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There are over 3,000 different species of cockroaches - some are considered pests while others are beneficial in their natural environment.
The three main types of cockroaches commonly found in homes in Australia include the German cockroach, Oriental cockroach and American cockroach.
See below for facts and information on types of cockroaches common in Australia:
Where a cockroach infestation can be found depends greatly on the species of cockroach that has invaded your property. As mentioned above, some cockroach types prefer warm and humid areas, whilst others can tolerate cooler conditions.
Check bathrooms - right at the back of bathroom cabinets (especially if they are full of soaps and toiletry products that have been stored for a while) or medicine cabinets. Check plumbing behind sinks, baths and toilets, anywhere they can hide in sheltered dark spaces with access to water even if it's simply condensation. Cockroaches will happily eat soap residue, toilet paper and tissues - even shed skin cells and hair.
Check kitchens - look in cupboards and cabinets, pay particular attention to hidden areas with pipework such as under sinks and behind dishwashers. Sometimes cockroaches can be found in the upper inside corner of cupboards, hanging upside down out of sight. Nooks and crannies of appliances with motors, offering warmth and hidden crevices like backs of cookers, fridges and freezers are another area to check carefully. Even smaller kitchen appliances like microwaves, coffee makers, toasters and blenders could harbour cockroaches.
Check laundry rooms - cupboards under sinks, where plumbing enters through walls or floors leading to washing machines and tumble dryers. Also check warm areas near the motors at the back of washers and dryers.
Check basements - search along the base and corner joints of walls in cellars for any gaps cockroaches could squeeze through. Cracks in wood baseboards or floor cavities are opportune areas for them to hide. Cockroaches will hide in and eat cardboard and newspapers, so check boxes and piles of paper stored for long periods of time.
Check drains - some species like Oriental cockroaches can survive in drier, cooler areas. Look around down pipes for cracks and crevices they might hide in, as well as damaged drain covers they could scuttle through. Other areas to check are pipe ducts and any opening beneath porches or decking. Undisturbed areas of garages and outbuildings may also offer shelter to Oriental cockroaches. They are also known to survive in rubbish tips.
Notorious for their world-wide distribution, German cockroaches are easily identifiable by 2 dark longitudinal stripes on their pronotum. Adults grow to approximately 12 – 15mm in length.
The American cockroach is one of the largest pest cockroaches to invade homes and commercial properties.
Also known as the ‘Palmetto bug’ because they live on trees, the American cockroach prefers dark, humid and undisturbed areas and can be found in subfloors, basements, kitchens, roof voids and bathrooms of homes.
One of the smallest pest cockroaches, brown banded adult cockroaches are approximately 10 – 15mm in length and characterised by yellow-brown stripes across their abdomen.
Brown banded cockroaches mostly stay on ground, but may fly in very warm climates. Their preference for warm, humid environments leads them to harbourages within heated buildings - ceilings, attics, inside and around appliance motors. Primarily active at night, these opportunistic feeders particularly enjoy materials with high starch contents.
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