Types of Cockroaches in Hawaii

There are over a dozen types of cockroaches in Hawaii. Why go anywhere else when they can live in paradise, right?

Today, we shall look at some of the flying cockroaches in Hawaii and explore the best strategies on how to get rid of them if they ever pose a pest-problem.

The Different Types of Cockroaches in Hawaii

Although more than 19 roach species reside in Hawaii, only 4 are considered serious pests.

Two of them are “indoor” or domestic, mainly targeting Hawaiian homes while the other two are “outdoors” or peridomestic, but find their way into homes and businesses when it becomes their ideal home.

ALSO SEE: Egyptian Cockroaches

We’ll begin with the outdoor ones, starting with a bug that’s impossible to miss.

American Cockroach Infestation signs

  • The American “B52” Cockroach

The Hawaii b52 cockroach is both an indoor/outdoor cockroach.


Known as the “Hawaii b-52 cockroach” amongst locals, this is the biggest, boldest, and most “annoying” pest in Hawaii.

This is one of the most notorious flying cockroaches in Hawaii too


Found across the Hawaii Islands, this roach measuring at more than two inches long is the biggest roach in the country and amongst the largest roach in the United States.

It’s bold ability to fly directly towards you will make your skin crawl. If you by chance, ever come face-off with a creature that looks like the American roach but is wingless and is maybe smaller, chances are, it is a baby American cockroach.

They are mostly reddish-brown color, cream-colored, have a freakishly long antenna, and are mottled cowl behind their heads.


Being an indoor/outdoor roach means the Hawaii B-52 roach can be found anywhere, especially in sewers, gardens, yards, and moist places where there’s abundance of water and food.

When indoor the B52 roach locate and establish base in most parts of your home such as drains, kitchen sinks and bathrooms.

When they do manage to find their way into your home, they come with all sorts of harmful allergies and bacteria from things they’ve crawled through and ingested.

surinam cockroach in house

  • The Surinam Cockroach

The Surinam roach is the second on the list of different types of roaches in Hawaii.

This is an Outdoor Cockroach


Unlike the United states roaches, the Surinam roach is smaller and measures about an inch long. It color is brown to black and does not like to fly (although males can but females cannot).

It is a common Hawaiian pest that burrows and tunnels itself through soil, compost, trash and damages the living roots and stems since it feeds on decaying materials.


You will majorly find these bugs across Molokai, Kaui, Oahu, Lanai, the Big Island, Nihoa, and French Frigate Shoals. There’s almost no chance of coming across these roaches during the day, but will see the scurry quickly should you kick over something they live in.

Special problems

Growing pineapples, or flowers like lilies or roses is an open invite to these roaches. They’d be on your farm in less than 2 days finding creative ways to ruin your garden.

If you raise backyard birds, then you might have encountered these roaches too. The Surinam roach has a special taste for chicken coop feces and is a carrier of chicken eye worm, that can damage chicken’s eye and potentially cause blindness.

Types of Cockroaches in Hawaii

  • The German Cockroach

The German cockroach, is an indoor pest that is very common in Hawaii houses.


German roaches can be seen in almost every area of Hawaii that human lives in.

These roaches spell harm as they are carriers of allergens and diseases that affect humans. They breed rapidly and can cause infestations that is so intense even professional pest control workers find it almost impossible to rid a building of.

If you’re not already used to what they look like, or do not own or rent property of any kind, you should memorize what they look like and proactive measures to ensure they do not surface!


These aggressive invaders are light brown to pale yellow in color and their bodies are flat and features yellow wings. At about an inch long (maybe less) they’re tiny compared to outdoor species like the American roaches, and can be distinguished by two stripes that run lengthwise down the cowl behind their heads.

German cockroaches are so tiny that even with an increasing infestation at hand, they can be missed. You should particularly keep watch for their young, too.

Baby German roaches called nymphs can be as small as half a grain of rice. With the exception of wings they grow later, they almost look like adults, and are just as harmful.


Have you seen cockroaches in car in Hawaii? Chances are that you’ve met the German roaches.

These bugs make home in your hotel room, house, your car, and even condominium. They do exceedingly well in the Islands’ tropical warmth and thrive best in human environments.

There are plenty of ways these pests could have gotten into your residence. Some include: a piece of luggage, second-hand buy, or hitched a ride inside a bag of groceries.

If you live in a condo or an apartment, they could have traveled into your unit via the walls.

Brown Banded Cockroach vs German Roach

This indoor roach too is quite popular in Hawaii.


The brown-banded cockroach love to climb walls and are not so common in Hawaii like the rest of roaches.


When compared to the brown-banded roach, the German roach prefers spaces with less water and food, like living rooms, garages, and closets.

It also prefers to live “up high”, where warmth collects and the air is drier – areas like picture frames, furniture, ceilings, and the upper corners of moldings and walls make great places.

Once these roaches find comfort in your walls and other high places, they’ll breed, attach their eggs to the under part of things and then proceed to have a feeding frenzy.


The size of a brown-banded roaches are what you can use to identify them. These roaches are about the size of German roaches and have brown bands that cut across their abdomens.

Hawaii Cockroach Identification – Two Less Likely Cockroach

  • Oriental cockroach
  • An Australian cockroach

Type: Outdoor/Indoor (Oriental cockroach) | Type: Outdoor/Indoor (Australian cockroach)


If you come across a roach that does not look like a brown-banded roach, Surinam, or the American roach then these other two listed above are possible choices.

It could be an Oriental roach that loves damp, cool, or cool spaces, and thrives in sewers, landfills (and sadly bathrooms).

It could be an Australian roach that looks like the American roach, but invades homes far less often.

How to Get Rid of Cockroach in Hawaii

Here are simple methods on how you can get rid of cockroaches in Hawaii:

  • Make use of odorless insecticide spray
  • Never leave pet food inside bowl overnight
  • Use a disinfectant spray to wipe counter tops
  • Ensure you seal all food in airtight containers if left out.
  • Pour some bleach down the drains to clean it.
  • Repair any faucets that is leaking in your bathroom or kitchen.
  • Vacuum trash on a daily basis and spray the liner with a disinfectant.
  • Rid Screen traps of any food trace.
  • Purchase and use an odorless insecticide spray
  • Lay around many roach traps around suspected pathways and areas.
  • Place roach gel baits around areas where roaches use frequently.
  • Keep the lever to the bathtub drain in the closed position.
  • You should cover drains with metal screen traps or rubber stoppers.
  • You can seal entry points with external caulking or weather stripping.
  • Fix broken screens with adhesive screen patches or other repair kits.

Home Remedies for Getting Rid of Cockroach in Hawaii

  • First, make a solution of 3 tablespoons, water and dish detergent in spray bottle
  • Next, place used coffee ground in a can. Pour some water to almost cover the grounds.
  • Use a spray bottle with 3 tablespoons, fabric softener and 2 cups of water.
  • Lay some bay leaves around areas you suspect.
  • Next, place some food in a wide-mouth jar and spread petroleum jelly inside the neck of the jar.
  • Combine 1 part of boric acid, 1 part sugar, and 2 parts flour.
  • The sprinkle this in crevices, nooks, and cranies
  • Place some baking soda with a small quantity of sugar in a small bottle cap.
  • Leave a small container of ice cream out overnight.
  • Mix 1 cup borax, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup chopped onion, 1 tbsp. cornstarch and 1 tbsp. of water. Roll the paste into small balls and place a few in a sandwich bag. Leave unsealed then set the bag where roaches are a problem.
  • Add equal parts baking powdered sugar and soda in a shallow bowl.
  • Soak a few cotton balls in mouthwash (mint). Leave cotton balls around kitchen areas.

Are cockroaches common in Hawaii?

Yes, roaches are common in Hawaii but most are quite harmless.

How Do You Get Rid Of Roaches in Hawaii?

One sure way to get rid of roaches in your home is by using roach gel or soap and water solution. You can place the roach gel on suspected places or spray/splash the water mix on the roach.

Note: Ensure the solution makes contact with the roaches head.

How Big Are Cockroaches in Hawaii?

The roaches in Hawaii can range from ½ to 6 inches long.

Do Cockroaches in Hawaii bite?

Yes, although they prefer not to. Cockroaches only bite humans when there is shortage of food around.

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