COCKROACHES 2017-02-16T18:36:52+00:00

COCKROACHES

Cockroaches are serious pests in urban areas. They spread disease, contaminate food, cause allergies and asthma and generally live in rotting garbage and faecal matter, tracking germs into our living areas.

Cockroaches are known to cause infection by carrying bacteria such as Staphylococcus and Streptococcus, Hepatitis Virus, coliform bacteria (E. coli), as well as causing food poisoning by carrying Salmonella and Shigella bacteria.  Historically they have also been linked to typhoid, dysentery and cholera.

TREATMENT

To successfully treat a cockroach infestation, it’s imperative to identify the species you’re dealing with.  We see German Cockroaches, as well as the American, the Brown-Banded, Smokey Brown and Australian species with the German and Americans being the most common.

GERMAN COCKROACHES

Notorious world-wide indoor pest, hiding in cracks and crevices particularly in domestic and commercial kitchens and food storage areas.  They are particularly difficult to eradicate and are best treated professionally.

Crockroach Control tweed heads

German Cockroach.

Light brown or tan coloration with 2 dark horizontal stripes just below the head.
Adults 13mm-16mm – much smaller than American cockroaches. Allows them to access tiny crevices and spaces; can utilise shared plumbing and pipes between housing units to spread quickly.
Nymphs are much smaller, almost black, same stripes behind the head. Average time for development from egg to adult is 100 days.
Attracted to food and moisture in kitchens and bathrooms; prefer indoors to outdoors and can tolerate cooler temperatures.
Droppings are black; often splattered, pepper-like mounds around infested areas. Also secrete a number of odours which can be detected as a musty smell with high populations. Have wings, but rarely fly, prefer to run.
Scavengers capable of feeding on any food source, even toothpaste, soap, book bindings as well as crumbs left behind or dirty dishes left in the kitchen sink.
Rapid population growth. A single female and her offspring can produce 30,000 eggs in one year. She carries her egg case (ootheca) until a day or two before it hatches. Ootheca is tan in color and contains 30-40 young. Empty egg cases can often be found where females reside.

BROWN-BANDED COCKROACHES

Brown-banded cockroaches (Supella longipalpa) are a common, smaller invasive cockroach with distinct brown-banding across wings.  They tend to prefer locations up higher and drier than other species and can hide in all manner of places like picture frames and clock workings.  Known to carry and spread harmful bacteria and protozoa which cause gastroenteritis and diarrhoea.

Brown-banded Cockroach

Brown-banded Cockroach

Brown with pronounced lighter banding across wings. Oval shaped with antennae; males have full wings that reach beyond the tip of their abdomen, females have underdeveloped wings that prevent them from flying.
12mm – 14mm in length
Egg cases are small, almost 5 mm and tan in colour and can be found on the underside of furniture or in small cracks.
Preference for drier, warmer areas; require less moisture than german cockroaches so more broadly distributed throughout the home; mostly active at night.
Droppings are dark brown or black specks or smears; tend to scurry away from light if drawers or cupboards are opened.
Opportunistic feeders but prefer high starch content like book-bindings, wallpaper glue etc.
A female will produce approx. 14 egg capsules, or oothecas, during the course of her life containing an average of 10 to 18 eggs. She carries the egg case for approximately 24 to 36 hours, and then attaches it to the protected underside of a surface like the underside of furniture or ceiling light fittings until the young hatch. Once they hatch, the time needed to develop varies greatly depending upon environmental conditions, ranging from as few as 90 days in ideal conditions to up to around 270 in more harsh environments.

AMERICAN COCKROACHES

American cockroach adults grow to an average length of around 4 cm (1.6 in) and about 7 mm (0.28 in) tall. They are reddish brown and have a yellowish margin on the body region behind the head. Immature cockroaches resemble adults except they are wingless.

Cockroach control ballina

American Cockroach.

American cockroach adults grow to an average length of around 4 cm (1.6 in) and about 7 mm (0.28 in) tall. They are reddish brown and have a yellowish margin on the body region behind the head. Immature cockroaches resemble adults except they are wingless.
Largest domestic cockroach species. Average 40mm long and 7mm high.
Resemble the adults except are wingless.
Typically reside outdoors near moist, humid environments such as drains, sewers and rubbish piles. Prefer warm environments like roof voids and wall cavities.
Fastest running insect, can dart out of sight very quickly if a light suddenly turns on or someone enters a room. Moderate flyers: Can fly in as well as scurry indoors.
Omnivorous and opportunistic feeders; can eat a wide variety of materials such as cheese, beer, tea, leather, bakery products, cellulose in book bindings, manuscripts, glue, hair, dried skin, dead animals, plant materials and soiled clothing. They are particularly fond of fermenting foods. They’ll even feed upon dead or wounded cockroaches of their own or other species.
Females carry egg case (ootheca) for about a week before dropping it and continuing her search for food and shelter. It incubates for about 2 months before hatching and continuing the life cycle. Ootheca carries approximately 12 young. Female cockroaches can produce up to 800 cockroaches in 1 year.

AUSTRALIAN COCKROACHES

The Australian Cockroach (Periplaneta australasiae) common species of tropical cockroach.  Despite its name, it is not native to Australia.  It is relatively large compared to other species and capable of flying from outdoors to inside, especially in colder conditions.

Australian-cockroach

Australian Cockroach

Dark reddish-brown with lighter, pronounced yellow markings at the base of the head.
Length of 23–35 millimetres.
Prefers warm, humid climates and is not cold tolerant; It often lives around the perimeter of buildings. does well in moist conditions but also can tolerate dry conditions as long as water is available. Most active at night. Found mostly outdoors. Often under bark of trees, woodpiles and with decaying vegetable matter. Can be found inside homes in cupboards, behind drawers, in all food areas and industrial areas, subfloor areas, wall and roof voids.
Often darts out of sight when discovered; can fit into small cracks and under doors despite its decent size. Has wings which allow it to be quite a capable flier.
Like most cockroaches, the Australian cockroach is a scavenger. appears to prefer eating plants more than its relatives do, but can feed on a wide array of organic (including decaying) matter.
Females deposit the ootheca (egg case) containing 24 eggs a day after production. After hatching nymphs take 6-12 months to develop into adults. Eggs are encased in an capsule (Ootheca). Female drops the egg capsule (Ootheca) shortly after it is formed near a food source, in crevices, on walls, or under workable material such as moist wood, so as to camouflage it. Eggs per capsule: 16-24. Incubation period: 30-40 days. Nymphal period: 6-12 months Nymphs normally moult 10-12 times to reach adulthood. Females may produce 12-30 egg capsules in a lifetime. Egg capsules are completed and dropped at about 10 day intervals.

Resources: Better Health Channel; Australian Museum; CSIRO Publishing; Entomology Australia