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Signs of a cockroach problem can be identified by physical evidence such as:
See our main page on signs of a cockroach infestation for more details.
Some species of cockroach prefer warmer, damp areas while others prefer cooler conditions. These are the areas in a building where they are found:
See our page on signs of cockroach infestation for more details.
There are over 530 known species of cockroach in Australia according to the Australian Faunal Directory, and 90% of those are considered to be endemic to the country. Australia has some of the world’s smallest (adults of Nocticola bolívar are 3mm long) and largest cockroaches (Macropanesthia rhinoceros is 80mm long).
Most cockroach species are completely harmless. A few species, however, have found that human homes and businesses can provide abundant sources of food and have ideal environments for shelter and breeding — not just in Australia, but worldwide. Even the ‘Australian cockroach’ is not native to Australia but is common across the tropics. The most common pest cockroaches are:
See our cockroach species page or click on a species above for more information on these species.
Most cockroaches have wings but not all of them fly and some tend to glide short distances rather than fly:
Cockroaches are attracted into homes and businesses by food, water and shelter. Therefore the most effective way to prevent cockroaches is to deny access to these:
See our guide on how to prevent cockroaches.
There is a range of consumer products that can be purchased from shops that can help with mild infestations, including:
Professional treatment is often the most effective way to get rid of a cockroach infestation in your home or business, especially in food businesses and healthcare where there is a legal requirement to maintain hygiene standards.
Pest control professionals have a range of effective treatments and are trained in surveying properties thoroughly to find all the cockroach nesting sites and the reasons for the infestation. We can also provide detailed recommendations to prevent cockroaches from reinfesting.
Professional treatments include a wider range of insecticidal sprays and powders and also cockroach baits, fumigation and heat treatment, which kills all life stages of the cockroach (egg to adult) and is pesticide free.
As a professional pest control company, we have a wide range of highly effective insecticides and insect control products which offer effective solutions to a cockroach infestation. These include:
If you would like more advice on eliminating cockroaches, contact us.
The short answer is: yes they can, but read on! The common cockroach pest species are omnivores, that is, they eat almost anything with organic matter. This includes fruit, vegetables, meat from dead animals and each other, faeces from any source, cardboard, paper, glue and leather.
If a cockroach can eat leather then it can bite through human skin. In 2015, researchers from Cambridge University, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, and the University of Stuttgart actually measured the bite force of an American cockroach and found its bite was strong for its size. The force was similar to that of carnivorous beetles, at around 50 Newtons/cm2.
Cockroaches don’t actively seek to bite humans, however, in the way blood-sucking mosquitoes, bed bugs and fleas do. They are more likely to flee from any encounter with a much larger, active human, to avoid being harmed. They are opportunistic feeders, however, and there are cases where they have taken bites at people who were sleeping.
There are records going back centuries of sailing ships being infested with cockroaches and sailors’ skin and nails being gnawed while sleeping. There are also records of cockroaches eating eyebrows of sleeping children (reported in the Rentokil publication, The Cockroach. A laboratory insect and an industrial pest, by PB Cornwell, 1968). But this is only likely to occur when there are heavy infestations.
Read more on the topic in this interesting blog: Do cockroaches bite?
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