Spotted Mediterranean cockroaches

Editor’s note: This article is from the archives of the MSU Crop Advisory Team Alerts. Check the label of any pesticide referenced to ensure your use is included

Up until a few years ago, this small European species of cockroach was only known to occur in the United States in Massachusetts and southeast Michigan.  Then Duke Elsner found it in Grand Traverse County and according to the Dukester, it has been expanding its range in and around the Traverse City area ever since.  The spotted Mediterranean cockroach, Ectobius pallidus (Blattellidae) was first discovered in the United States in 1948 on Cape Cod.  I don’t know when it first arrived in southeast Michigan.  Sometimes called the tawny cockroach, this species is normally encountered outdoors and generally does not infest food or goods indoors.  It can become a nuisance when attracted to dwellings by lights. This is a pale-brown cockroach that is smaller than the German cockroach and lacks the dark lines on the pronotum that characterize the latter. The wings have many tiny, dark spots that can be seen only with the aid of a hand lens. The nymphs are also pale brown.

This insect can be discouraged from entering homes by spraying a persistent insecticide around the outside of the home.  Be sure to read and follow all instructions and safety precautions found on the label before using any pesticide.

See photos of the spotted Mediterranean cockroach at:

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