This cockroach’s common name comes from the country where it was originally collected. It is a peridomestic cockroach and often enters structures because it is attracted to lights at night. Although it often arrives in bunches of bananas, it is only established throughout peninsular Florida and along the Gulf Coast in Louisiana and Texas; it is widely distributed in Mexico, central America and northern South America.
Adults about 7/8-1″ (22-24 mm) long; relatively slender. Color almost uniformly pale green. Legs with femora of 2nd and 3rd pairs lacking strong spines on ventral margin. Cerci clearly visible externally but small. Both sexes fully winged, good fliers.
Nymphal instars brown to dark brown, dorsal surfaces of terminal abdominal segments smooth and shiny.
Ootheca or egg capsule poorly sclerotized (hardened), whitish or light brown; about 3/8- 5/8” (10-15 mm) long; often curved or crescent-shaped, without a distinct keel; with obvious indentations indicating egg positions and with about 28 eggs on each side; rarely seen because after briefly protruding from female it is retracted into her body, incubated, and when eggs hatch nymphs appear to be born alive.
- Surinam (Pycnoscelus surinamensis) and lobster/cinereous (Nauphoeta cinerea) cockroaches with body relatively broad, not pale green in color.
- Male woods cockroaches (Parcoblatta spp.) with 2nd and 3rd femora having both ventral margins bearing numerous strong spines, not pale green in color.
- Other cockroach species not pale green in color.
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Little is known about this species. The following information is based on the laboratory rearing of a single female accidentally introduced into Massachusetts on bananas, and on her later progeny.
The adult female extrudes her ootheca during its formation and then retracts it into a brood sac until the eggs have developed. When the embryos are mature, the ootheca is again extruded. Nymphs free themselves as the ootheca is forced from the brood sac and drop to the surface, giving the appearance of live birth. This kind of development is termed ovoviviparous. The average number of nymphs per litter is 46 (range 28-60).
Developmental time (egg to adult) averages 144 days for males and 181 days for females. The average time to birth or incubation period of the first litter is about 55 days (range 50-62 days). Development of the embryos requires around 48 days at 75°F/24°C. The number of nymphal instars is unknown. One mating enables a female to produce 3 litters. One adult female lived for 153 days in the laboratory at 75°F/24°C.
This is an outdoor species which only survives in tropical and subtropical areas. It becomes a nuisance pest when it is attracted to lights at night. It then enters structures via open doors and/or wherever light shines through to the outside.
Outside it is commonly found in areas of rather dense, low vegetation and on the rotting trunks of palm and coconut trees.
It readily feeds on bananas.
Roach Control Naples
Reducing the attractiveness of the structure via lighting changes and exclusion are the most effective control methods.
Outdoor light bulbs should be changed to yellow or sodium vapor bulbs and any on-building lights should be moved to off-building sites to reduce attractiveness. In addition, the use of indoor lights near windows and doors should be kept to a minimum and drapes and/or shades should be kept closed.
Exclusion techniques include caulking, windows and doors screened with screens in good repair, tight-fitting doors, etc.
When the cockroaches are attracted to inside lights, they can be removed with a vacuum. The vacuum bag should be removed and disposed of in a sealed plastic bag before retiring.