What is this brown insect with a large wingspan?

What is this brown insect with a large wingspan?

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I found this dead creature on my window last night and spent hours looking for something that could explain what this is. I was unable to inspect it in person though, because opening the window would make the creature fall down.

It is roughly three inches in length and has a wingspan of five inches. I found it in the UK in August.

Here are some pictures:

It is a moth from the Sphingidae family (hawk moths). They are generally large, robust and often have lobed wings (like the one in your pictures). I'm not closely familiar with this group of insects, and not with species found in the UK, but the individual you observed is very similar to e.g. Laothoe populi (Poplar hawk moth), which is also found in the UK.

(Laothoe populi, picture from Wikipedia)

Giant wood moth: ‘very heavy’ insect rarely seen by humans spotted at Australian school

A giant moth with a wingspan measuring up to 25cm has been found at a Queensland school next to a rainforest.

Builders found the giant wood moth, the heaviest moth in the world, while constructing new classrooms at Mount Cotton state school.

Giant wood moths are found along the Queensland and New South Wales coast, according to the Queensland Museum. Females can weigh up to 30 grams and have a wingspan of up to 25cm. Males are half that size.

They have an extremely short life cycle with adults living only a matter of days. They die after mating and laying eggs.

The school’s principal, Meagan Steward, said the moth was “an amazing find”.

Steward said due to the school’s location it was not unusual to find a range of animals on the grounds such as bush turkeys, wallabies, koalas, ducks, the occasional snake and once a turtle in the library. “A giant wood moth was not something we had seen before,” she said on Wednesday.

Giant wood moths are found along the Queensland and NSW coast. Females can weigh up to 30 grams and have a wingspan of up to 25cm. Photograph: Mount Cotton state school/Facebook

The initial ABC news report and photos of the moth generated so much media interest the school was forced to direct questions about the moth to the Queensland education department.

Chris Lambkin, the curator of entomology at the Queensland Museum, said giant wood moths, or Endoxyla cinera, could be found from coastal Queensland down to southern NSW. While not uncommon they were rarely seen by humans, she said.

Lambkin said this was likely due to several factors including the adult moths’ short life span and the fact most people lived in urban areas where the invertebrate was not found.

“The female moths also don’t fly very well,” she said.

“So most people, if they do see one, it has emerged as an adult and crawled up a tree trunk or a fence post and is waiting for the male to come along. Normally people don’t see them with their wings spread out so you don’t realise just how big they are but if you actually lift them up they’re very heavy.”

As small caterpillars, the invertebrates have purple and white banding and bore into the trunks of smooth-barked eucalypts in parks and gardens. They lose the banding as they grow into larger grubs.

What is this brown insect with a large wingspan? - Biology

Common Name: Brown Marmorated Stink Bug
Scientific Name: Halyomorha halys

(Information for this species page was gathered by Zach Mehal and Brady Boyer for their Biology 220M courses in 2011 and 2013, respectively at Penn State New Kensington.)

The brown, marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys) is a relatively new part of our insect community here in Western Pennsylvania. This stink bug is a native of northeast Asia (Japan, Korea, and China). Its use of human habitations for its winter hibernation refuges, and its ability to communicate via pheromones and then aggregate in great numbers in some selected house, barn, porch, garage, or any other stink-bug-determined-suitable building makes their presence both in their native and also in their invasive regions impossible to ignore.

Image credit: Deborah Sillman

The adult brown, marmorated stink bug is about three quarters of an inch long. Its brown body is in the shape of a shield and its round head has two antennae. Each antenna has a distinctive (and species specific) light-colored band around it. The stink bug has six legs and two pair of wings all of which arise from its thorax (or middle body segment). The forewings are thick and hardened and serve primarily as protective coverings for the membranous hind wings which are actually used for the insect’s noisy and somewhat erratic flying. It also has scent glands on the underside of its thorax from which it can release its pungent, protective secretions (a mix of trans-2-decenal and trans-2-octanal).

Invasive History
It is thought that the brown marmorated stink bug was first released into the United States in Allentown, PA in 1996. It apparently traveled from northeast Asia in a shipping container that was delivered either to the port of Philadelphia or Elizabeth, New Jersey and then trucked to Allentown. Five years later this new, alien, invasive species was recognized and identified by entomologists at Cornell University. By then large populations were being observed throughout eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. This insect has now spread to thirty-five states primarily in the eastern United States. It has very large populations in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Delaware, Ohio, and North and South Carolina. It has also spread to California and Oregon allegedly via a car driven by a person traveling from Pennsylvania to California in 2005. In Western Pennsylvania our first massive fall outbreak of this species was in 2010.

The ability of these stink bugs to overwinter is remarkable. There is some mortality among the hibernating bugs, but a significant percentage of them make it through to spring and to their opportunity to mate. Colder temperatures, though, reduce this percentage of survival although these invasive stink bugs can survive colder, winter temperatures than our native stink bug species. Several models of climate change and global warming have included increased survival of stink bugs at higher and higher latitudinal locations with, then, significantly larger spring and summer populations of this potentially destructive pest.

Brown marmorated stink bugs overwinter as adults. They typically gather in a protected place (often a building of some kind) and enter a physiologically inactive, diapause state. They emerge from this hibernation state over a broad range of time (explaining why we see active adult stink bugs throughout the winter and early spring). A mass emergence from diapause occurs as daily temperatures and length of photoperiod increase especially in mid to late May.

Mating and Reproduction
Adults mate shortly after emerging from their hibernation state and females lay their eggs in clusters of twenty to thirty on the undersides of leaves of many types of host plants (especially apple, crabapple and pear trees in our area). A single female can lay up to three hundred eggs! In four to five days the eggs hatch into the first nymphal stage. These nymphs do not have wings and are much smaller, more brightly colored versions of the adult. The immature stink bugs stay clustered together during their first nymphal stage but then disperse when they enter their second stage. They go through a total of five immature stages over a period of twenty-seven to fifty five days.

In Western Pennsylvania the adult stage of the marmorated stink bug becomes very abundant in September, and it then begins searching for a possible refuge where it can sleep through the coming winter. Image: stink bugs cluster on a porch screen door in September, 2012 (D. Sillman)

Here in Pennsylvania the brown, marmorated stink bug can only accomplish one generation per year. There are parts of its native range, though, in which it can go through five generations in a single year!

Mouthparts and Feeding
The brown marmorated stink bug has sucking mouth parts equipped with supportive stylets that are strong enough to allow them to pierce plant structures but insufficiently strong to allow them to pierce the skin of an animal (including humans). It is impossible, then, for a stink bug to bite a person or harm them in any way other than exuding some of its foul odors on them. This species feeds on over one hundred different types of plants including several of great economic importance to humans. Fruit trees (especially apple and pear), soybeans, and peanuts are crops significantly damaged by these insects. I have also seen adult stink bugs in my yard feeding avidly on the grapes growing on my grape vine.

Predators that feed on these stink bugs seem to be lacking in their invasive ranges. This absence of biological control agents is one of the reasons that this species has so greatly increased in numbers throughout these territories. In their native regions spiders, ants, lacewings, and several species of parasitic flies and wasps feed on these stink bugs. Some predation by birds has also been mentioned.

Some interesting observations that Deborah and I have made on our "own" stink bug populations include the leftover exoskeletons of stink bugs eaten by our basement pholcid spiders, aggressive web-spinning spiders wrapping up captured stink bugs in their silk (here's a video of this), and a chickadee repeatedly flying up to one of our stink bug-covered house windows, grabbing one stink bug at a time and taking it off to a feeding roost to eat it. We speculate that our local predators may be becoming inured against the bug’s protective secretions and increasingly aware of the growing stink bug feast around them!

Communication - sounds and chemicals
Brown marmorated stink bugs communicate with each other in two basic ways: via vibrational “songs,” and via released chemicals that act as pheromones. The vibrations are generated by movements of the stink bugs’ abdomens and are transferred to the plant leaves or other substrates on which the stink bug is sitting. Certain plants (like beans, for example) are preferred by stink bugs because they very efficiently transfer and transmit their vibrational “songs.” These vibrational messages are especially important in the stink bugs’ mating behavior rituals. Stink bugs release aggregational pheromones especially in the early spring and fall. These pheromones stimulate the clustering together of the stink bugs in over-wintering sites and lead to large accumulations of individuals in the most optimally protective sites. The exact chemical involved in this aggregation is thought to be very similar chemically to the methyl 2,3,6-decatrienoate previously identified in the brown winged green bug (Plautia stali). Determination of the precise pheromone chemical could be a useful tool in trapping and controlling populations of this growing pest.

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Smokybrown Roach Control

Sanitation and Exclusion

Sanitation and exclusion are the first procedures required for this type of roach. Since Smokybrown roaches are susceptible to desiccation, it is advisable to correct any moisture problems. If you eliminate food sources, moisture or their harborages, it will put such pressure on the roach population, leading to better results with your pest control measures.

Sanitation and Home Repairs

  • Keep attic and crawl space well ventilated, reducing moisture.
  • Stop water leaks, screen equipment overflow drains, and take overflow water away from buildings keep drain traps full or capped.
  • Store firewood as far away from the house as you can. If you can lift it off the ground, it will help eliminate harborage areas.
  • Discard old boxes and piles of papers where roaches can hide.
  • Use a tight fitting lid on your trash can.
  • Fix leaky drains and faucets, these roaches need water to live.
  • Clean kitchen appliances thoroughly to eliminate food sources.
  • It is not wise to allow pet food to sit out overnight for indoor pets. For outdoor pets, pick up the food after they are finished eating.
  • Stop water leaks, screen equipment overflow drains, and take overflow water away from buildings keep drain traps full or capped.
  • Remove rotting leaves from window wells and gutters.

Although the Smokybrown roach has many places to habitat outside, it will enter if there is an entry point.

  • Seal as many exterior cracks and holes as possible on the outside of the home
  • Caulk all penetrations through ground level walls.Caulk and repair holes around doors, windows, water pipes and baseboards.
  • Place mesh screens over windows, floor drains, and vents. Seal any cracks or holes leading indoors with caulk or other sealants.These places serve as roach locations.
  • Make sure that doors and windows fit securely inside the frames, to eliminate entry.

Pest Control Products To Use For Smokybrown Cockroaches

Insecticide Treatments

Generally speaking, control measures should concentrate on the outside of the building and points of entry of the Smokeybrown roach. This is called a "perimeter or barrier" treatment.

You may use concentrated residual sprays: LambdaStarCap Ultra 9.7, Cyzmic CS, or Defense SC inside or outside. Spray a 3-6 foot band around the entire house. Spray outside around doors, windows, pipe openings, and dryer vents. These insecticides are microencapsulated or suspended concentrates and work well on difficult porous surfaces.

  • Apply inside on the baseboards near the entry points (doors, windows, plumbing under sinks).
  • On the inside, apply around the plumbing under the sinks and washer and dryer connections. You don't have to spray all the interior baseboards, just the corners, and baseboards inside the garage and basement areas.

Recommended products are in the table below. They would require a pump sprayers.

You may apply granular around the base of the house, particularly in areas of pine straw and mulched areas.

f you have these larger cockroaches entering inside your home from the attic area (due to trees that overhang the attic or gutters that are not clean) using baits like Invict Xpress Insect Baits or Intice Perimeter Baits, would give you very good results. This insect bait would also be excellent choices for crawl spaces and or attics.

These insect granular baits can be used indoors, outdoors, or in turf areas. Invict Xpress has multiple food attractants to attract not only the American Roach but also Crickets, some Ants, Silverfish, Earwigs, and Firebrats.

Insecticide dusts are effective in attics and crawlspaces apply with electric-power dusters, hand dusters, or crank-style dusters. In addition, if necessary, dust cracks on the outside of the building and dust in the cracks of wood shingle roofs.


The residual insecticides:Lambdastar Ultra Cap 9.7, or D-Fense SC as well as the residual granulars, Bifen LP Granules should be repeated every three months during the season. The top recommendation is Lambdastar Ultracap 9.7. It has an improved encapsulated formula to cause it to bond to surfaces better and holds up under ultraviolet light and rain longer.

The Invict Xpress Granular, Intice Perimter last about 6 months, free from rain. D-Fense Dust last from 6 months to a year, if free from rain.

What is this brown insect with a large wingspan? - Biology

The eastern dobsonfly, Corydalus cornutus (Linnaeus), is one of our largest non-lepidopteran insects. Its larvae, known as hellgrammites, are the top invertebrate predators in rocky streams where they occur. Adult male dobsonflies are particularly spectacular because of their large sickle-shaped mandibles (jaws). There is a total of thirty species of Corydalus (Contreras-Ramos 1997), mostly from South America. In addition to the eastern dobsonfly, Corydalus cornutus, there are three dobsonflies of the genus Corydalus in the western U.S. For simplicity, the term "dobsonfly" throughout the remainder of this publication will refer to the eastern dobsonfly, Corydalus cornutus.

Figure 1. Male and female eastern dobsonflies, Corydalus cornutus (Linnaeus), showing differences in mandibles and antennae. Photograph by Lyle J. Buss, University of Florida.

Distribution (Back to Top)

The dobsonfly is found throughout most of eastern North America east of the Continental Divide from Canada to Mexico near flowing streams which provide habitat for its larvae.

Description (Back to Top)

Eggs: Dobsonfly eggs are gray, cylindrical and a little less than 1.5 mm in length and 0.5 mm in width. They are laid in clusters (about 2 cm in diameter) with an average of approximately 1,000 eggs/cluster (Baker and Neunzig 1968, Mangan 1992.). The eggs are arranged in three layers, and the egg mass is covered with a clear fluid by a brushing motion of the tip of the female's abdomen. The clear fluid dries to a white color. Superficially, the egg masses resemble large bird droppings.

Figure 2. Eastern dobsonfly, Corydalus cornutus (Linnaeus), egg mass showing "brush strokes" of white coating. Photograph by D.W. Hall, University of Florida.

Larva: Dobsonfly larvae (75 to 90 mm in length) are light brown and darkened by a covering of dark brown microspines (Neunzig and Baker 1991). The thoracic segments are covered with hardened, black tergites (dorsal plates).

Abdominal segments 1 through 8 have lateral tactile filaments which function to protect them from each other and from other small predators (Neunzig and Baker 1991), and segments 1 through 7 each has a pair of ventro-lateral tufts of tracheal gills that absorb dissolved oxygen (Barclay et al. 2005, Hoover et al. 1988). In addition to the tracheal gills, larvae also have spiracles allowing them to breathe both in and out of water. There are two prolegs at the tip of the abdomen -- each with a dorsal filament and a pair of terminal hooks to help the larvae anchor themselves to the substrate. The mandibles are powerful and heavily sclerotized.

Figure 3. Larva of the eastern dobsonfly, Corydalus cornutus (Linnaeus). Photograph by J.F. Butler, University of Florida.

Pupae: Dobsonfly pupae are exarate (the developing wings, legs, antennae and mouthparts are attached only at their proximal ends) and yellow-orange in coloration with darker splotches on the dorsum of the abdomen. They are covered with minute setae. Male pupae have a small tubercle on the sternum of the prothorax and have slightly larger mandibles and wider head capsules than females, (Mangan 1994), but the mandibles of the sexes are not markedly dimorphic as in the adults. Parfin (1952) reported that the long mandibles of the male are folded up like an accordion in the pupal exoskeleton.

Figure 4. Pupa of the eastern dobsonfly. Corydalus cornutus (Linnaeus). Photograph by D.W. Hall, University of Florida.

Adults: Adult dobsonflies are large insects, 100 to 140 mm (Arnett 2000), with large wings from which the order name Megaloptera (large wing) is derived. The female has short powerful mandibles similar in size to those of the larva and is capable of drawing blood with her bite. The male has long, sickle-shaped mandibles (up to 40 mm in length) and is incapable of inflicting a painful bite.

Figure 5. Adult female eastern dobsonfly, Corydalus cornutus (Linnaeus). Photograph by Lyle J. Buss, University of Florida.

Figure 6. Adult male eastern dobsonfly, Corydalus cornutus (Linnaeus). Photograph by Lyle J. Buss, University of Florida.

Figure 7. Adult male eastern dobsonfly, Corydalus cornutus (Linnaeus), with wings spread. Photograph by Lyle J. Buss, University of Florida.

Life Cycle and Biology (Back to Top)

Dobsonfly eggs hatch in 1 to 2 weeks and always at night. The newly hatched hellgrammites are often buoyed by an air bubble and float or swim until reaching a suitable site for larval development - most often a swift-flowing part of the stream with a rocky bottom.

Figure 8. Eastern dobsonfly, Corydalus cornutus (Linnaeus), hellgrammite habitat - Santa Fe River (dry season), Alachua County, Florida. Photograph by D.W. Hall, University of Florida.

The hellgrammites live under stones or occasionally on snags where they feed on a variety of soft-bodied insects (often immatures of net-spinning caddisflies and blackflies) (McCafferty and Provonsha 1983). In captivity, they will feed on midge larvae or commercial aquarium fish foods such as freeze-dried tubifex worms or fish food flakes (Hoover et al 1988). Helgrammites molt (shed their exoskeletons) 10 to 12 times and require one to three years to complete their development.

When ready to pupate, hellgrammites leave the water and may pupate close to the water or travel up to 15 meters or more in search of a suitable site for pupation (Mangan 1994) - typically under a rock, log, or some type of debris that serves to maintain a moist environment. Exodus from the water of full-grown hellgrammites in a given location is fairly synchronous (within a few days). Voshell (2002) states that local residents along Virginia rivers report that thunderstorms trigger emergence of the hellgrammites - a phenomenon known locally as "hellgrammite crawling". It is believed that the behavior is stimulated by the vibrations from the thunder.

Upon reaching a suitable site for pupation, the hellgrammite typically digs a cell in the soil with its legs and mouthparts and smooths the interior by pressing the sides of its body against the wall of the cell. Hellgrammites have no silk glands consequently, there is no silk or cocoon lining the cell. After spending one to 14 days inside the cell as a prepupa, the hellgrammite sheds its exoskeleton to become a pupa. The pupal stage requires seven to 14 days after which the adult emerges and digs its way out of the cell.

Adult dobsonflies are short-lived (about three days for males and eight to 10 days for females). It is generally believed that they do not feed in nature, but Parfin (1952) has reported that they will take a 3:1 mixture of honey water in captivity. She also reports that several entomologists have collected them at fermenting baits painted on tree trunks. The adults are active at night and are strongly attracted to lights. Otherwise they spend most of their time in thick vegetation near streams.

Parfin (1952) and Simonsen et al. (2008) have given detailed descriptions of the mating behavior of dobsonflies. As part of the premating ritual, males place their elongated jaws on the wings of the females perpendicular to the axis of the female's wings. The male's jaws also function in jousting with rival males. However, males were not observed to grasp the females as reported in older literature.

Females lay their eggs on surfaces overhanging the water such as bridge abutments and the leaves, branches or trunks of trees (Mangan 1992). The egg masses are not randomly distributed, but rather they tend to occur in patches - suggesting the possibility of an oviposition pheromone (Mangan 1992).

Figure 9. Patch of eastern dobsonfly, Corydalus cornutus (Linnaeus), egg masses on leaves of red maple. Photograph by D.W. Hall, University of Florida.

Mangan (1992) presented evidence that the white covering of the egg mass helps protect the eggs from overheating. It is also possible that the covering may function to protect the eggs from predation.

Dobsonflies are beneficial insects and should be conserved. Hellgrammites are prized as bait by fishermen (particularly for smallmouth bass) and are available for sale at bait shops in some areas. Because of the effort required to collect them, they are fairly expensive to purchase. Therefore, they may be subject to over-exploitation and their collection for sale is regulated in some states. Although, hellgrammites are great fish bait, they are rarely found in the stomachs of fish - probably because they spend most of their time under rocks where they are inaccessible.

Hellgrammites tend to be found in relatively unpolluted water. Therefore, they may have value in bio-monitoring studies (Voshell 2002). Perhaps their greatest value may be their contribution to biodiversity in their habitat as predators.

Selected References (Back to Top)

  • Arnett Jr. RH. 2000. American Insects: A Handbook of the Insects of America North of Mexico. CRC Press. Boca Raton, Florida. 1003 pp.
  • Contreras-Ramos A. (1997). Corydalus. Tree of Life Web Project. (9 February 2019)
  • Baker JR, Neunzig HH. 1968. The egg masses, eggs and first-instar larvae of the eastern North American Corydalidae. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 61: 1181-1187.
  • Barclay A, Portman RW, Hill PSM. 2005. Tracheal gills of the dobsonfly larvae, or hellgrammite Corydalus cornutus L. (Megaloptera: Corydalidae). Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 78: 181-185.
  • Hoover JJ, Gage KL, Paulissen MS. 1988. Hellgrammite respiration - temperature's role in ectotherm physiology. The American Biology Teacher 50: 39-42.
  • Mangan BP. 1992. Oviposition of the dobsonfly (Corydalus cornutus, Megaloptera) on a large river. American Midland Naturalist 127: 348-354.
  • Mangan BP. 1994. Pupation ecology of the dobsonfly Corydalus cornutus (Corydalidae: Megaloptera) along a large river. Journal of Freshwater Ecology 9: 57-62.
  • McCafferty WP Provonsha AV. 1983. Aquatic Entomology: The Fisherman's and Ecologist's Illustrated Guide to Insects and Their Relatives. Jones and Bartlett Publishers, Inc. Portola Valley, California. 448 pp.
  • Neunzig HH Baker JR. Order Megaloptera. 1991. In Stehr, FW, editor. Immature Insects, Vol. 2. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company. Dubuque, Iowa. pp. 112-122.
  • Parfin S. 1952. Notes on the bionomics of Corydalus cornutus (Linne), Chauliodes rastricornis Rambur, C. pectinicornis (Linne) and Neohermes sp. American Midland Naturalist 47: 426-434.
  • Simonsen TJ, Dombroskie JJ, Lawrie DD. 2008. Behavioral observations on the dobsonfly, Corydalus cornutus (Megaloptera: Corydalidae) with photographic evidence of the use of the elongate mandibles in the male. American Entomologist 54: 167-169.
  • Voshell JR. 2002. A Guide to Common Freshwater Invertebrates of North America. The McDonald & Woodward Publishing Company. Blacksburg, Virginia. 442 pp.

Author: Donald W. Hall, University of Florida
Photographs: Jerry F. Butler, Lyle J. Buss, and Donald W. Hall, University of Florida
Web Design: Don Wasik, Jane Medley
Publication Number: EENY-414
Publication Date: July 2007. Latest revision: March 2016. Reviewed: February 2019.

An Equal Opportunity Institution
Featured Creatures Editor and Coordinator: Dr. Elena Rhodes, University of Florida


Adult brown marmorated stink bugs are approximately 1.7 cm (0.67 in) long and about as wide, forming the heraldic shield shape characteristic of bugs in the superfamily Pentatomoidea. They are generally a dark brown when viewed from above, with a creamy white-brown underside. Individual coloration may vary, with some bugs being various shades of red, grey, light brown, copper, or black. The term "marmorated" means variegated or veined, like marble, [8] which refers to the markings unique to this species, includes alternating light-colored bands on the antennae and alternating dark bands on the thin outer edge of the abdomen. The legs are brown with faint white mottling or banding. [6]

The nymph stages are black or very dark brown, with red integument between the sclerites. First instar nymphs have no white markings, but second through fifth instar nymphs have black antennae with a single white band. The legs of nymphs are black with varying amounts of white banding. [6] Freshly molted individuals of all stages are pale white with red markings. Eggs are normally laid on the underside of leaves in masses of 28 eggs, and are light green when laid, gradually turning white. [6]

Like all stink bugs, the glands that produce the defensive chemicals (the "stink") are located on the underside of the thorax, between the first and second pair of legs. [9]

The odor from the stink bug is due to trans-2-decenal and trans-2-octenal. [10] The smell has been characterized as a "pungent odor that smells like coriander." [5] The stink bug's ability to emit an odor through holes in its abdomen is a defense mechanism meant to prevent it from being eaten by birds and lizards. However, simply handling the bug, injuring it, or attempting to move it can trigger it to release the odor.

Reports on human cases are rare, but the stink bug's body fluids are toxic and irritating to the human skin and eyes. One case of keratitis has been reported. [11]

During courtship, the male emits pheromones and vibrational signals to communicate with a female, which replies with her own vibrational signals, as in all stink bugs. The insects use the signals to recognize and locate each other. Vibrational signals of this species are noted for their low frequency, and one male signal type is much longer than any other previously described signals in stink bugs, although the significance of this is not yet clear. [12]

The brown marmorated stink bug is a sucking insect (like all Hemiptera or "true bugs") that uses its proboscis to pierce the host plant to feed. This feeding results, in part, in the formation of dimpled or necrotic areas on the outer surface of fruits, leaf stippling, seed loss, and possible transmission of plant pathogens. It is an agricultural pest that can cause widespread damage to fruit and vegetable crops. In Japan, it is a pest to soybean and fruit crops. In the U.S., the brown marmorated stink bug feeds, beginning in late May or early June, on a wide range of fruits, vegetables, and other host plants including peaches, apples, green beans, soybeans, cherries, raspberries, and pears.

The brown marmorated stink bug was accidentally introduced into the United States from China or Japan. It is believed to have hitched a ride as a stowaway in packing crates or on various types of machinery. The first documented specimen was collected in Allentown, Pennsylvania, in September 1998. [4] [13] Several Muhlenberg College students were reported to have seen these bugs as early as August of that same year. [14] [15] Between 2001 and 2010, 54 sightings were reported of these bugs at shipping ports in the United States. [16] However, stink bugs are not listed as reportable, meaning that they do not need to be reported and no action is required to remove the insect. This allowed the insect to enter the United States relatively easily, as they are able to survive long periods of time in hot or cold conditions.

Other reports have the brown marmorated stink bug documented as early as 2000 in New Jersey from a blacklight trap run by the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Vegetable Integrated Pest Management program in Milford, New Jersey. [17]

In 2002, in New Jersey, it was found on plant material in Stewartsville, and was collected from blacklight traps in Phillipsburg and Little York. It was quickly documented and established in many counties in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Connecticut, and New York on the eastern coast of the United States.

As of November 2011, it had spread to 34 U.S. states [5] and by 2012 to 40, and showed an increase of 60% in total numbers over 2011. [23]

Their populations have also spread to southern Ontario and Quebec, Canada. [24] [25] They have recently been found in southern British Columbia and Southern Alberta. [ citation needed ]

Population increase Edit

As of 2010, 17 states had been categorized as having established populations, and several other states along the eastern half of the United States were reported as having more than normal numbers of stink bugs. [26] [27] Stink bug populations rise because the climate in the United States is ideal for their reproduction. In optimal conditions, an adult stink bug can develop within 35 to 45 days after hatching. [16] Female stink bugs are capable of laying 400 eggs in their lifetimes. [28] The bug is also capable of producing at least one successful generation per year in all areas of the United States, no matter the climate. In warmer climates, multiple generations can occur annually, which can range from two generations in states such as Virginia to six generations in California, Arizona, Florida, Louisiana, Georgia, and Texas. [16] [29] [30]

The addition of two more generations allowed the population to explode, leading to the establishment of several other populations in neighboring states. Currently, no environmental limiting factors are apparently slowing their distribution across North America. They also are extremely mobile insects, capable of moving from host to host without causing disruption in their reproductive processes. Currently, populations are estimated to continue to grow and spread to other states and provinces, especially during unusual periods of warm weather. [ citation needed ]

Agricultural effects Edit

The brown marmorated stink bug is a serious agricultural pest that has been readily causing damage to crops across the Eastern United States. They feed on a wide array of plants including apples, apricots, Asian pears, cherries, corn, grapes, lima beans, peaches, peppers, tomatoes, and soybeans. [31] This makes them extremely versatile, as they do not require a specific plant on which to feed. To obtain their food, stink bugs use their stylets to pierce the plant tissue to extract the plant fluids. [32] In doing so, the plant loses necessary fluids, which can lead to deformation of seeds, destruction of seeds, destruction of fruiting structures, delayed plant maturation, and increased vulnerability to harmful pathogens. [32] While harvesting the plant's juices, the stink bug injects saliva into the plant, creating a dimpling of the fruit's surface and rotting of the material underneath.

The most common signs of stink bug damage are pitting and scarring of the fruit, leaf destruction, and a mealy texture to the harvested fruits and vegetables. In most cases, the signs of stink bug damage makes the plant unsuitable for sale in the market, as the insides are usually rotten. In field crops such as corn and soybeans, the damage may not be as evident as the damage seen in fruit plants. When stink bugs feed on corn, they go through the husk before eating the kernels, hiding the damage until the husks are removed during harvesting. The same damage is seen in soybeans, as the stink bug goes through the seed pods to acquire the juices of the seeds. One visual cue of stink-bug damage to soybean crops is the "stay green" effect, where damaged soybean plants stay green late into season, while other plants in the field die off normally. One can usually tell that a field of crops is infected because stink bugs are known for the "edge effect", in which they tend to infest crops 30–40 ft from the edge of the field. Farmers who suspect having stink bugs in their crops should contact their respective departments of agriculture for information on how to manage the infestation and possible ways to prevent future incidences.

Control Edit

Control of stink bugs is a priority of the United States Department of Agriculture, which has developed an artificial pheromone which can be used to bait traps. [33] [34] Because the bugs insert their probosces below the surface of fruit and then feed, some insecticides are ineffective in addition, the bugs are mobile, and a new population may fly in after the resident population has been killed, making permanent removal nearly impossible. In the case of soybean infestations, spraying only the perimeter of a field may be the most effective method of preventing stinkbugs from damaging the crops. However, even this method is limited, as new populations move back into the area, or the existing population simply moves to unaffected areas. Evidence also shows that stink bugs are developing a resistance to pyrethroid insecticides, a common chemical used to combat infestations. [16] Other insecticides currently in field trials that are showing promising results are oxamyl (96% mortality rate) and moribund (67% mortality rate). [16] Many other commonly used insecticides are merely used to keep the insects out of fields, rather than actually killing them. The most successful method of protecting apples found thus far is the use of kaolin clay. [16] As of 2012 [update] , native predators such as wasps and birds were showing increased signs of feeding on the bugs as they adapt to the new food source. [23] Managing this pest species is challenging, because few effective pesticides are labeled for use against them.

Similarity in appearance to native species Edit

Easily confused with Brochymena and Euschistus, the best identification for adults is the white band on the antennae. It is similar in appearance to other native species of shield bug, including Acrosternum, Euschistus, and Podisus, except that several of the abdominal segments protrude from beneath the wings and are alternatively banded with black and white (visible along the edge of the bug even when wings are folded) and a white stripe or band on the next to last (fourth) antennal segment. [35] The adult rice stink bug (Oebalus pugnax) is distinguishable from the brown marmorated stink bug by noting the straw color, the smaller size, and the elongated shape of the rice stink bug. [36]

The brown marmorated stink bug was likely first introduced to Europe during the repair work of the Chinese Garden in Zürich, Switzerland in the winter of 1998. The stink bug has been traced back to have traveled with roof tiles that were imported from Beijing, China. [37] The bug has since spread rapidly through Europe. The first sighting in southern Germany was made in Konstanz in 2011. [38] In Italy the first specimens were found in Modena in 2012 [39] and afterwards in South Tirol in 2016. [40] The bug has also been sighted in Vienna, Austria, with increasing reports after 2016. [41] The Italian region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia announced from 2017 to distribute 3.5 million euros to offset the costs of the lost crops of the fruit farmers until the year 2020. [42] H. halys was first found in Portugal in Pombal in late 2018 or early 2019 [43] - a few live specimens were found in agricultural equipment being imported from Italy. [43] However the Portuguese National Authority for Animal Health regards this as a transitory interception. [43] In 2019 there may have been another sighting somewhere in Portugal. [44] Only in 2020 was H. halys confirmed to be reproducing and overwintering in the country. [43] In March 2021, it was confirmed to have arrived in the UK. [45] [46] [47]

Spread from Russia to Georgia Edit

The stink bug was traced to have been introduced to the Greater Caucasus area during the construction works of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, where it was most likely imported with decorative building elements brought from Italy. The stink bug has since spread to Georgia, where it continues to cause major damage to the local crops. From 2016 to 2018 the bug was estimated to have destroyed one-third of Georgia's hazelnut harvest, with yearly damages of up to €60 million [37] (

179,000,000 in 2018 lari). Georgia is the fifth-largest producer of hazelnut in the world, with yearly production valued at US$179.5 million in 2016. In 2018 the Georgian government allocated 4 million ($1.6 million) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) 8 million ($3.2 million) to help combat the spread of the brown marmorated stink bug in Georgia, but so far the efforts have been criticized as being insufficient. [48]

In China, Trissolcus japonicus, [49] a parasitoid wasp species in the family Scelionidae, is a primary predator. [50]

In the United States, Europe, and New Zealand, Trissolcus japonicus is a focus of biological control programs against the brown marmorated stink bug. [51] This wasp was under study in the United States since 2007 for biosafety of possible introduction. [5] [52] However, in 2014, two adventive populations were found in the United States during surveys to identify which North American parasitoids might be attacking brown marmorated stink bug. [53] [54] Subsequent genetic testing showed these wild populations were self-introduced: they were not related to each other, or to a laboratory strain being studied in quarantine. [52] Since then, several agricultural authorities have begun programs to augment wild populations with releases of laboratory reared wasps. [55] [56] [57] An adventive European population was discovered during similar surveys in Switzerland in 2017. [58]

Several parasitoids and predators indigenous to North America and Europe have been reported to attack stink bug eggs, nymphs and adults. [59] [60] Researchers have also experimented with different spider species, as well as the wheel bug. Several spider species attacked both the eggs and adult stink bugs. Pill bugs eat stink bug eggs. [61] The wheel bug, however, was the most voracious predator and attacked the eggs and adults more consistently. [62]

Brown-Banded Roaches

The Brown-Banded Cockroach (Supella longipalpa) is often confused with the German Roach , but its habits are different.

  • They are often brought in dwellings in furniture. Commonly found in the southern states, but may be found in warmer parts of buildings in the northern states.
  • Found only indoors.
  • They may be found throughout the building, especially in high areas such as picture frames and ceilings.

Life Stages of Brown-Banded Roaches

Brown-Banded Cockroach Identification

They are light brown, about 1/2 inch long. The pronotum is a black bell-shaped pattern with a translucent border. They have two light, irregular bands along with their wings. The wings extend the full length for males and extend 2/3 length for females. Both sexes have wings, but only the male Brown-Banded roach flies.

German Cockroach

The German Roach has two dark, distinctive bands behind their heads as shown in the picture above.

Cockroaches (left–right): American, Oriental, German and Brown-Banded (Photo by Jim Kalisch, UNL Dept. of Entomology)

Brown-Banded Roach Diet

They eat starchy materials, wallpaper, glue, paste, stamps, and envelopes.
As scavengers, they will eat almost anything organic such as decaying matter. They eat non-food items like nylon stockings that have residues from body oils and skin. Both the German roach and Brown-banded roach are dependent on the human habitat for survival.

Habits and Biology of Brown-Banded Cockroaches

The female will only carry the egg capsule for one or two days, then attach it to a protected surface. Each capsule contains 14-18 eggs, the young reach maturity in about 160 days. You can find these light brown egg capsules usually under or to the sides of a surface, well-protected.

They don't require the same moisture resources as the German Roach, so they are commonly found in furniture, or on the walls and ceilings. They have a nickname of "furniture roach" because they inhabit furniture. They have a preference for high resting places with many eggs deposited on the upper third of the walls. They are not as widely found in the kitchen and bathrooms, as the German Roach, but can be located near refrigerator motors and other major appliances. Adults are very active indoors the adult males fly when they are disturbed.
Both the nymph and adult of this roach will jump when disturbed. They prefer dry and warm places and may be scattered throughout the building. These roaches are most active during the night they avoid light during the daytime. The Brown-Banded roach is common in institutional buildings. They are more common in homes, hotels, apartments, and hospital rooms than in kitchens, restaurants, and stores. They carry disease-causing bacteria.

How You Get Brown-Banded Roaches

These roaches are brought in from infested furniture, appliances, electronics, and some grocery items. Once inside, they seek shelter in dark recessed areas and spread throughout the building. In the cooler northern states, you may find them in the warmer parts of the building.

  • Look beneath tables and chairs, dressers, and chests.
  • Look behind pictures, along with picture moldings.
  • Look in closets
  • Look on the ceilings and upper walls of cabinets, pantries, and closets.
  • Look near motors of refrigerators and other appliances.
  • Look in light switches.

Prevention and Exclusion

Kitchen: Wipe up liquid spills in the kitchen and remove oil and crumbs from the counter tops and floors.

Inspect: Inspect furniture before brought into the building.

Garbage: Keep a tight lid on the garbage cans and or put in a sealed container.

Seal Up Entry Points: Occasionally, the Brown-Banded roach will enter a structure to inhabit. Seal up any cracks and crevices and around doors and windows, utility lines, and plumbing.

Recommendations for Brown Banded Roach Control

Before application of the recommended insect roach baits and insect growth regulators it is important to inspect for their activity. A thorough inspection would be required, as they are not restricted to moisture needs in the kitchens and bathrooms. They are more commonly found in other rooms inside the house.

  • As with the German Roach a good quality roach bait would be recommended for the Brown-Banded Cockroach.
  • Follow the same recommended guidelines as the German Roach, but application would most likely not be restricted to mainly kitchens and bathrooms for German roach control..
  • The Brown-Banded and the German Roach are the most challenging of roaches to manage and eliminate. To accurately and completely eliminate these roaches you need to attack them from several tools using baits, dusts, growth regulators and pheromone traps.
  • The technology of the pest control market has switched to an integrated pest management like baiting ,dusting, and the use of insect growth regulators and pheromone traps against the German or Brown-Banded roach, as opposed to just using a residual or contact insecticide either in an aerosol form or liquid form.
  • The products we recommend have not had a resistant problem.
  • As an addition to bait and IGR placement where you see these roaches inside, you may want to spray a general residual perimeter treatment with a product like Lambdastar UltraCap 9.7. Most of the time, these roaches are brought into your home, but sometimes they can enter seeking shelter from the outside.

Recommended Products: Baits, Aerosols, Insect Growth Regulators (IGR'S) and Roach Traps

Roach Bait Gels

Vendetta Roach Bait Cockroach Bait Gel has both proven to be extremely effective on German Roaches and Brown-Banded Roaches. Vendetta roach bait quickly and effectively kills hard-to-kill cockroaches. Vendetta roach bait, with Abamectin B1 0.05%, attracts both bait-averse and non-averse cockroaches.

This kit combines the Vendetta Roach bait with Tekko Pro IGR for the best combination for German Roach and Brown-Banded Roach Control. Killing the adult population and preventing new births.

Invict Gold Cockroach Bait Gel has also proven to be extremely effective on Brown-Banded Roaches and German Roaches.

Alpine Cockroach Gel Bait in a piston can. This can is the best of both worlds, the convenience of spraying, but in a gel bait form. Contains the reduced risk insecticide Dinotefuran. It is free of the Big 8 Allergens

Invict Gold, Alpine, Advion and Vendetta Roach baits have roach bait gel acceptance and are superior to other professional roach baits on the market with some very quick results.

Click Here for more: Cockroach Baits

Before treating any areas it is best to first take a flashlight and check these types of areas for nesting sites. You will be looking for their excrement droppings(looks like black pepper).

You may also want to use a aerosol with pryethrin like CB-80 , sprayed to "flush-out" roaches out of these harbouring places. These pyrethin aerosols will kill on contact, and serve you to find out where the German Cockroaches or Brown Banded Cockroaches are nesting. Once you have determined where the roaches are nesting, it may be easier to know where to apply the Vendetta or Invict gel bait.

Insect Growth Regulators - IGR'S

Insect Growth Regulators are used to break the life cycle of the roaches. Tekko Pro is the top recommendation.

Tekko Pro
Tekko Pro IGR has changed the industry of Insect Growth Regulators. It has two different active ingredients to provide two different modes of actions to combat the most serious German Roach populaitons. There have been reports of the complete elimination of the German roach population inside of two weeks when used alone. Combined with the Invict Roach Gel, Maxforce Impact, or a non-repellent insecticide like Advion WDG provides the greatest impact.

Comes in 4 oz and 16 oz containers. 1 pint 16 gallons. Mix 1 oz of Tekko Pro per gallon of water, per 1,500 square feet.

Gentrol IGR Liquid Concentrate is an insect growth regulator.
Prevents developing roaches to reach sexual maturity by inhibiting their growth

Comes in 1 oz bottles/10 bottles per box

Each bottle makes one gallon of finished product

Gentrol IGR Aerosol : Dissipating foam/spray assures complete coverage. 16 oz. can cover 1200 sq.ft of surface area.

All the benefits of an insect growth regulator in a discreet, non-spray formulation.

Cockroach Traps

Catches roaches by pheomones and a food scent.

The 330 has been designed with 3 entry points, a silicone surface to prevent escapes and a low profile to fit into small, tight corners.

Catches roaches by pheomones and a food scent.

The M 327 has multiple access points, two catch areas, and patented roach pheromone attractant provide twice the trapping power and catch of the leading competitive monitors

How many times have you gone down into the basement, into the back yard, or into your garage and found a hopping creature that looks like a spider and has the legs of a cricket? (usually this is followed by screaming or impolite words). This leaping creature is the camel cricket, a nocturnal insect in the order Orthoptera and the family Rhaphidophoridae (Rap-he-doe-fore-a day). They are light tan and brown, about 1-1 1/4" long, and they don't have wings (so no worries about flying). Camel crickets are related to cave crickets and occur across the US, all continents, and most islands. They like moist, dark, and damp environments which explains why you find them in garages and basements. The most common species here in the US is the Spotted camel cricket but researchers are finding that the Japanese camel cricket is also starting to invade our homes too.

Why Do These Crickets Look So Creepy?

Part of what makes camel crickets so scary is that they physically look like big spiders, they come out at night, and hop when startled. This is why they are also commonly called "Sprickets" or spider-crickets. Camel crickets have six very long legs, a curved hump back, and their large drumstick shaped hind legs make them good at jumping. Because of their relationship to crickets that live in caves it's thought that camel crickets don't have very good eyesight so they rely on their two super long antennae to feel, sense temperature (thermoreceptor), and navigate their dark surroundings. To defend themselves they respond to threats by leaping at them in order to scare away the possible predators (and it works well for humans!).

Do Camel Crickets Bite?

Although they look like big spiders they're actually crickets and they don't have fangs or the ability to bite. They have chewing mouth parts and eat just about anything, like a goat. Camel crickets are omnivores and will eat fungus, plant matter, insects, and even fabric or cloth. This is why they're considered household pests.

Do Camel Crickets Make Sound?

Camel crickets don't have the ability make sound, or to stridulate (st-rid-U-late), like their cousins the house crickets, which make sounds by rubbing their wings together. There's something good to be said about quiet house guests even if they look creepy.

How Do You Tell Males From Females?

Like all crickets camel crickets lay eggs. To lay their eggs the females have an egg depositing tube called an ovipositer (egg-depositor) on her rear. In the picture below you can see the long curved ovipositer along with two other thinner projections that are used to sense wind, temperature, and humidity. She uses these to be able to find just the right conditions for laying her eggs. Some people think the ovipositor is a stinger, but it's a harmless egg laying tube.

(Photo: Common Use, Flicker e_Monk)

If The Male Camel Crickets Don't Call How do They Attract Females?

In the Journal of Insect Behavior scientists Haley and Gray discovered that camel crickets appear to use chemical scents or pheromones. Insects like crickets breathe through very, very, very tiny tubes that line their abdomen. Researchers put male camel crickets on paper towels. Some had their breathing tubercles open and some temporarily blocked. It was theorized that the male released pheromones (chemical smells to attract females) through the tubes. Indeed, female camel crickets were strongly drawn to the paper towels that had previously had the males with open tubercles or tubes.

In their original work in 2011 Haley and Grey published findings in the journal of Ethology about how some male camel crickets actually have built in spikes on their large back legs that they use to duke it out, male to male, when fighting for a female. These same spikes are apparently also used for grasping the female during mating especially with non-virgin female crickets that might be a bit less than enthusiastic.

Are Camel Crickets Good For Anything?

Mostly camel crickets are considered household pests because of their goat like grazing on plants, fabrics, and items in basements and garages. When it's cold they tend to congregate together, which may also hold potential for more damage.

(Photo: Common use Picasa Marvin Smith)

Unfortunately (more bad news) North American camel crickets are also what are called intermediate hosts (Pterygodermatites peromysci) for nematode parasite that infects white-footed mice and deer mice. Some of these mice already have nematode parasites in their guts. The nematodes transfer their eggs into the mouse feces when the mice defecate. These infected mouse fecal pellets are then eaten by the camel crickets. Inside the camel cricket's gut the nematode develops to maturity. When a mouse eats the cricket the adult nematode then infects its guts and so on. Research suggests that this parasitism may affect the population of white footed mice and deer mice, which in turn may affect food availability for predators that rely up on them for food. Fortunately the mouse parasites (nematodes) don't affect humans directly but they have the potential for destabilizing local food webs. For more information check out this article from the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

Don't discount the camel cricket though because it's a major food source for insectivores like voles, moles, and other nocturnal animals.

Join the Camel Cricket Census and Learn Which Species of Camel Cricket You Have In Your Home

If you'd like to know the exact species of camel cricket inhabiting your home then check out this great resource guide by the Department of Biology at North Carolina State University: On their website you can find pictures for identification and more detailed notes on their blog about the differences between the Japanese v. American camel cricket. You can also join their citizen science survey of native v. invasive camel crickets and their distribution. This is a great way for kids to get involved at home, and could be a useful assignment for teachers and outdoor educators.

HELP! I Have Camel Crickets

As mentioned earlier, camel crickets are omnivores that will eat about anything. They favor easy to graze on vegetation, which may include fungus growing in damp places such as basement walls, damp floors, and in the cracks of unsealed rooms. Even worse, if you find them in large numbers their feces (frass) can also stain floors and walls and the crickets are an attractive food source for mice! I'm not a big advocate for killing anything, after all they were probably there first but humans built a nice house in their habitat. If you find yourself needing to remove an infestation you could try the following:

  1. Seal up floors, windows, and doors where they might be coming in. Also secure weather stripping.
  2. Dry out basements and damp areas. A dehumidifier should help.
  3. Shed light on dark areas for extended periods of time if possible.
  4. Remove leaf litter, vegetation, fungus, and other food sources.
  5. Seal up cloth items, bags, and other objects in garages and basements in plastic containers and make sure they are stacked away from walls.
  6. Do not stack firewood near the house, and make sure bushes and shrubs are also away from the house.
  7. For those interested in natural defenses you can use cedar pouches and oils in solution. Cedar is a natural fungicide and insecticide. The same is true of tea tree oil and citronella.
  8. Peppermint oils and sachets, often used for mice as well, also work for camel crickets. I'm not a big fan of the sticky boards that most pest control places advocate, but they are an option on the market. I find them rather cruel, though perhaps no less cruel than vacuums or cats.
  9. If all else fails call in an exterminator.

For those of you that may find picking up and moving camel crickets too scary, you can also use the "Critter Catcher" to safely pick up and deposit the wee hoppy-beasties outside safely without touching them.


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Locust, (family Acrididae), any of a group of insects (order Orthoptera) that are distributed worldwide, the common name of which generally refers to the group of short-horned grasshoppers that often increase greatly in numbers and migrate long distances in destructive swarms. In Europe the term locust denotes large acridids, whereas smaller species are called grasshoppers. In North America the names locust and grasshopper are used for any acridid. Cicadas (order Homoptera) also may be called locusts, the 17-year “locust” being the 17-year periodic cicada. The grouse (or pygmy) locust is a member of the family Tetrigidae (see pygmy grasshopper).

A phase theory has been developed to account for the sporadic appearance and disappearance of locust swarms. According to the theory, a plague species has two phases: one solitary and the other gregarious. The phases can be distinguished by differences in coloration, form, physiology, and behaviour. A solitary-phase nymph, for example, adjusts its coloration to match that of its surroundings, does not collect in groups, has low metabolic and oxygen-intake rates, and is sluggish. A gregarious-phase nymph, on the other hand, has black and yellow or orange coloration in a fixed pattern, gathers in large groups, has high metabolic and oxygen intake rates, and is active and nervous. Adult locusts differ more in form than in colour. The solitary phase has shorter wings, longer legs, and a narrower pronotum, or dorsal sclerite (with higher crest and larger head), than the gregarious phase. The adult of the gregarious phase has a more saddle-shaped pronotum, broader shoulders, and longer wings.

When a nymph of a solitary-phase locust matures in the presence of many other locusts, it undergoes a physiological change and produces offspring of the gregarious type. If crowding is sufficiently dense and of long enough duration, the majority of a local population will shift to the gregarious migratory phase. The young of a gregarious-phase locust, on the other hand, will produce offspring that revert to the solitary phase if it matures in isolation. The solitary phase is the normal state of the species, the gregarious phase being a physiological response to violent fluctuations in the environment. Migratory swarms do not form in regions favourable for the growth of a species. Instead, they form in marginal regions in which suitable habitats are scarce. A succession of favourable seasons enables a population to expand in numbers so that individuals are forced into marginal areas. When unfavourable environmental conditions occur in the marginal regions, individuals are forced to return to smaller, permanently habitable areas, resulting in crowding and triggering the physiological shift to the gregarious form.

A gregarious-phase locust is restless and irritable, and it flies spontaneously on warm dry days, when its body temperature is high. The muscular activity of flight further raises its temperature. A swarm ceases flying only when environmental conditions change—e.g., rain falls, temperature decreases, or darkness occurs. In 1869 desert locust swarms reached England, probably from West Africa, and a flight across the Red Sea in 1889 was estimated to be about 5,000 square km (2,000 square miles) in size. The long-distance dispersal of these swarms is usually associated with either frontal winds of storm systems or high-level jet-stream winds. The acridids typically fly almost straight up into these fast-moving winds and then are carried with the winds until they slow to the point where gravity overcomes wind speed, causing them to drop from the sky.

The range of the migratory locust (Locusta migratoria) is wider than that of any other acridid. It is found in grasslands throughout Africa, most of Eurasia south of the taiga, the East Indies, tropical Australia, and New Zealand. The desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria) inhabits dry grasslands and deserts from Africa to the Punjab and can fly upward to about 1,500 metres (5,000 feet) in huge towers of individuals. The smaller Italian and Moroccan locusts (Calliptamus italicus and Dociostaurus maroccanus) cause extensive plant damage in the Mediterranean area, with D. maroccanus found as far east as Turkestan. In South Africa the brown and red locusts (Locustana pardalina and Nomadacris septemfasciata) are extremely destructive. In Central and South America the chief migratory species is the South American locust (Schistocerca paranensis). The nonmigratory S. americana (found in the United States) may be a solitary phase of this genus. The Rocky Mountain locust and the migratory grasshopper (Melanoplus spretus and M. sanguinipes, respectively) destroyed many prairie farms in Canada and the United States in the 1870s. Many other species occasionally increase sufficiently in numbers to be called plagues.

Once developed, a locust plague is almost impossible to stop or control. Control measures include destroying egg masses laid by invading swarms, digging trenches to trap nymphs, using hopperdozers (wheeled screens that cause locusts to fall into troughs containing water and kerosene), using insecticidal baits, and applying insecticides to both swarms and breeding grounds from aircraft.

This article was most recently revised and updated by Amy Tikkanen, Corrections Manager.

How to Identify Smokybrown Cockroaches

Common Attractors
These cockroaches usually are found in basements and the ground floor levels. Some common attractors are:

  • Leaky roofs and standing water
  • Stacks of wood
  • Exposed trash
  • Sewer openings

How Do They Get Inside?
The pests crawl inside through small holes in siding or home foundations and also will fly through open doors and windows.

How Serious Are Smokybrown Cockroaches?

These insects become a pest when, attracted by interior lights, they gain entry into a home or structure through openings in windows, doors, and other gaps into the home.

The pests contaminate the surfaces they touch, spreading bacteria that can result in serious illness. Proteins in smokybrown cockroach skin and saliva may also trigger asthma or allergic reactions. The pests are capable fliers and their appearance often frightens people who are not used to seeing large, flying cockroaches.

Signs of a Smokybrown Cockroach Infestation

These insects are commonly found outdoors and can be seen primarily at night, walking in search of food. Common sighting locations include:

  • Landscaping beds
  • Ivy or other ground cover
  • In and around gutters and fascia of homes and structures

Fecal material and droppings can be evident in areas that the smokybrown cockroach frequents.

Egg Capsules
Attached to a surface within a day of production, the 11 to 14 mm long, dark-brown to black egg case, or ootheca, may be observed in areas that the smokybrown cockroach frequents.

How Do I Get Rid of Smokybrown Cockroaches?

What Orkin Does
Your local Orkin technician is trained to help manage smokybrown cockroaches and similar pests. Since every building or home is different, your Orkin technician will design a unique program for your situation.

Orkin can provide the right solution to keep smokybrown roaches in their place. out of your home, or business.

Behavior, Diet & Habits

Geographic Range
The smokybrown cockroach is a common pest of the southeastern United States. Although mainly found from central Texas eastward to Florida (They are major pests in cities such as Houston and New Orleans), and as far north as North Carolina, the smokybrown cockroach also has been found as far north as Indiana and Illinois. They have also been found in Southern California.

Where Do They Live?
These large cockroaches live in areas that are warm, with high humidity and in wooded areas where they are often found in tree holes and under mulch. Outdoors, smokybrown cockroaches can be found in areas that are warm, very moist and protected from the elements. Since this insect is prone to dehydration, the availability of a moist environment is critical for its survival.

They are nocturnal and hide in small places during the day, making themselves inaccessible to humans and predators. They prefer non-dwelling areas such as greenhouses, nurseries, and gardens. Around homes and structures the smokybrown cockroach can be found:

  • In tree holes and cavities
  • Beneath mulch beds and ground cover
  • Around soffits, eaves, and gutters, or areas where moisture problems may exist
  • In gutters

Inside, they breed in attics, where their populations can grow unnoticed.

What Do They Eat?
Smokybrown cockroach feeding activity is most evident during the late dusk or early dawn hours when the insects leave their hiding places in search of food. It is also not uncommon to see these insects taking a drink when water is available.

While smokybrown cockroaches prefer to eat decaying plant matter, the opportunistic feeders will consume any food source available to them, such as:


Depending on environmental conditions, the development time for a smokybrown cockroach, from egg to adult, can vary greatly, with a range of 160 days to 716 days. As adults, a female lives an average of 218 days, and a male will live, on average, 215 days.

The lifespan of smokybrown cockroaches averages over a year, although they can live as long as 2 years or more under ideal conditions.

Females can produce an average of 10 egg cases, or ootheca, with an average of 20 eggs per case. Each female can produce up to 32 oothecae in one lifetime. These egg cases are then attached to a protected surface within a day of production, where they will remain until the young hatch.

More Information

Although smokybrown cockroaches are related to the American cockroaches, they are slightly smaller in size and uniformly mahogany in color.


Photo by:
Dorling Kindersley
Photo by:
Dorling Kindersley
Photo by:
Dorling Kindersley

Beetles vary widely in their habits and are found under the most diverse conditions. A few live in salt water, more in fresh water, and a small number breed in hot springs. Some beetles live under the bark of living and dead trees. Numerous beetles feed on the roots, wood, leaves, flowers, and fruit of living plants, causing great economic damage.

Photo by:
Dorling Kindersley

Scientific classification: Beetles make up the order Coleoptera. The Hercules beetle belongs to the family Scarabaeidae. It is classified as Dynastes hercules.

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