Florida stinky cockroach / Florida forest cockroach (Eurycotis floridana)

Florida stinky cockroach / Florida forest cockroach (Eurycotis floridana)

Class / order / family: Insecta / Blattodea / Blattellidae

The common name of Florida is that it is where it is mainly located, the forest because it is commonly found in wooded areas, and stinking because adults of both sexes are able to emit an oily and smelly fluid. The stinky cockroach of Florida is also known as a “palmetto bug” because it hides under the leaves of the palms fallen on the ground.


Adults are up to 40 mm long and 24 mm wide, have very dark reddish brown. Their wings are vestigial, preventing them from flying.


Mating occurs around 18 days after the adult emerges. The first ootheca appears at approximately 55 days and then there is a new one almost every 8 days. The female deposits her ootheca shortly after it forms but frequently adheres to the substrate. The ootheca contains about 20 eggs.

Development time (from egg to adult) usually requires 150 days. Adults are long-lived, but there are no exact figures available. This species can reproduce by parthenogenesis (without fertilization of the male).


The Florida forest cockroach lives in the open, where it can be found under the bark of dead trees, under the leaves of palms, in loose trash, logs or piles of firewood. Sometimes it invades buildings, where it only survives for a short time. Because it does not fly, it must walk or crawl into the structures or be transported with firewood or other objects.

The oily and malodorous liquid is emitted by a single gland located in the lower part of the abdomen and, apparently, only emits it backwards. If it is confined in a closed container it can cause its own death due to this secretion.


Hygiene is the main method of control. On the outside, cleaning and eliminating garbage from the yard as leaf litter.

It may be necessary to perform some perimeter treatment by applying a pesticide properly labeled for this purpose. Bait must first be used for cockroach pests that are likely to be effective.

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