The German cockroach is the most widely distributed and the most common indoor roach pest species within the United States, and the entire world, for that matter. The German cockroach is one of only two roach pest species in the US that dwell solely indoors, the other species being the brownbanded cockroach. The American cockroach is the second most commonly encountered roach pest species within homes and buildings in the US. This species is notable for being particularly filthy, as they are well known for dwelling within sewers where they sometimes traverse through plumbing only to emerge from drains within people’s homes. The Oriental cockroach is another common indoor pest species in the US, but they are not as widespread as the German and American species. The smoky brown cockroach species is closely related to the American cockroach, but they cannot match the American species in terms of body size, as smoky browns grow to be slightly larger than 1 inch in body length, whereas the American roach can grow to 2 inches in body length. The smoky brown species’ habitat is largely limited to the southeast US, but they can also be found in southern California and parts of the midwest. The smoky brown’s dependency on high-moisture environments make them particularly abundant in Louisiana.
The tropical storm Barry, which is currently causing flood conditions along the Gulf Coast, is causing smoky brown cockroaches to invade homes in massive numbers in the region. Unfortunately, this behavior is typical of smoky browns during heavy rainstorms. According to entomologists with Louisiana State University, the roaches develop a sudden preference for indoor conditions during rainstorms and especially during floods. An example of this phenomenon is well documented in footage posted to Facebook, which shows an uncomfortably large amount of smoky browns emerging from an overflowing storm drain in Louisiana. This footage has gone viral, and has been featured in the media, capturing the fascination and disgust of people all over the world. Smoky brown cockroaches prefer to live outdoors, but they are in the habit of entering homes in order to feed. However, rainstorms and floods make the smoky brown’s typical habitat a bit too wet for the insect’s taste, causing them to invade homes in large numbers to avoid succumbing to rising water levels.
Have cockroaches ever invaded your home en masse during heavy storms?