How to Knock Down Nasty-Looking Florida Woods Roaches: Identification and Treatment

Edited by
Inga Cryton
Reading Time: 9 minutes.
Updated: .

Are you sharing the house with Florida woods cockroaches? They say large insects are mostly found outdoors. However, this is far from being the case with Florida woods roaches.

It is hardly surprising that most people who live in Florida are unlucky to have Florida woods cockroaches inside and outside the house. What could be more disgusting then those large, nasty-looking insects that crawl out of the bathtubs in your house?  These guys are really not pleasant to deal with.

Are you ready to crack your Florida wood roach problem? Learn how to prevent these large insects from coming inside the house and what products to use for their successful removal.

What you are dealing with: Eurycotis Floridana (Walker)

Do unwanted guests spoil your beautiful Florida lifestyle? Don’t let them do it. Most people living in Florida have Florida woods cockroach problems. Usually these nasty roaches can be mistaken for Palmetto bugs. When it comes to treatment, knowing what bug or insect you are dealing with is important. Here’s what you should know about them.

Florida Woods Cockroach


Eurycotis Floridana (Walker) is known by different names such as Florida stink roach, palmetto bug, skunk cockroach, the “woods” roach etc. But the most common name for this roach is Florida woods cockroach.

Florida woods roach south-eastern region of USAThe roach occurs in a limited south-eastern region of USA, throughout most of Florida including coastal regions of Mississippi, Georgia and Alabama.

To protect itself from predators, this large roach produces a foul-smelling fluid which makes it even uglier to think about.

The species are large in size – up to 40 mm long and up to 24 mm wide. The color of their bodies ranges from reddish brown to black. The roaches don’t fly as they have very short, reduced wing pads.

Water is the most essential factor of Florida wood roach survival.

Males and females can be differentiated by the posterior structure of their body segments. Females as distinct to males have a large terminal body segment. Due to their large size, these cockroaches are relatively slow moving.

Life cycle

Eurycotis floridana produce oothecae – which may be dropped prematurely – approximately every eight days.

  • Eggs take 48-50 days to hatch.
  • Nymphs average 7 molts during their growth.

Feeding and habitat

  • Florida woods roaches habitatWhat do they eat? They prefer eating primarily, decomposing plant matter. Food sources of Florida woods roaches could include easily-encountered-in-damp-environment dead plant matter: mosses, lichens, molds, leaves, bark and soil microbes.
  • Where do they reside? Usually in stable sheltered areas. Common habitations may include cavities under tree bark, in trees or stumps, limestone cavities and densely shaded shrubs.
Florida woods roaches are mostly found outdoors and are not considered major pests in the house.
As far as this roach is cold-intolerant it could wander inside the house at times.

Although they prefer to remain in tropical outdoor surroundings, “woods” roaches may enter your house through open doors and windows in search of warmth. Damp locations with moisture are excellent places for these roaches to stay. Therefore they can be easily found in leaf litter, wood piles and under rotting logs.

Is there a danger of allergic reactions if your house is infested with Albino roaches? Find out the shocking truth right now.

The Problem of Florida Woods Roaches

 Florida woods roaches problemThough Florida woods roaches are usually found outdoors, these pesky guys can become a real indoor problem. You can occasionally find them in your basements or bathrooms.

Once they enter the house, they can contaminate your food and spread diseases such as dysentery and diarrhea. Their feces, desiccated carcasses and egg cases cause breathing problems in sensitive people and asthma sufferers. What could be more disgusting than droppings of nasty roaches? Click here to read how to protect the house from cockroaches’ feces.

Before removing these roaches, you’d better think of prevention.

Best ways of prevention: Instructions

Normally these large sized roaches reside in outdoor areas. However, those who think they don’t enter the house are wrong. Even small crevices within the building allow them enough room to creep inside. Therefore inspection is the first step of their control. Inspect any gaps in which roaches may enter. The second step for their successful removal is sealing the gaps with caulk.

When it comes to Florida woods cockroach control, Pest Control services are not necessary. In most cases, you can do your own Florida roach pest control of these nasty roaches by using preventative measures and some useful products.
However, if your roach problem is out of control, you’d better get help from pest control companies. More information you can find at the National Pest Management Association website.

To begin with, consider these useful tips:

  1. Check your house for cracksDon’t let them in
    Check your house for openings (cracks) where Florida woods cockroaches can enter. Pay attention to open windows: they should have tightly fitted screens. Seal off any – large or small – openings with caulk or foams. Keep in mind, they can also come from the attic. So sealing any cracks between the attic and the living area is a good idea. Inspect what you carry in the house to be certain you have not brought in some pesky roach.
  2. Repair leaky pipesRepair leaky pipes
    Don’t let water collect in the kitchen, bathroom, in pools or on the floor. “Woods” roaches are drawn to moist, damp areas. This is why you need to remove any standing water source and repair leaky pipes.
  3. Put away clutterPut away clutter

    The clutter in the house is one of the reasons you have Florida woods roaches inside. If you don’t want to create a perfect hideout for these large roaches, put the clutter away. Take the trash, yard debris and clutter far away from the property. Note they prefer to hide in woodpiles. Move any firewood away from the property.

    Successful Florida woods roach control requires prevention and good sanitation.
  4. Lights at night attractAvoid the use of unnecessary lights at night
    Areas around yard lights or porch lights attract Florida woods roaches:  females like to crawl into these areas and males like fly to them during mating season.

What is the main difference between water bugs and cockroaches? Read this to know.

Florida Woods Cockroach Control

What is the best solution to keep these roaches out? There are several excellent options you could choose from. We suggest using the following:


Ask yourself, “What do these roaches need?” The answer is simple – food, harborage and moisture. If “woods” roaches won’t find food, they will die. If these large-sized insects cannot find moisture (relative humidity), they will die even faster. So feed them with baits. Place baits in problem locations such as behind the clothes washer and underneath the kitchen sink.

  • Maxforce FC Magnum Roach Killer Bait GelFC Magnum Roach Killer Bait Gel by Maxforce.
    Cost: $9.59.
    It can be used indoors or outdoors in residential and commercial buildings. The gel kills roaches when they eat it or when these insects just touch the bait.
  • Maxforce Pro Roach Killer Bait GelPro Roach Killer Bait Gel (hydramethylnon) by Maxforce.
    Cost: $22.83.
    The product kills by ingestion and contact. It is spread more thoroughly through the population of roaches.
If after setting bait traps you still see Florida woods roaches inside the house you are to place silica dust, borax or a similar pesticide dust around the perimeter of the rooms.
Pesticides dusts collect on woods roaches as they walk through it and will poison Florida woods roaches as they groom themselves.


Although dusts are known as slow-acting options, they can give long-lasting and efficient control.  Boric acid is supposed to be the most commonly used dust – effective in dry and clean areas. We suggest purchasing dusts that will combine insecticide with Diatomaceous earth or just include Organic DE.

You can use the following:

  • Alpine DustAlpine Dust.
    Cost: $27.35 for a bottle of 8oz., $54.76 for a pail of 3 lbs.
    This is a contact and residual powder insecticide that has 2 active ingredients – Dinotefuran and Diatomaceous Earth – to kill disgusting roaches. The combination of these 2 ingredients helps the product work quicker than many other insecticide dusts. The product should be applied with a powder or a hand duster. Apply it to cracks and crevices, nest areas and places where roaches are found.
  • Organic Diatomaceous EarthOrganic Diatomaceous Earth by St. Gabriel Organics.
    Cost: $19.50 for 1 bag.
    The product works by penetrating roaches’ exoskeletons and dehydrating them. All ingredients of the product are natural and safe for all the family and pets.
    To combat the number of nasty-looking roaches, use it indoors and outdoors, behind and beneath appliances, around windows, foundations, sewer pipes, in attics and basements etc.


D-Fence SCBasically, there is no specially-designed insecticide for Florida woods cockroaches. What works for some species can be the least effective for others.

You may use such residual sprays as:

  • Cyper WP;
  • D-Fence SC;
  • Demon WP.

We suggest using D-Fence SC. It won’t work well on German Cockroaches but will be effective on woods roaches. The average price of the product is $29.76. This powerful odorless suspended concentrate can be utilized for spot applications in residential and commercial buildings and for crack and crevice. When used as directed, it is safe around children and pets.

Many people just like you try to eliminate those nasty large roaches. You don’t need to use harmful pesticides or hire exterminators. Remember prevention, sanitation and use of safe products is a key to successful control of these roaches.

You can find further details of Roaches Control here.

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  1. The boric acid is not working!! 2 weeks and they are getting worse!!!

  2. I keep getting black looking coffee grans on my window ledge what I need to do I keep clean it up and it keep coming back

  3. I have a large potted palm in front of my house. Whenever I water it up from the soil come these roach-like bugs which I think are Florida wood roaches….how do I get rid of them?

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