Pest Information

7 Common Types of Cockroaches Found in Australia

Did you know there are around 4,500 species of cockroaches?

Of course, not all of them are found in human dwellings, but there are nearly 30 species that you might see around.

No, we don’t have any special species here in NSW, despite the nickname in Rugby League circles. We have the same cockroaches, like everywhere else in Australia that flee under your cupboard at the first sign of light.

If you get the creepy crawlies from their antennae and irregular movements, then you’re not alone.

Read on to find out about the types of cockroaches commonly found around Australia. We will cover information on how to get rid of cockroaches, how you might go about identifying cockroaches, and more.

Types of Cockroaches

There are seven main types of Aussie roaches.

If you’re having trouble identifying what kind of roaches you are dealing with, then you can consult a local pest control company (If you’re in Sydney, give us a call).

You may have several types nestled in different areas of your home because each type has subtly different dwelling preferences.

German Cockroach

German Cockroach

This is the most widespread type of cockroach that coexists with humans in the same building. They are relatively small in stature.

These species seek warmth and food. They are most commonly found in kitchen areas.

Brown Banded Cockroach

Brown Banded Cockroach

These are another small species of cockroach. They have two light brown bands on their darker brown bodies.

They are often found in kitchen cabinets and bathrooms, and maybe even behind picture frames.

They are pretty small and nocturnal so they can go undetected if need be.

Oriental Cockroach

Oriental Cockroach

This is a medium-sized roach. It is usually shiny black or a dark red-brown.

These are likely to be found in cool and moist conditions. Check leaf litter, damp subfloor, and drainage systems for these.

They can thrive in pretty hard-up conditions because they will eat almost anything, including decaying organic matter. They might eat the waste from your sink or even walls. Due to these dietary preferences, they may contaminate surfaces by bringing bacteria and viruses to otherwise clean areas of the house.

Australian Cockroach

Australian Cockroach

The Australian Cockroach is one of the larger types of cockroaches. It is very dark brown and has yellow markings on the pronotum & forewings. Because this cockroach prefers to eat plants, you will often find them in greenhouses and under bark and leaves in gardens.

In houses, they inhabit the subfloor voids, wall voids and roof voids.

American Cockroach

American Cockroach

The largest cockroach that infests dwellings. It is reddish-brown in colour with a pale yellow border around the pronotum.

This cockroach prefers warm, moist and dark conditions and tends to live indoors in colder regions but mainly outdoors in warmer regions.

This widespread pest can be found in wall, roof and subfloor voids and in around sewers and drains. With a preference for consuming decaying matter, this cockroach will still eat human food, paper and clothing.

Smoky Brown Cockroach

Smoky Brown Cockroach

This cockroach is often found in warmer Australian cities like Sydney or Brisbane.

Their colouring is, you guessed it, smokey and brownish.

These roaches actually fly away if you find them, and may be found in any small crevices in the home.

White Cockroach

A white or albino cockroach is simply a roach that has shed its exoskeleton. If you are seeing these, it means young cockroaches are nearby and there may be an infestation growing.

FAQ About Cockroaches

Here we have information about identifying roach droppings and more. Anything you were wondering, we have the answer for you.

Can cockroaches fly?

Some species of roach can fly. Species like Asian, brown, and smoky brown cockroaches are commonly found to fly. Other cockroaches prefer to run.

What do cockroaches eat?

They will eat anything from decaying organic matter to the stuff in your walls, to things you have lying around your kitchen. They are not picky. 

What does a cockroach nest look like?

The nest is simply the largest hotspot for the cockroaches. Wherever there are the most of them, that’s probably the nest. It is likely located in an area where they can access food and water, and somewhere that’s well hidden.

What do cockroach eggs look like?

This might differ depending on the species. However, in all they are tiny and nearly invisible to the human eye. It is more likely that you see a small brown egg capsule containing multiple eggs inside. They might be about the size of a tiny pill.

Can cockroaches bite?

Cockroach bites are uncommon. Even though these bugs are annoying, they are more likely to skitter around and breed than to bite your skin. They may feed off your hair, dead skin, and fingernails, though.

Cockroach bite marks?

They look a lot like bites from a mosquito. They can be red and swollen and somewhat larger than mosquito bites too.

Cockroach lifespan?

The average lifespan of a cockroach is around 100 days, although this can vary depending on the species. Remember, there are near 4,500 species of them out there.

Cockroach droppings?

The droppings look like specks of pepper. If you don’t remember dropping any pepper on the ground recently, then maybe you’ll want to consider the possibility…

Read more about identifying pest droppings here.

How many legs do cockroaches have?

Cockroaches have six legs. Their legs are quite long and nimble, which enables them to scuttle away at the speed of light.  

How to Get Rid of Cockroaches

Now that you know a bit about the cockroaches you’re likely to find locally, here’s how you can get rid of them.

If you’re going about it yourself, here’s what you might want to do:

  1. Caulk any cracks you see.
  2. Get an insect growth regulator (something you can place in every room and it acts like insect birth control).
  3. Cockroach gel can be used as poisonous bait so that when other cockroaches cannibalise the dead ones they will die as well. This is recommended for roaches that have grown tolerant of Raid.
  4. The best bet is to clean your place because cockroaches can eat anything.
  5. If you have a pet, make sure to vacuum the hair because they will eat pet hair.
  6. Never leave out water sources overnight. They will infest these.

If you do end up hiring a pest control company (We’re in Sydney), there are several steps that pest controllers will conduct to make sure they get rid of all the roaches for good.

Our technicians will investigate your home for possible sources of roaches, including the areas where they might be easily accessing food and water.

The next step includes placing cockroach monitors to gauge activity levels and coming up with an action plan depending on the infestation level and type of infestation. This might include a combination of baiting and trapping, or a recommended daily cleaning routine.

Our experts will also follow up after the initial treatment to make sure the infestation has truly gone away.

Best Approach is a Flexible One

The bottom line is that there are multiple types of cockroaches and they are all tenacious in different ways. They might have infested several areas of your house, and it could take a while before you get to the bottom of where they all are coming from.

To prevent the danger of an infestation, it is important that you seal up any cracks in your home and keep it very clean so that they don’t have any food or water to sustain themselves.

As always you can contact us if you have any questions related to cockroach extermination.

Chris Taylor

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