Cockroaches are one of the most common pests in Australian households and present a wide range of health risk to humans and animals. It is believed that the cockroach may be a reservoir for a range of bacteria including salmonella, staphylococcus and streptococcus. The cockroach can also harbour viruses such as the polio virus. Recent research has also suggested that cockroaches may also be associated with human allergies.

Once the cockroaches have entered your premises, they reproduce at an alarming speed, and thus containing them can be a very daunting task. Cockroaches are omnivorous insects that devour almost everything from food scrapes to rotten garbage, contaminating food with their waste and pungent discharge. As such, it is important to clean up any spills as soon as possible, store food in sealed containers and keep your home as neat and tidy as possible.

Being very gregarious species, all types of cockroaches thrive in warm and humid environments such as kitchen, roof voids, bathrooms and sub floors. Cockroaches are mainly nocturnal and run away when exposed to light and if their activity is observed during the day, it may indicate a heavy cockroach infestation. Similar to ants, cockroaches emit trails of their own feces matter that are easily identifiable. Other cockroaches follow such trails (used as signal for other cockroaches to follow them) resulting in sever cockroach infestation in the household, building. Accordingly, it is advisable to maintain a clean, hygienic environment and clean up any food spills promptly.

What are common hiding spots of cockroaches?

Cockroaches prefer to live in kitchen, roof voids, sub floors and bathrooms so as to feed off food spills and have easy access to water. Hiding spots of cockroach includes:

  • Below sink and near pipes- watch for regions that produce damp and warm condensation conditions. Cockroaches love to hang out here.
  • Confined spaces- couches, armchair, refrigerator, underneath a pile of magazines or cardboard boxes, clocks and picture frames.
  • Appliances- stoves, refrigerators, water heaters are primary culprits for providing warm nooks and crannies in which roaches can scramble, as well as providing foraging opportunities during the night-time.
  • Kitchen and kitchen drawers- cockroaches love leftover food spills and any type of left over clinging to a dirty dish is heaven as they love to eat the scrapes you wouldn’t. Kitchen cabinets and drawers provide a dark and warm environment within enclosed spaces while there is also food available in these areas making it a paradise for cockroaches.
  • Ceiling and cracks in walls- Cockroaches are often found to be sitting upside-down on ceilings in dark rooms and when found they often flee to other places.

How harmful are cockroaches?

The main problem associated with cockroaches is in their ability to spread diseases which can be hazardous to one’s health. They travel mainly by scurrying along sewers, garbage, drains, plumbing and electrical wiring and the like. This movement brings them into contact with disease carrying organisms such as salmonella, staphylococcus and streptococcus which may cause tuberculosis, gastroenteritis, dysentery typhoid fever and hepatitis. Cockroach secretions and exoskeletal castings may also be associated to human allergies. They also carry virus and eggs of worm parasites which can poses a wide range of health risks to humans and animals.

How many types of cockroaches are there?

There are over 3,500 different species of cockroaches. The four main types of cockroaches found in Australian households include:

  • German cockroaches
  • Oriental cockroaches
  • American cockroaches
  • Native Australian Cockroaches

German cockroaches


  • Approximately 12-15mm in length
  • Tan to very dark brown in colour
  • 2 dark longitudinal stripes located on the pronotum immediately behind the head
  • Has wings but does not fly


  • Carry approximately 30-40 eggs in each egg cases
  • Produce 4-6 egg cases during the course of their lives
  • Can produce up to 100,000 cockroaches in one year, fastest growing cockroach species.
  • Newborn German cockroaches take as little as 6 weeks to develop into adults
  • Have a lifespan of approximately 200 days


  • Found in warm, humid conditions such as kitchen and bathrooms
  • Common hiding areas include cupboards, pantries, under sides of drawers and benchtops, beneath cooking appliances where it is warm, refrigerators, microwaves, dishwashers, ovens and food handling areas.
  • Mostly found indoors

Oriental cockroaches


  • Approximately 20-25mm in length
  • Glossy dark brown or black in colour
  • The male of the species has long, functional wings, while the female has short and undeveloped wings
  • The female has a wider body than the male
  • Has wings but does not fly


  • Carry approximately 16 eggs in each egg cases
  • Cases take about 2 months to hatch
  • They breed relatively slow when compared with other types of cockroaches
  • In warmer months newborn oriental cockroaches take 200 days to develop into adults. However during winter it can take as many as 800 days for the cockroach to go from egg to adult.
  • Adult male oriental cockroach have a lifespan of 110 to 160 days, whereas the adult female can live anywhere from 35 to 180 days.


  • Prefer cold, damp and dirty places and are common in temperate climates
  • Primarily found outdoors in the garden beneath mulch, leaf litter, stones, outdoor debris or feeding on garbage in rubbish bins. In metro areas, oriental cockroaches can also be found in other cold regions such as drains, sewers, basements, building foundation, pipes and paths.
  • Inside, oriental cockroaches can thrive in wall voids, crawlspaces, beneath the floor of a building or openings beneath porches.

American cockroaches


  • Approximately 40-50mm in length
  • Shinning red to brown in colour
  • Yellowish margin on the body region behind the head
  • The male has long wings, longer than the body, while the female has wings that just overlap the abdomen
  • Has wings and may readily fly at very high temperatures
  • Runs very fast


  • Carry approximately 16 eggs in each egg cases
  • Cases take about 1-2 months to hatch
  • Newborn American cockroaches take 6-12 months to develop into adults. However it can take as many as 15 months for the cockroach to go from egg to adult.
  • The species of cockroach are long lived with females having a lifespan of up to 1.5 years


  • Prefer warm, humid areas and prefer extremely warm environments (usually above 29 degrees)
  • Found in nooks, sewers, drains or big cracks beneath a building or around a building’s foundation
  • Can also be found in kitchens, roof voids and bathrooms of homes
  • Are attracted to light
  • Although American cockroaches can be found in homes, they are also common in larger commercial buildings, such as restaurants, grocery stores and hospitals.

Australian cockroaches


  • Approximately 35mm in length- slightly smaller than American cockroaches
  • Dark reddish brown in colour
  • black body with yellowish margins on thorax and wing base
  • The wings extend over the abdomen
  • Has wings and may readily fly at very high temperatures
  • It is very similar in appearance to the American cockroach and may be easily mistaken for it, however, it is slightly smaller than the American cockroach


  • Carry approximately 25 eggs in each egg cases
  • Produce 20-30 egg cases during the course of their lives
  • Egg cases are completed and dropped at about 10 day intervals
  • Newborn Australian cockroaches take 6-12 months to develop into adults
  • A typical adult lifespan can last 8 months after the nymph becomes an adult


  • Prefer warm, dark place and are common in humid, warm environments
  • Found in bins, near dirty dishes, where food is readily available
  • Often live outdoors in wood piles, compost bins, mulch and hollow logs
  • Inside they can be found in warm, dark places such as water pipes, toilets, inside cupboards, under fridges, stoves, inside electrical appliances such as televisions, microwaves and telephones
  • Can also be found in kitchens, roof voids and bathrooms of homes

Other types of cockroaches common in Australian households include smoky brown cockroaches, brown-banded cockroaches and Madagascar hissing cockroach.

How to get rid of cockroaches?

A professional pest control treatment is the most effective way to get rid of cockroaches in your home or office. At NSW Pest Control we ensure a long-term solution and reduce the risk of re-infestation through our professional, long lasting prevention solutions that ensure that your home is pest free and safe.

NSW Pest Control provide a range of dedicated sprays, gels and dusts to eliminate cockroaches. Our technicians are skilled, licenced, certified and experienced professionals with a deep understanding of the habits of each cockroach species. Our licenced technicians can assist you with a tailored and flexible solution to meet your needs and prevent these species from becoming a problem in your home or workplace

We can also set up an annual programme for our customers in order to eliminate their need to worry about unwanted visitors. This scheduled service is ideal for many offices, hotels, food serving commercial premises and homeowners alike.

Our services and benefits:

  • Provide 24/7 customer service
  • Certified technicians- Our technicians are skilled, licenced, certified and experienced professionals with a deep understanding of the habits of each cockroach species
  • Safe, eco-friendly treatment- Whether your premises consists of pets, new born babies, children, people with asthma or those suffering with allergies you do not have to worry. All our treatments are ECO FRIENDLY and COMPLETELY SAFE. Any treatment that we carry out inside and the outside of your home is completely odourless. It does not stain, mark or smell and can be used on any types of flooring.
  • Flexible treatment times- our treatment is carried out at times convenient to you in order to minimise disruption to your social and private life.
  • Expert knowledge and prevention advice- our team are extremely experienced and knowledgeable about the habits of cockroach species and can provide expert advice on how to proof your home from pests.

Please Contact NSW Pest Control or call us on 0410 395 786 to see how we can maintain your environment free of cockroaches and other pests.