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Extension > Yard and Garden News > A Cuban Cockroach in Minnesota

A Cuban Cockroach in Minnesota

Jeffrey Hahn, University of Minnesota Asst. Extension Entomologist

Bananas are favorite fruit of many people. Because they are grown only in tropical areas, they need to be imported into Minnesota. Some people have occasionally discovered inadvertent hitchhikers, primarily spiders, that have been accidentally been brought into Minnesota with the bananas. Recently an interesting cockroach was discovered around bananas. DSC_0069.JPG

Photo 1: Cuban cockroach. Jeffrey Hahn.

A person in Morris, Minnesota (in the west central part of the state) found an insect around a sink where some bananas had been sitting. The insect was about 3/4 inch long, pale green, with long antennae and fully developed wings. A quick check of the literature revealed that the insect in question was a Cuban cockroach.

A Cuban cockroach gets it name because it was originally collected in Cuba. It is now commonly found in Mexico, Central America, and northern South America. It is only found in the U.S. in Florida. Although a Cuban cockroach is an outdoor species, it likes to enter buildings and other structures. They particularly are attracted to lights. Cuban cockroaches are also commonly brought indoors on bananas.

Because this cockroach species is native to tropical and subtropical areas, it does not survive long in the upper Midwest. In fact, this particular individual died shortly after it was found. A Cuban cockroach should not be considered a pest when it is found in Minnesota. It is short-lived, does not reproduce in homes, and does not cause any damage. If you find one, just consider it a curiosity.

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