Field Cockroaches


Actual Size: Small up to ½”

Characteristics: Olive-brown coloration, two blackish-brown stripes on the face.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: Yes, and they can fly.

Habitat: Common in irrigated areas. Prefer to live in leaf litter and other types of plant debris.


  • Primarily an outdoor cockroach species.
  • Sometimes mistaken for German cockroaches
  • Unlike German cockroaches, they can be seen during the day.

Field Cockroach Identification

Field Cockroaches in North Carolina

The field cockroach or vaga cockroach is a small cockroach and likely introduced from southwest Asia into the United States. This cockroach now inhabits a wide range from Texas to the West Coast and north through California. Field cockroaches are very similar in appearance to German cockroaches but can be distinguished by the blackish-brown area on the face from the mouthparts to between the eyes. They have two dark parallel lines running down their back, similar to the German cockroach but lighter in color. Females may live for more than 200 days, producing between 200 to 300 offspring or 6 generations a year. Field cockroaches are attracted to light, which is less common among other cockroach species that typically avoid well-lit areas.

Field Cockroach Habitat

Field cockroaches feed largely on decomposing vegetation, including fruits, such as dates, and occur under stones, clumps of earth, and debris. Unlike German cockroaches, field cockroaches prefer to live outside in leaf litter and plant debris and rarely enter buildings.  During drier parts of the year, field cockroaches may enter structures in search of moisture. Since field cockroaches so closely resemble German cockroaches, some homeowners will think they have German roaches invading their home, when they actually have field cockroaches. 

Do Field Roaches invade homes?

Field cockroaches are generally outdoor pests and are less likely to invade homes compared to other cockroach species. However, they may occasionally enter buildings in search of food or due to environmental pressures such as extreme weather. When they do enter homes, they are typically found in basements and crawl spaces, garages/storage areas or near entry points like doors and windows.

What Attracts Field Roaches?

Field cockroaches are primarily attracted to environments that provide food, moisture, and shelter. Key attractants include areas with consistent moisture such as garden beds and irrigated lawns, organic debris – such as piles of leaves, mulch and compost. Field cockroaches are phototropic and may be drawn to lights around buildings, particularly at night.

Field Cockroach Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

While they are not as widespread as other species, field cockroaches cause similar concerns. Field cockroaches are primarily outdoor cockroach species, and when found indoors, they may be treated as an occasional invader that will not take up residence indoors.  Field roaches hide in cracks, crevices, and corners of homes. They can also spread bacteria if they gain access to kitchens and pantries. Populations of these fast-breeding cockroaches can increase rapidly if left unchecked. For that reason, always contact your local cockroach exterminators for help.


How Can I Treat Field Cockroaches?

Treating field cockroaches involves a combination of prevention and active pest control measures:

  1. Reduce organic debris around your property, maintain proper landscaping, and eliminate excess moisture sources.
  2. Repair cracks and gaps in doors, windows, and foundations to prevent entry.
  3. Place cockroach baits and traps in areas where they are likely to be active.
  4. Professional Treatment: Contact your local Bug Out experts – our professional cockroach experts are equipped with the knowledge and tools to manage and prevent field cockroach infestations, ensuring your property is protected from these tricky invaders. Contact us today for a free inspection and to learn more about cockroach solutions