian cockroaches are capable flyers, they are attracted to artificial lighting within homes, and they prefer to dwell outdoors, while German cockroaches dwell primarily indoors. Asian cockroaches also gravitate toward light that shines brightly on white indoor surfaces, like doors, walls, ceilings and window glass. In fact, while humans turn lights off and on while moving through various rooms at night, Asian cockroaches fly close behind in order to maximize their exposure to bright light. This odd behavior often makes residents think that Asian cockroaches are trying to attack them.
Since Asian cockroaches have not been exposed to decades of repeated insecticide treatments, they have not developed a resistance to any type of insecticide formulation. However, since Asian cockroaches fly into homes through windows and other openings, perimeter insecticide treatments will not prevent the pests from invading homes. Baits are generally recognized as being the most reliable form of Asian cockroach control within and around homes.
Have you ever discovered multiple flying cockroaches within your home?