These are dark brown or mahogany in color with a uniformly shiny body. They grow to sizes of between 1 ¼ to 1 3/8 inches in length. They are common in warm areas in the USA. In both sexes, their wings cover the abdomen of which the female has a broader abdomen than the male. They fly around at night, always towards lights, and can fly into homes searching for food. They get this from trash or eat from any food left out in the open.

Females lay a maximum of 24 eggs in an egg capsule. Each female has a capacity of laying 17 egg capsules in its lifetime. They have a life span, of at most a year; as long as they are in the right environment. Young smoky brown cockroaches can be identified by the white markings on their abdomen and thorax and, as they grow, they attain a uniform dark brown color.

It is essential for them to have water at least every two to three hours. This is because they lose moisture through their cuticles quite easily and need to replace it constantly. For this reason, they avoid any area with good ventilation as the free current of air will quickly dry them up. Hence they are located in dark moist and damp areas with little or no ventilation. This can be in tree holes, fallen leaves, mulched areas and flower beds. Indoors, they can be found in damp basements and wet attics.