- Size: The Australian cockroach looks similar to the American cockroach, but is smaller, measuring between 1.2 and 1.5 inches long.
- Color: The Australian cockroach is light-brown in color with a distinct, black spot or shape on its pronotum. There is a pale, banded, ivory-yellow circle around this black shape. These roaches also have a distinct pale-yellow stripe extending one-third the length of the base of its forewing.
- Behavior: These roaches are excellent flyers, easily traveling from nearby trees onto and into your home. Once they’ve moved in with you, female Australian cockroaches form egg capsules (oothecae) and drop them close to food sources in sheltered areas around your home. These oothecae are not only difficult to reach through DIY methods, but also difficult to spot. The mother roach camouflages her eggs in tight spaces (or even underneath pliable material such as moist wood or refuse) so that you can’t find or destroy them before they hatch.
Each ootheca has between 16 and 24 eggs inside which hatch in 30 to 40 days. An Australian cockroach nymph takes between six and 12 months to become an adult, and a typical adult lifespan can last eight months after that. Female Australian cockroaches are capable of producing between 12 and 30 oothecae in a lifetime, dropping one capsule of eggs every 10 days. At this speed, it’s easy to see how an infestation could quickly spread under the right conditions.
Australian cockroaches invade the homes of the Southern United States just as frequently and aggressively as any other tropical or subtropical area. They love heat and humidity. They prefer seaports and shipping areas, but that doesn’t mean they won’t make themselves comfortable in your home, even if it isn’t near the water. Favorite spots around the house include heated fish tanks, greenhouses (which is why it’s also called the greenhouse cockroach) and other areas that are hot, humid and moist.
Attics and crawl spaces with Australian cockroach populations are almost always associated with chronic infestations. From these areas, the roaches will regularly invade your home. It’s important to pay particular attention to these areas with this roach.
Tips for Control
Managing a cockroach infestation takes determination and a relentless battle plan. Cockroaches and their eggs are hidden very well. Treatment must penetrate their safety zone and be continued throughout the entire lifespan of the pest.
- Get rid of any potential harborage where these roaches can mate and hide.
- Seal up cracks in your home’s foundation to limit entry points.
- Install screens on all vents.
- Store trash in secure containers while waiting for ultimate disposal.
- Eliminate pet food outdoors, especially on decks and patios.