AMERICAN Cockroaches – Periplaneta americana
American cockroach adults grow to an average length of around 4 centimetres, and about 7 millimetres tall. They are reddish brown and have a yellowish margin on the body region behind the head. Immature cockroaches resemble adults except that they are wingless. The insect can travel quickly, often darting out of sight when someone enters a room, and can fit into small cracks and under doors despite its fairly large size. It is considered one of the fastest running insects. It has a pair of large compound eyes each having over 2000 individual lenses, and is a very active night insect that shuns light.
American cockroaches generally live in moist areas, but can survive in dry areas if they have access to water. They prefer warm temperatures around 29 degrees and do not tolerate cold temperatures. In residential areas, these cockroaches live in basements and sewers, and may move outdoors into yards during warm weather. These cockroaches are common in cracks and crevices of your home, roof voids, subfloors, and pathways abutting homes. The American cockroach is a scavenger that feeds on decaying organic matter and a variety of other foods.
Australian Cockroach – Periplaneta australasiae
The Australian Cockroach is often mistaken for the American as they are similar in appearance. However it is slightly smaller than the American cockroach and has yellow margins around the thorax, accompanied by yellow streaks down the sides of its wings base. The Australian cockroach is also a very good flyer but mostly during warmer weather and prefers warmer climates, however it can survive indoors during colder weather as long as water is available, so warm, moist conditions are ideal. It is also a scavenger feeder but unlike its relatives it prefers decaying matter and plants. It is often seen scavenging for food in the yard in warmer weather and will live under leaf litter or shrubbery in the garden beds.
Like the American cockroach, the Australian cockroach does not like light and if found in the home it will be more common at night, usually darting away when you enter the room. If a large infestation is in the home, there is often a distinct odour. Droppings and vomit marks are normally visible on cupboards and hinges inside cupboards and drawers. A thorough pest treatment needs to be done before the problem gets worse.
German Cockroaches – Blattella germanica
German cockroaches are the hardest cockroach to control and are the biggest nuisance in Sydney and Brisbane. They are very active and often infestations are large. They are around 12-16mm in length, have chewing mouth parts and are light brown with two dark stripes down the pronotum. They do have wings but will rarely fly, the reproductive cycle is extremely fast and the female lays egg capsules containing 30-48 eggs. One German cockroach can produce 20,000 young annually! The German cockroach will eat almost anything but prefers starchy foods like potatoes, rice and cereals. They can be anywhere in the home but are mostly found in the kitchen because of their food source and constant source of water. They frequent cupboards and warmer appliances in the home, such as microwaves, dishwashers, ovens, fridge motors and compressors.
Severe infestations can cause damage to appliances and can also leave an odour. They are social insects and will often be together in large groups around your appliances. A treatment should be carried out on the property as soon as German Cockroaches are spotted, because if there is one, there will be more. You can help the problem through proper hygiene. Cleaning dishes after every meal, keeping bench tops free of food and scraps, frequent mopping and even pulling out ovens and fridges and cleaning under and behind them will help eliminate the population.
Brown Banded Cockroach – Supella longipalpa
The Brown Banded cockroach is a small species of cockroach. It has lightly coloured bands across the wings and it is often confused with the Australian cockroach by the untrained eye. The Brown Banded doesn’t need a lot of moisture and therefore has a much wider distribution area. It will feed on all organic and decaying matter, and is more likely to be found in homes than in yards.
They prefer warmer places and can be often found in shower recesses, behind pictures, or in and around televisions and other appliances. The female will deposit her egg capsules in furniture such as lounges or the underside of tables. Each egg capsule will contain 14-16 eggs and she will produce approximately 20 egg cases in her lifetime. Eggs hatch within 1-2 months, and the nymphs will develop within 3-9 months. Adults will live for about 6 months. They are most active at night and when disturbed can move rapidly, even jumping and flying.
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