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6 Different Types of Cockroaches in Hawaii (With Pictures)


Cockroaches are present throughout all the islands of Hawaii, as Hawaiian residents well know. They dwell within the lava landscapes, they enjoy the sandy beaches, and they do everything that they can to get into human dwellings.

Tourists don’t usually see roaches unless they’re outdoors at night, after the sun has gone down. Even then, the sightings are few and far between. Still, it’s always a good idea to know about the types of cockroaches that can be found in the state, whether you’re a resident or a visitor. There are six types of cockroaches in Hawaii, and here’s what you need to know about them.

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The 6 Types of Cockroaches in Hawaii

1. Brown-Banded Cockroach

brown banded cockroach
Image Credit: Freedom my wing, Shutterstock

Brown-banded cockroaches are thought to be the dominant type of roach living in Hawaii. They are usually less than 1 inch long when fully grown, and they can be distinguished from other types of cockroaches because their backs are lined with light brown bands. They love finding places to hang out in the garbage, cabinets, and walls. These roaches like warm, dry locations, so they live both near ocean level (not their preferred elevation) and in the mountains throughout Hawaii.

2. American Cockroach

american cockroach
Image Credit: guentermanaus, Shutterstock

This is considered the largest cockroach found throughout the Hawaiian Islands. These bugs can fly and they are fast. Unfortunately, they are not great pilots. Therefore, they may hit you in the face or land in your drink if they take flight in the same room that you are spending time in. It’s tough to get away from this type of cockroach on the islands, so don’t be surprised to see one or a few during your visit. If you’re a resident, you’re already used to seeing these creatures lurking about.

3. Australian Cockroach

australian cockroach on the ground
Image Credit: Douglas Cliff, Shutterstock

The Australian cockroach is common in tropical locations, and they are about 1.5 inches when fully grown, which can be alarming to those who come across them. They are brown in color, but they seem see-through at first glance. They look like the American cockroach, but they are a bit smaller in size overall. It’s not clear when this cockroach species was introduced to Hawaii, but chances are that the introduction was accidental.

4. German Cockroach

german cockroach
Image By: Erik Karits, Pixabay

This cockroach species looks much like the others. They may be tan, brown, black, or any shade in between. German cockroaches don’t fly but can glide short distances if disturbed. They have large, wide eyes and long legs. Unlike other types of cockroaches, this one is not attracted to light and will not fly toward it. Instead, they tend to hide in dark places where they cannot be discovered and be forced to flee.

5. Surinam Cockroach

Surinam cockroach
Image By: Elliotte Rusty Harold, Shutterstock

This is a common cockroach type in Hawaii that is seen both inside and outside. The species will happily camp out in trees and grasslands until it has an opportunity to get into a human dwelling of some kind. They are creatures that act on opportunity, so if food is left on a counter in a kitchen in Hawaii regularly, this roach won’t take long to get in there and start munching down.

6. Oriental Cockroach

oriental cockroach
Image By: Furiarossa, Shutterstock

Oriental cockroaches are just as common as the other types of roaches on this list. They are about 1 inch in length when fully grown. These roaches like to get inside whenever the opportunity arises. They do happen to be common snacks for island chickens that run loose and free throughout the islands.

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Tips for Keeping Cockroaches at Bay in Hawaii

If you are visiting Hawaii, you shouldn’t have to do anything to get rid of or control cockroaches. The place where you are staying should have a management company that takes off the process, so you don’t have to worry about even seeing a cockroach while on vacation.

If you live in Hawaii, you can utilize roach traps to ensure that a population of cockroaches never overruns your property. Alternatively, you can hire a pest control specialist to get rid of your roach problem. This is the best course of action if cockroaches have become such a presence that you see them climbing on the walls when spending any amount of time in an enclosed space.

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Cockroaches are a problem in Hawaii, but that doesn’t mean residents and tourists alike can’t still enjoy the Hawaii experience. During the day, these pests shouldn’t be a problem. At night, though, you might need to worry. If you suspect that there is a cockroach problem in an establishment that you are spending time in, make sure to share your grievances with the management department.

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Featured Image Credit: Poravute Siriphiroon, Shutterstock


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