Cockroaches

WE'LL LEAVE COCKROACHES NO PLACE TO HIDE

Cockroaches will never stop trying to get into your home for food, water and shelter. And since they’re nocturnal creatures adept at hiding, an infestation can get out of hand before you ever realise they’re in your home.

Cockroaches are among the most common pests infesting homes and apartments. They are especially troublesome where food is prepared and sanitation is lacking. Cockroaches are repulsive and embarrassing to most people simply by their presence. They may contaminate food, kitchen utensils, and other household items, and they leave an unpleasant odor.

Because cockroaches move freely from filth to food, they can transfer pathogenic microbes that cause food poisoning and other illnesses. Many people are also allergic to cockroach excrement and their shed skins. Cockroach-produced allergens may cause congestion, sneezing and watery eyes, as well as life-threatening bronchial inflammation (asthma) characterised by recurrent cough, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. Asthma triggered by cockroaches is especially common among children living in densely populated housing conditions where infestations are often severe.

Cockroaches enter buildings in a variety of ways. The ubiquitous German cockroach is often introduced in infested grocery bags, beverage cartons, or furniture. Species such as the American, Oriental, and wood cockroach also gain entry through gaps around windows, doors, vents, and utility openings, and in firewood. In multi-unit dwellings such as apartments, cockroaches also travel between units through common walls, ceilings, etc. Consequently, while roaches usually thrive where sanitation is poor, even clean homes can become infested.
OzPest Solutions will help you eliminate your cockroach problem and reduce the risk of future infestation.

Cockroaches - Newcastle Pest Control & Management - OzPest Solutions

Description and Habits

Cockroaches are flattened, brownish, fast-running insects, with long, slender antennae. There are three life stages: egg, nymph, and adult. The female cockroach produces small, brown, bean-shaped egg cases that are deposited in out-of-the-way places. Several nymphs emerge from each egg case (up to 40 with the German cockroach, 15-20 with other varieties depending on the species). The nymphs resemble adults except that they are smaller and lack wings. The nymphs gradually become larger and inhabit the same places as the adults. Cockroaches are prolific breeders. Species such as the German cockroach are capable of producing several thousand offspring in less than a year.
Cockroaches do not live in centralized nests or colonies like ants, bees, and termites. However, cockroaches do congregate in distinct areas, in response to aggregating odours in their feces. The droppings appear as pepper-like specks in areas of current or former activity. The spotting is similar in appearance to that of bed bugs, but can usually be distinguished by location, or by other signs of infestation.
Cockroaches are more active at night than during the daytime. During the day, they generally remain hidden in cracks and other dark, secluded areas. At night, they leave their hiding places and search for food. Cockroaches will eat all human foods, plus many other items such as soap, toothpaste, glue, hair, excrement, and filth.
In order to eliminate cockroaches, it helps to know where they are hiding. Preferred locations include warm, dark, moist areas, especially in kitchens and bathrooms. However, depending on the species and extent of infestation, cockroaches may be found anywhere in and around the home.

Types of Cockroaches

Cockroaches have been recorded to have been around for over 300 million years, fossil evidence suggests that little change in their general body form has occurred since that time. While there are over 3500 species of cockroach worldwide, only about ten species have seriously exploited the dwellings of humans.
Some of these Species are:

This is by far the most common cockroach infesting homes and buildings. This species of cockroach thrives in the presence of humans but does not occur outdoors. Adults are light amber brown and about 12 – 15 mm long, with two dark stripes running lengthwise along the shield-like area behind the head.

The nymphs are smaller and darker with a tan stripe down the middle of the back. German cockroaches reproduce very rapidly. It is the most prolific breeder of all the pest cockroaches, taking as little as 40 days to develop from hatching to adult hood and ready then ready to breed again, a single mated female can produce thousands of new cockroaches in less than a year.

This Cockroach seeks conditions that provide warmth, food and moisture. The Vast majority of infestations are associated with kitchens or other food handling areas both commercial and domestic.

Within such areas adults and nymphs prefer hiding in cracks and crevices under sinks and toilets; beneath/behind and in refrigerators, dishwashers, and stoves; near rubbish bins and inside cabinets and pantries. German cockroaches also congregate and infest in clocks, toasters, kettles, microwaves and other heat-producing electronic equipment, destroying these kitchen appliances is a trait these cockroaches are known for if not treated in a proactive manner.
If numbers of cockroaches are seen during the daylight, or if cockroaches are observed in non-food handling areas within a building such as bedrooms, it is likely that the building is supporting an enormous population.

Infestations are common in food handling factories, warehouses, storerooms, restaurants, cafes, food bars, domestic kitchens, catering or canteen area of office blocks, hospitals, schools, hotels, clubs, convalescent homes and most other types of buildings. It will eat almost any organic material found in food handling areas, ranging from crumbs to built up grease. Where water is available, adults may survive a month or more without food.

Although adults are winged, this cockroach does little more than flutter down to the floor if brushed of a wall or ceiling. It’s very wide dispersal as attributable largely to human effort, whereby egg cases, nymphs and adults are transported to new locations in food packages, crates of drinks, cardboard boxes and the alike, Its small size facilitates establishment in small cracks and crevices, and its prolific breeding capacity allows it to build up large populations in a relatively short period. Efforts aimed at controlling this most successful scavenger must be regularly or constantly made.

They often travel between rooms or adjoining apartments via walls, ceilings, pipes, wires and other openings, which is one reason why controlling these pests can be difficult. 

The Australian Cockroach is relatively large. In appearance adults are similar to the American cockroach: but the body is a darker brown, the yellow markings on the pronotum are more clearly defined, and the fore margins of the forewing have a distinct yellow marking. Egg cases that are dropped or glued to surfaces by females may contain up to 24 eggs which after hatching; require some 6 to 12 months for nymphal development. Adults seem to live about 4 to 8 months, during which time females may produce up to 20 egg cases.

Preferring food of plant origin, this cockroach may be encountered in green houses and under bark or leaf litter in gardens. As well, it is found in the subfloor voids, wall voids, roof voids, around utilities in factories and other buildings, in outhouses, and in and around woodpiles. It tends to be more frequently encountered in warm, subtropical to tropical conditions

This is the largest cockroach commonly found within dwellings, measuring about 35 – 40 mm long when fully grown. It is reddish brown to brown, with a pale yellow band around the edge of the area behind the head. Adults have well-developed wings, but seldom fly. The nymphs are smaller and lack wings, but are otherwise similar in appearance. American cockroaches multiply more slowly than German cockroaches (although the smaller numbers tend to be offset by their size).  

Egg cases are usually dropped or glued to surfaces within reasonable proximity to food and water. The American cockroach has a tendency to glue Egg cases (Otheca) to food packages or boxes, pallets and the like which plays an important role in its dispersal and spread.

These cockroaches prefer warm, dark, moist conditions. The American cockroach is a very widespread pest occurring in wall, roof and subfloor voids often congregating in and around drains, sewers, moist cellars, grease traps and rubbish dumps. Buildings infested or visited include hospitals, bakeries, food stores, warehouses, factories and domestic residence. They seem to have a preference for decaying matter but will eat most human and animal foods and also book bindings, paper and clothing. Adults with a water source may survive 2 to 3 months without food. The American Cockroach is fully winged and apt to fly in warm weather but only for short distances at one time.

The Brownbanded cockroach is relatively small. Adults are pale brown in colour with very pale bands across thorax and abdomen. The females wings are somewhat reduced, while those of the male extend past the abdomen. Egg cases, which may contain up to 18 eggs, are glued to surfaces, and hatched nymphs require 2 to 4 months to develop into adults. Adults typically live for up to six months, during which time the female produces up to 13 egg cases.

This cockroach tends to be an indoors pest frequently infesting the dwelling parts of a building, as well as offices, hospitals, restaurants, storerooms and so on. Unlike the German cockroach, however, its activity being restricted mainly to kitchen areas.

Egg cases (glued), nymphs and adults may be found in wardrobes, dressers and cabinets and behind book shelves or wallpaper. It prefers warm temperatures, but does not seem to require as much moisture as the German cockroach.

The Brownbanded cockroach is very active and may fly if disturbed or in warm conditions. Sightings of individuals during the day are not usual. Its wide dispersal within the premises can make control difficult.

The Smokeybrown Cockroach is relatively large, and adults are dark brown to almost black with no pale markings. Its life history is somewhat similar to that of the American Cockroach. Egg cases dropped or attached, to surfaces by the female may contain up to 26 eggs, which, when hatched may require 6 to 12 months for Nymphal development. Adult life span is probably 6 to 12 months, during this time, a female may produce close to 20 egg cases.

The habits of the Smokeybrown cockroach are in somewhat ways similar to the American cockroach, and it is often found in garages, sheds, subfloor areas, roof voids, and in and around grease traps and drains.

The Smokey brown cockroach does, however seem to have a particular preference for food materials of plant origin, so is often regarded as an outdoors species, and very seldom does it infest the dwelling parts of a building.

Adults are fully winged and can fly short distances in warm conditions, often being attracted to lights at night

The medium size Oriental cockroach is dark brown to black in colour. The female has much reduced wings (present as wing buds) while the male has wings that cover most, but not the entire abdomen. Egg cases are usually glued to surfaces and may contain up to 16 eggs. Nymphal development may require 6 to 18 months. Adult lifespan is usually 3 to 6 months, and a female may produce up to 14 egg cases during her adult life.

The Oriental Cockroach is the major pest cockroach of buildings in Brittan. Its preference for relatively cool conditions is reflected in its more southern distribution in Australia, where it is commonly encountered outdoors (under leaf litter and bark) and in damp subfloors, around drainage systems. It is relatively sluggish and is usually located below ground level in buildings. It feeds on a variety of decaying organic matter, frequently feeding on garbage disposal areas. As well, starches and sizing wallpaper and books may be attacked

Cockroach Specifications

Adult Identification Features

Light Amber Brown
2 dark longitudinal stripes on pronotum.
Adult length: 12 to 15mm

Typical Areas of occurrence and general remarks

Commonly Infests the interior of buildings. Mostly in and around kitchens (domestic and commercial pantries, storerooms and other food handling areas). Found infesting and congregating in and behind stoves, sinks, refrigerators, water heaters, microwaves, dishwashers, kettles and various other electrical kitchen appliances. Prefers to be close to food, moisture and warmth. Does not fly.

No. of eggs per egg capsule

30 to 40

Duration of nymphal development

6 to 12 weeks

No.of moults

6 to 7

Adult life span

4 to 6 months

No. of egg cases per female

5 to 8

Adult Identification Features

Brown with clearly defined yellow order around pronotum and fore margin of forewings distinctly yellow. Wings cover abdomen.
Adult Length: 30 to 35mm

Typical Areas of occurrence and general remarks

Mostly an “Outdoors” type cockroach. Prefers plant materials. Often found under bark of trees, among woodpiles and in other locations that offer moist, decaying vegetable matter. Also found in subfloors, wall voids, garages and sheds. May flew in warm weather.

No. of eggs per egg capsule

16 to 24

Duration of nymphal development

6 to 12 months

No.of moults

10 to 12

Adult life span

4 to 8 months

No. of egg cases per female

10 to 50

Adult Identification Features

Reddish Brown, Legs paler, pale yellow border around pronotum. Wings completely cover abdomen.

Adult length: 35 to 40mm

Typical Areas of occurrence and general remarks

Often found in dwellings in subfloors, sewers, grease traps, cellars, wall voids, roof voids, and in and around rubbish dumps and bins. Often travels for food. Maybe a problem around bakeries, hospitals, food stores, warehouses, and other areas that handle food. Flies in warm weather.

No. of eggs per egg capsule

12 to 16

Duration of nymphal development

6 to 12 months

No.of moults

7 to 10

Adult life span

6 to 12 months

No. of egg cases per female

10 to 50

Adult Identification Features

Pale brown with very pale bands across thorax and abdomen. Female has reduced wings. Male is fully winged.

Adult length: 10 to 14 mm

Typical Areas of occurrence and general remarks

An indoor Cockroach pest commonly infesting houses, offices, and other buildings. Not restricted to kitchen areas. Prefers drier areas (Bookcases, desks, wardrobes), around picture frames, in light fittings, among stored files and paper, etc. Unlike the German Cockroach, often infests throughout the entire building. Flies when warm or disturbed.

No. of eggs per egg capsule

10 to 18

Duration of nymphal development

2 to 4 months

No.of moults

6 to 8

Adult life span

3 to 6 months

No. of egg cases per female

6 to 13

Adult Identification Features

Dark Brown to almost black with no pale markings. Wings cover abdomen.
Adult length: 30 to 35mm

Typical Areas of occurrence and general remarks

Often regarded as and ‘Outdoor’ Cockroach. Prefers plant materials. Often a pest of nurseries. Found also in garages, woodpiles, subfloors, wall voids, and roof voids, around drains and under garden mulch. Flies in warm weather. Sometimes attracted to light at night.

No. of eggs per egg capsule

22 to 26

Duration of nymphal development

6 to 12 months

No.of moults

9 to 12

Adult life span

6 to 12 months

No. of egg cases per female

15 to 17

Adult Identification Features

Dark Brown to black. Female has much reduced wings, present as wing buds. Male has wings that usually cover most, but not all, of abdomen
Adult length: 20 to 25mm

Typical Areas of occurrence and general remarks

Prefers relatively cool conditions. May infest indoors or outdoors. May be found in cool damp cellars and subfloors, around drains, inside walls, in and around equipment, under garden debris, in dumps, etc. Does not fly.

No. of eggs per egg capsule

12 to 16

Duration of nymphal development

6 to 18 months

No.of moults

7 to 10

Adult life span

3 to 6 months

No. of egg cases per female

8 to 14

How to prevent cockroaches

While you should always contact pest control professionals if you have an active infestation of cockroaches, there are steps and methods you can take to eliminate conducive conditions and prevent cockroaches from gaining entry to your home or business.

Eliminate Food Sources

Store dry foods in tightly sealed containers or plastic bags and do not leave food sitting out on counters. Clean up after food handling should be immediate, thorough and regularly carried out. Dishes and utensils should not be left unwashed overnight. Pets feeding bowls should not be left out or unwashed overnight. Clean-up of offices, clubs, and bars and so on should, where possible, proceed immediately the day’s activities are finished, so that food – contaminated surfaces are not available overnight.

Reduce Water Availability

Do not leave liquids in sinks or buckets. Unnecessary containers with water, accumulations of water from cleaning activities, leaky taps or pipes should all be repaired and prevented.

De-Clutter

Remove old stacks of newspapers, magazines, cardboard boxes and all other forms of clutter from the floor or bottom of cupboards.

Clear all waste food and liquid spillage

Clean up food debris from food preparation areas, under sinks and appliances. Empty garbage bins on a regular basis and keep all garbage or compost in sealed bins. Rinse cans, bottles and plastics - before putting them in recycling bins.

Seal entry points

Key risks are gaps around pipes, drains and common walls with neighbouring properties. Tiny cracks around skirting boards and behind electrical sockets should also be plugged or sealed. These entry points should be blocked off to lessen the possibility of re-infestation or harbourage. Varnish or paint wood shelves to seal them, and wipe them clean regularly.

Conduct regular clean ups

Reasonably regular clean-up of ` long term ’build-up of waste foods (e.g. grease accumulation around stoves and vents, or split food materials at backs of shelves) should be carried out. Vacuuming of shelves and cupboards will reduce the build-up of food particles in cracks and crevices.