The Australian Cockroach closely resembles the American Cockroach. Large dark reddish-brown winged cockroach approximately 32-38mm long with yellow markings on the pronotum (the shield between the head and the abdomen) along with yellow stripe on edge of the forewing. There is no distinguishable size difference between the male and female and both are winged and capable of gliding flight.
Egg cases are dropped by the female and glued to surfaces usually outside of the home. Each egg casing contains up to 24 eggs – the incubation period is around 40 days. The Australian Cockroach has a short life and requires most of that time in the nymphal stage taking up to 12 months to fully develop into an adult after which the adult lives only 4-8 months.
The female will lay up to 20 egg cases producing up to 480 eggs in her lifetime. The Australian Cockroach egg can be produced without mating, but the hatched nymphs never develop.
The Australian cockroach is not actually uniquely Australian but was first identified here. In the scientific world it is commonly known as the Australiasian Cockroach or “South of Asia” cockroach. It requires high temperature and humidity and it quite cold intolerant. It spends most of its time outside and is known as a greenhouse pest but can find it’s way into roof and wall voids along with subfloor areas. It prefers to live under bark and mulch and prevalent in compost bins where it is warm and moist. It rarely ventures inside the home but during its short gliding flight it still will make an appearance.
The Australian Cockroach prefers to eat plant matter.
Signs of infestation
Generally when turning over compost or disturbing garden mulch or under pots the Australian Cockroach will show him or herself. The egg casings can be left in a variety of places such as sheds or areas of structures that are dark and moist. The Australian Cockroach has a definite smell when encountering large numbers.