Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches: Identification and Extermination Techniques

Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches, scientifically called Gromphadorhina portentosa, are a unique species of cockroaches indigenous to the island of Madagascar. Their unique ability to hiss and their relative harmlessness have made them popular in the pet trade, but they can become pests when not properly contained.


Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches are one of the largest species of cockroaches, reaching 2 to 3 inches in length. They are easily identifiable by their shiny brown exoskeleton, the absence of wings, and their unique “horns” or bumps on the pronotum of the males. As their name implies, they produce a distinctive hissing sound when disturbed or when males are fighting for dominance.

Madagascar Hissing Cockroach

Life Cycle and Habitat

The life cycle of Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches includes three stages: egg, nymph, and adult. Unlike many other cockroaches, they give live birth, meaning the female carries the eggs inside her until they hatch.

These cockroaches prefer warm, humid environments, typically in rotting logs. As primarily nocturnal creatures, they tend to hide during the day and become active at night. They are not typically home invaders but can become problematic in environments where they are kept as pets or exhibits.

Extermination Techniques

If Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches become a nuisance, the following steps can be considered:

  1. Habitat Modification: As these cockroaches prefer damp environments, keeping areas dry can discourage their proliferation.
  2. Physical Removal: Given their size and relatively slow speed, physical removal can be a practical solution. Make sure to use gloves, as they can scratch with their spiny legs.
  3. Professional Pest Control: For larger infestations, professional cockroach control services may be necessary. We can provide targeted treatments and ongoing management strategies.


Prevention is key when dealing with Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches, especially if they are kept in a contained environment:

  1. Maintain a clean environment, particularly in and around the cockroach habitat.
  2. Regularly inspect the containment area for signs of escape or reproduction.
  3. Implement proper containment practices if keeping these cockroaches as pets or educational displays.


Facing a problem with Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches? Our team of experts is ready to help you manage these unique creatures effectively. Contact us for professional pest control services to ensure your space remains pest-free!