If you’re moving here, be prepared for flying cockroaches in Hawaii. The islands are also famous for our big geckos and lizards that seemingly pop up out of nowhere and invade your life, to put it simply. Paradise also has several other critters like centipedes and other lizards, but the flying cockroaches are, in my opinion, the worst.


The correct term for the critter is “winged roaches” but locals typically call them “HO I SAW ONE FLYING KAKAROACH” spoken at that volume with that introduction, precisely. Not all roaches are equipped with flying capabilities, in fact only the brown-banded, Pennsylvania wood and American roaches are the winged roaches. However, according to terminix.com, although they are winged, doesn’t mean they are good at flying. In fact, cockroaches are not great flyers in general. The reason why roaches fly is to reach cooler spaces because warm, or heated temperatures actually cause insects to use up more energy than they would if they were in a warm space. However, a warm space is considered 85 degrees or more, which is the average temperature for summer times in Hawaii; henceforth, roaches have a higher tendency to fly during the summer time because of the warmer weather.

flying cockroaches in hawaii

Roaches can have really long antennas, just like this one.
Cockroach by 邰秉宥 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. Image may have been resized or cropped from original.

Do all of them fly?

The scariest thing about flying roaches is I don’t know which ones can fly until they’re coming after me. As I explained earlier, we know it’s the brown-banded, Pennsylvania wood and American roaches that fly, but do you know what those look like? I don’t! That’s what I’m talking about! All roaches look the same to me, and I want to avoid all of them. Flying roaches also have this invincible aura that they’re untouchable and can never be destroyed, which makes it an even more terrifying environment for us mere humans. We are at the hands of the flying roaches surrounding us. Time to panic!!! Another reason roaches fly is a survival mechanism in the case that they need to escape quickly, boy I wish we had that quality, too! I’d be flying right out of there the minute I see a flying roach!  

Nocturnal creatures

Roaches are nocturnal, which inherently makes them evil creatures (in my book,) however this also means that they are repelled by light. This is the reasoning for why they scatter across the room the minute you flick that light on. Roaches are not fond of natural or artificial light, so if you’re unlucky enough to see a roach during the day, it could mean that you actually have an infestation in your home. This is because roaches are forced out of their homes due to overcrowding or lack of food. In other words, if you see a roach on their floor, that roach’s wife and kids are back at home somewhere in your kitchen cabinets. That’s a terrifying thought!

To prevent the flying cockroaches in Hawaii from establishing a hale in your hale, don’t leave food and water out in the open. It’s also important to make sure that all of the cracks are sealed in your home, and that you are regularly cleaning your dwelling. Follow these steps and you can hopefully avoid growing a roach family in your home!