The Florida woods cockroach is native to the southeastern United States and can typically be found in warm, humid areas such as coastal Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi, and throughout most of Florida. Florida woods cockroaches are relatively large in size, measuring approximately 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 inches long and up to 1 inch wide. The body of the Florida woods cockroaches ranges in color from reddish brown to black and are similar in appearance to oriental cockroaches. Adults can live for more than one year.
At first glance, this species appears to be wingless; however, it does have very short wings just beneath its head. The wings form short leathery pads which barely meet on the midline of the body and do not extend to cover any portion of the abdomen. Compared to other roaches, the Florida woods cockroach is relatively slow moving and not quick to run away from disturbance. This could be due to its large size or lack of urgency due to the presence of defensive chemicals. When disturbed this species often emits a strong, displeasing odor, which leads to its name as the "stinking cockroach."