How to Identify and Get Rid of Australian Cockroaches

Though resembling an American cockroach, this species acts a little differently, making pest control tricky.

Quick, mobile and aerial, the Australian cockroach (Periplaneta australasiae) is a common and difficult pest when found near and around homes. Its ability to survive in moist and dry environments makes controlling these intrusive insects long and difficult.

What are Australian Cockroaches

A warm climate roach, the Australian cockroach was native to Australia but now appears all over the world. A quick moving flying cockroach, they can infest all types of locations including homes, ports, and outdoor habitats.

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What do Australian Cockroaches Look Like

Similar to American cockroaches, the Australian cockroach is brownish-red and typically is around three-quarters to 1-1/4 in. long. They are yellow near the thorax and the side of their wings. Because of their size, they can fit into small spots likes cracks or holes in the home.

Australian Cockroach Behaviors

Living mainly outdoors, the Australian cockroach is found in tropical climates with a moist environment. While they typically live outdoors, they can invade homes when the weather turns hostile, looking for food and possibly shelter. They are small and fast, scurrying from place to place and flying when necessary.

They prefer natural food sources such as plants and decaying organic materials. If indoors however, they will feast on human food — bread, rice, cereal and whatever is left out.

Australian Cockroach Life Cycle

Australian cockroaches breed as quickly as they move. Females can lay from 16 to 24 eggs in an ootheca (egg case), and can lay one ootheca every 10 days. They hide and disguise their nests in hard-to-reach locations near food sources.

The lifespan of these cockroaches is eight to 12 months for a fully-formed adult. Once this species has penetrated a home and begins reproducing, it can be difficult to get rid of.

Signs of Australian Cockroaches

Since these roaches are particularly fast and can fly, you might see them moving around and darting from spot to spot. As efficient reproducers, expect to find egg cases around the home or building, especially in hard-to-reach locations near food. Like many other cockroaches, expect to find feces where they are eating and traveling.

How to Get Rid of Australian Cockroaches

Removal and prevention for these cockroaches is not easy. Take the traditional pest control steps of cleaning the house, sealing any unwanted entrances such as cracks, holes, broken screens and windows. Fix leaky pipes or wet spots. Since Australian cockroaches are small and can fly, it can be difficult to eliminate them once they penetrate a structure. For help, contact your local exterminator to provide a plan and system.

Australian Cockroach Safety

While these cockroaches prefer the outdoors, they are attracted to safe and resourceful homes. They carry diseases and bacteria that contaminate food and surfaces, while also causing issues for people with allergies and asthma. You need to move quickly to try and remedy an infestation if there are signs of cockroaches in the home.

Cockroach Resources

For more information about cockroaches and what it means when you find this pest in your home or business, check out these pest control articles.

Sources

  • https://extension.umn.edu/insects-infest-homes/cockroaches#australian-cockroaches%2C-surinam-cockroaches-and-madeira-cockroaches-137715
  • http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/URBAN/ROACHES/australian_cockroach.htm