Field Cockroach


Actual Size: Small; up to ½”

Characteristics: Olive-brown coloration, two blackish-brown stripes on face.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Habitat: Common in irrigated areas. Prefer to live in leaf litter and other types of plant debris.


  • Sometimes mistaken for German cockroaches
  • Unlike German roaches, can be seen during the day
  • Primarily an outdoor cockroach species

Field Cockroaches in the North and East Bay of California

The field cockroach or vaga cockroach is a small cockroach and likely introduced from southwest Asia into the United States. Field cockroaches are very similar in appearance to German cockroaches but can be distinguished by the blackish-brown area on the face from the mouthparts to between the eyes. Females may live for more than 200 days, producing between 200 to 300 offspring or 6 generations a year. The field cockroach can fly, is not repelled by light, and can often be seen during the day.

Field Cockroach Habitat

Field cockroaches feed largely on decomposing vegetation, including fruits, such as dates, and occur under stones, clumps of earth, and debris. Unlike German cockroaches, field cockroaches prefer to live outside in leaf litter and plant debris and rarely enter buildings.

During drier parts of the year, field cockroaches may enter structures in search of moisture. Since field cockroaches so closely resemble German cockroaches, some homeowners will think they have German roaches invading their home, when they actually have field cockroaches.

Field Cockroach Behavior, Threats or Dangers

While they are not as widespread as other species, field cockroaches cause similar concerns. Field cockroaches are primarily an outdoor cockroach species, and when found indoors, it may be treated as an occasional invader that will not take up residence indoors.  Field roaches hide in cracks, crevices, and corners of homes. They can also spread bacteria if they gain access to kitchens and pantries. Populations of these fast-breeding cockroaches can increase rapidly if left unchecked. For this reason, always contact your local cockroach exterminator for help with infestations.