Currently viewing the category: "Cockroaches"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bug ID_Beetle perhaps?
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
October 16, 2012 5:49 pm
This summer I have had somewhat of an infestation of these bugs outside my house. If I set a box outside on the ground, they would infest the box. Have not seen many recently, but keep seeing them occasionally skittering across my second floor kitchen on the counter. Now I need to find out what they are, what they eat and why they are coming indoors. This is one I whacked on my counter. Fortunately, I did not totally smash it. Thank you in advance for your help.
Signature: K. D.

Cockroach Parts

immature cockroach

Dear Daniel,
Thank you so very much for your prompt response. I think that your website is fantastic. That is why I had to send you a pic for ID. It was taking me way to long. I was only on the 24th page of beetles after two hours of looking. Due to my seriously inquisitive ADD nature, I just had to keep stopping and reading about every interesting pic. At the rate I was going, I was never going to ID this critter…….lol.  I now have your site bookmarked for further pleasure reading. Great work you have done!
Now that I have identified it further as the Phyllodromica trivittata (courtsy of your website), I do not think I need to take any further eradication action at this time. From all I have read so far, they do not seem to really be a household pest. sightings in the house have been sporadic. If that changes in the future though, I will go after them. I will see how it goes next summer.  I hope you have a great day!

Hi Karen,
Thanks for the followup.  Your letter was one of our attempts to respond to as many requests as possible, hence the short ID.  We are happy you learned the identity of your immature Cockroach on our site and that you have decided not to take any eradication measures, but we are most happy to hear that you have found our archives interesting.  Your response really made our morning and we sifted through the trash to fine your original request so that we could make a posting.  Here is what BugGuide states about this species:  “Reports of high abundance both indoors and outdoors make it likely that reproduction is occurring outdoors with subsequent invasion of nearby structures. As this species adapts to this new environment, studies will need to be conducted to confirm this.”
  BugGuide continues with:  “Known from dry habitats around the Mediterranean. It has been recorded from Morocco; Algeria; Spain; Italy (Sardinia Island); Italy (Sicily); Libya; and Israel. Given that it has not been recorded as being a pest in buildings in those countries (as far as I’m aware) it is unlikely to invade buildings in the USA. Comment by George Beccaloni (The Natural History Museum, London, UK).”  As a note, we always tend to worry about introduced species that thrive in a new environment as they can displace native species and reduce species diversity once they become established.

Update:  November 2, 2012
Here is a good link to send out for this bug to people in California. Some great pics. Invasive species are a good argument against global commerce.
Volume 25 (2011) (10MB); covering the years 2008-2009  Page 7

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: who is my friend?
Location: Nashville, TN
September 16, 2012 7:57 pm
Found this guy in my hotel room. Slow moving and peaceful. Gone when i got back in the evening. hope they didn’t exterminate.
Signature: curious

i found it!
on  your site…looks like a cave cockroach.
it was very pretty.


Dear curious,
This is indeed a Cockroach, but it is not a Cave Cockroach.  We may be wrong, but it looks more to us like an American Cockroach.  According to BugGuide:  ” They are significant pests throughout the world. They are not native to the Americas at all. They come from tropical Africa. They were probably transported to the Americas on slave ships.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Phyllodromica trivittata
Location: Vallejo, Solano County, CA.
September 10, 2012 9:55 pm
Hi Mr. Marlos,
I’m an entomologist living in the San Francisco Bay Area and I just wanted to drop you a line to let you know that I have found Phyllodromica trivittata in Vallejo in Solano County and that it probably came in on wood a friend brought me from Walnut Creek in Contra Costa County. It appears our friend is spreading quite quickly.
Signature: Greg Johnson – Entomologist and Crop and Soil Scientist.

Introduced Cockroach

Hi Greg,
Thanks for informing us about the range expansion of this introduced species of Cockroach.  According to BugGuide, it is already reported from California and Nevada.

Invasive Cockroach


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Pale Cockroach?
Location: Montecito Heights, CA
June 22, 2012 12:50 pm
I am hoping you can help me with this little guy/girl? I found him on my glass door at night so I imagine it was attracted to the light. I thought it was a moth at first but it moves more like a slow spastic cockroach – and rather looks like one.
I kept him in a jar for a couple of days till I finally had the chance to photograph him this morning.
What I observed: Hid under the dirt & debris I had put in the jar for him. Didn’t seem interested in either the tomato or rice I put in but I figured the moisture would still be helpful.
When I set him free on my spinach he just hunkered down so I took more pictures. Tends to play dead rather than flee when disturbed. Wings appear a milky moth grey/brown and are somewhat translucent on top. Never got a good look at his other pair of wings. Approximately 1″ long & 3/8″ wide. Found nothing on the web that looked like him but I am thinking some kind of imported cockroach. In any event, whatever it is – it’s in my spinach plants now.
Thank you for any help on this :)
Signature: joAnn

Possibly Sand Roach

August 12, 2012
Dear Bugman,
Last night I found another live specimen of my unknown cockroach. (There have been a couple in the Daddy Long Legs webs this week.)
I am completely baffled by it – and quite enamored with the patterns on it’s wings.
As far as behavior, they seem attracted to light and they tend to flutter/scuttle in an electric shock sort of way. Not sure if this is normal or maybe they are nearing the end of their life span.
In any event, here are the pictures I just took. I am planning on freeing him tonight.
joAnn Ortiz
Rose Hills/Montecito Heights, CA 90032

Possibly Sand Roach

Hi joAnn,
Greetings from the other side of the Historic Arroyo Parkway.  We are your neighbors in Mount Washington, so we share many of the same species.  We believe this is a Sand Roach in the genus
Arenivaga, though the markings on your specimen do not exactly match the images posted to BugGuide.  Sand Roaches are frequently attracted to lights and the behavior you describe is very consistent with Sand Roaches.  We are going to contact Eric Eaton to see if he can confirm or dispute our identification.  Now that we have responded, we want to apologize for not responding to your original submission.  Especially during the summer when identification requests are especially numerous, our small staff is only able answer a fraction of the mail we receive.

Eric Eaton confirms Sand Roach identity
Yep, it is a male.  Females are wingless and rarely surface from under the sand.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Big Bug
Location: Las Vegas NV
July 29, 2012 7:11 pm
Found this thing by my back door. Its 1 1/2 inch.
Signature: VegasSmitty

Female Turkestan Cockroach

Dear VegasSmitty,
This is a female Turkestan Cockroach, and we first posted images of this introduced species last year.  Males have wings and look more like typical Cockroaches.  According to BugGuide, the Turkestan Cockroaches were:  “introduced to the US in the late 1970s, presumably by military personnel returning from the Middle East” and they are found in “semi-arid to arid desert areas, in water meter boxes, cracks between blocks of poured concrete, compost piles, leaf litter, potted plants, and sewer systems.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, CA
July 21, 2012
As a prelude to National Moth Week, the Mount Washington Homeowners Alliance partnered with What’s That Bug? by hosting a Moth Night in Elyria Canyon Park on the weekend before the official start of National Moth Week in order to accommodate the busy schedules of hosts Julian Donahue and Daniel Marlos.  Since National Moth Week is about moths and diversity, we took this opportunity to educate those in attendance about the wealth of nocturnal life in Elyria Canyon Park.  Julian, Kathy, Lauri and Daniel arrived just before 7 PM and opened the gate so that visitors could take advantage of the event by driving into an area that is normally closed to motor vehicles.  Setting up for the event involved getting power to thre
e distinct sites for attracting moths with different light sources:  black or ultraviolet bulbs, incandescent bulbs and mercury vapor bulbs, and these preparations were made before sunset.

Anise Swallowtail Caterpillar displaying osmeterium

Just as Julian finished setting up the black light he was running off his vehicle battery, the first guest walked up.  Darlene from Torrance had arrived before us and while checking out the life in the park, she discovered the Caterpillar of an Anise Swallowtail as well as three eggs on the wild fennel.  Darlene, an avid fan of insects, continued to capture creatures in her viewing box and her most notable finds of the day and night included a Flower Fly larva, a female Bush Katydid, a mating pair of invasive exotic African Painted Bugs, a Checkered Beetle and a winged male Sand Cockroach.  Young Julian captured a specimen of Arboreal Click Beetle with unusual feathered antennae.

The early arrivals for Moth Night approximately 8 PM

The earliest folks to arrive got a quick tour of the beginnings of the butterfly garden that the beautification committee is planting thanks to a generous grant from the North American Butterfly Association (NABA).  Gathering folks together for a group photo is kind of like trying to herd cats, but we did manage to get a few organized group shots of most of the people who arrived just before sunset.  Julian began by giving an overview of moths, their place in the ecosystem, how to attract them and then took questions from the eager crowd.  People continued to explore the park on their own while there was still light and the youngsters started catching insects in the bottles that were provided so that they could be identified.  Refreshments were provided by MWHA Hospitality VP Susanne Brody.

Folks begin to hunt for insects and other small creatures

A skunk wandered from the nursery behind the red barn into the meadow just as darkness began to fall and this generated quite a bit of excitement.  Then the moths and other insects began to arrive to the various light sources that were designed to attract them.

Black Light and Incandescent Light area

Julian explained earlier that the best nights for mothing with lights are warm, humid, calm and moonless.  Alas, the only desirable condition we had was the fact that there was a new moon.  A slight breeze and cooler conditions prevailed, but we were still graced with a variety of geometrids, pyralids, noctuids, tortricids, acrolophids, and tineids as well as some interesting beetles, mayflies and lacewings.  Fun was had by all of the approximately 35 people who attended Moth Night in Elyria Canyon Park.

Collecting around the mercury vapor bulb





What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination