Smoky Brown Cockroach

Actual Size: 1” – 1.5”

Characteristics: Uniform shiny mahogany brown

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Habitat: Often found in crawl spaces or basements within properties.


  • Need moisture to survive.
  • Adults can fly, especially on warm humid evenings.
  • May invade structures, but often found dead indoors from dehydration.

Smoky Brown Cockroaches in San Juan

The smoky brown cockroach is a tropical urban pest in many parts of the nation, including here in Puerto Rico. This species is usually found outside in decorative plantings and planter boxes, woodpiles, garages, and water meter boxes; it may occasionally inhabit municipal sewers. They sometimes invade homes, spreading bacteria as they take refuge in areas such as attics, bathrooms, and kitchens. Adults can fly, especially on warm humid evenings.

Smoky Brown Cockroach Habitat

Smoky brown cockroaches need moisture to survive, and outdoors they are found in mulch, woodpiles, leaf litter, and tree bark— locations used as protection against drying out. These roaches are occasionally found indoors preferring the upper parts of buildings; they also live under shingles or siding and sometimes get into trees, shrubs, and other vegetation during summer months. Smoky Brown roaches are sometimes found in kitchens, bathrooms, attics, and near points of entry such as garage and crawl space doors.

Smoky Brown Cockroach Behaviors, Threats or Dangers

Though their preferred habitat is outdoors, smoky brown cockroaches can still cause problems for homeowners, especially in humid environments. They live in a variety of disgusting places, from piles of dead leaves to storm drains and sewers, and even eat bird droppings. When entering your home, they will bring dangerous bacteria with them, contaminating cooking and eating surfaces. Their skin may also trigger allergies in sensitive people. They rarely survive in dry indoor environments, though rare cases of indoor infestations can occur in moist, organic-rich conditions. They are often found dead indoors likely due to dehydration.

If you are dealing with a smoky brown cockroach problem in your Ponce or San Juan home, contact your local cockroach exterminator for help.