Species of Cockroaches


In Australia, the most common species of cockroaches that are found in domestic situations as well as in businesses include the following:

•  German cockroach

•  Australian  cockroach

•  American cockroach

•  Oriental cockroach

•  Smoky Brown cockroach 

•  Brown banded cockroach

German Cockroach – Blattella Germanica

•  Most common pest in food premises

•  Thrives in areas that provide shelter (hollows inside cracks), warmth, food and water.

•  Reaches maturity in as little as 40 days and each egg case contains 30-40 eggs.

•  Congregate in areas, brought together by an aggregation pheromone.

•  Measures 1.3 to 1.6 cms long.

•  Tan through brown to almost black in colour with two dark parallel streaks running from the head to the base of the wings.

•  Rarely flies.

•  Like starch, sugary foods, grease and meats.

•  Can emit an unpleasant odour when disturbed or excited.


Due to their small size and prolific breeding habits can become a huge problem. The technician will need to identify the harbourage areas to achieve a successful outcome.  Sealing potential harbourages, such as the gap between stainless steel and tiles, can be integral to an effective pest management treatment.

American Cockroach – Periplaneta americana

•  Largest pest cockroach – the adult grows to an average 4cms long.

•  Reddish brown and have a yellowish margin on the body region behind the head.

•  Breeds in sewers and grease traps.

•  Prefers decaying organic matter.

•  Flies readily.

•  Considered to be one of the fastest running insects.

Australian Cockroach – Periplaneta australasiae

•  Similar in appearance to American but with more yellow markings.

•  Smaller in size than the American cockroach, up to 35mm long.

•  Outside live in greenhouses, in and around shrubs and trees, around woodpiles and under bark or leaf litter in gardens. Indoors will inhabit subfloors, roof and wall voids. 

•  Prefers plant origin food.

•  Flies on occasion.

Smoky Brown Cockroach – Periplaneta fuliginosa

•  Grows to an average 30mm in length.

•  Shining dark brown to black in colour.

• Mainly inhabit sheds, wall and roof voids, subfloors, mulched areas, in and around grease traps and in drains.

• Prefer food of plant origin, and are therefore often a pest in greenhouses, nurseries and gardens.

•  They can fly short distances in warm weather, and are often attracted to lights at night.