What do Madagascar hissing cockroaches look like?

Latin name: Gromphadorhina portentosa

Size: Growing up to 7.5 cm in length, they are one of the largest cockroach species.

Color: Madagascar hissing cockroaches are brown in color.

Characteristics: Both nymphs and adults are wingless with horns and long antennae. Males have larger pronotal humps on their thorax and bushier antennae than females.

How did I get Madagascar hissing cockroaches?

Homeowners who find a Madagascar hissing cockroach have likely discovered someone’s missing pet. In the U.S., these insects live in classrooms as display insects and pet stores that offer these critters for sale. Padded feet allow these cockroaches to climb anywhere, so it is possible for them to crawl out of containment that is properly sealed and made inescapable.

How serious are Madagascar hissing cockroaches?

These insects pose no known danger to humans. Males are extremely aggressive and are commonly seen fighting with rival males.

How do I get rid of Madagascar hissing cockroaches?

Your local Allstate Pest Control technician is trained to help manage Madagascar hissing cockroaches and similar pests. Since every building or home is different, your Allstate Pest Control technician will design a unique program for your situation.

Allstate Pest Control can provide the right solution to keep cockroaches in their place and out of your home or business.

What do Madagascar hissing cockroaches eat?

In their natural environment, they are helpful as consumers of carrion and decay. Hissing cockroaches are omnivores which feed primarily on:

  • Animal carcasses
  • Fallen fruit
  • Rotting plants
  • Small insects

Where do Madagascar hissing cockroaches live?

These roaches are native to Madagascar. Because they aren’t native to the country, these pests are rarely the cause of cockroach infestations in the house. These large pests thrive in warm climates and become sluggish as temperatures cool. Madagascar hissing cockroaches live in moist areas including:

  • Beneath rotten logs
  • Forest floors
  • Tropical areas

What is the Madagascar hissing cockroach's life cycle?

Young Madagascar hissing cockroaches stay in close contact with females for an extended period of time after birth. Nymphs undergo six molts in a span of approximately seven months before reaching the adult stage and can live up to five years.

Why do Madagascar hissing cockroaches hiss?

The Madagascar hissing cockroach is the only known insect species capable of hissing. While other insects create sound by rubbing body parts together, these cockroaches hiss by releasing air from their abdominal spiracles. These roaches produce two kinds of hisses: upon reaching a certain developmental stage, all hissing cockroaches can produce the disturbance hiss, but only males ever emit the fighting hiss.

Male cockroaches establish and defend territories using a unique sound. They are very territorial and use their horns in combat. Females only hiss when disturbed. The hiss plays an important role in:

  • Colony hierarchy
  • Communication
  • Courtship

Male Madagascar hissing cockroaches hiss to communicate with other cockroaches to:

  • Attract mates
  • Scare off enemies
  • Warn others