There are over 3,500 species of cockroaches found throughout the world and when it comes to Australian households they are unfortunately like an annoying visitor who refuses to leave. In Australia the most common species of cockroaches are:

  • German
  • American
  • Oriental

So we can help you identify what each looks like, see below for a brief description on each:

  • German cockroach – the smaller out of the three, German Cockroaches are small and brown
  • American cockroach – the larger of the three species, American Cockroaches are large and black
  • Oriental cockroach – their size is somewhere between a German and American cockroache. They are usually dark brown to black in colour

Cockroaches can prove to be a serious health hazard to humans mainly because they eat a wide variety of food. Studies conducted reveal that they can spread serious disease to both adults and children including Salmonella and gastroenteritis. Some common characteristics of cockroaches that will help you identify them are their oval-shaped bodies, legs (six in total), antennae and flat bodies. You will generally find cockroaches in warmer, humid conditions which is why you will often see a rise in cockroach activity around the Spring and Summer seasons. It is quite common for areas such as Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to find cockroaches in places like kitchens, pantries, kitchen cupboards, underneath sinks and gardens. The reason for this is that these areas are the best place to access food, crumbs, food spills and leftover food. And interestingly cockroaches can live for several weeks without their heads! According to research, the head isn’t of real importance so a cockroach’s legs can continue to respond and operate despite the absence of the head.


As is the case with many pests found in and around your home, the solution to prevent cockroaches is to keep your surroundings clean and tidy. There really is no other better solution because cockroaches love to go through garbage and are generally attracted to crumbs, food spills etc. Here is a checklist to follow to prevent cockroaches from your home and business:

  • maintain a clean and tidy premises
  • take out your rubbish regularly
  • clean up spills and crumbs
  • store all your food properly
  • monitor compost heaps and bins
  • regularly clean and wash any animal food bowls
  • regularly clean any dog houses or kitty litter
Signs of cockroaches

There are several indicators that you can use to determine if your home or business has a cockroach problem. One of the more obvious signs is roach feces. Cockroaches tend to eat almost anything and everything including food, garbage and plants. Due to their high metabolism, roaches will then often leave traces of droppings. Some other signs of cockroaches include:

  • Strong, pungent smell
  • Dead cockroaches
  • Egg casings


Q: How do I know if I have a cockroach infestation? A: More often than not if you see cockroaches during the day then it is a sure sign you have an infestation on your hands. The reason for this is because cockroaches are naturally nocturnal creatures, meaning they prefer dark places to hide and breed. Q: Where are cockroaches commonly found? A: Australia isn’t immune to cockroaches, in fact, they are found throughout the world. Cockroaches like to live in warm, humid conditions so they are commonly found in buildings and homes close to food and water.


The best way to get rid of cockroaches is to deny them all the pleasures they indulge in. Cockroaches are scavengers so preventing them getting to food and water is the most common way to fight off an infestation. By restricting their food and denying them water, they will be forced to go elsewhere otherwise they will die. Other conventional ways of getting rid of cockroaches include:

  • laying traps
  • Keep food containers sealed
  • baits

Traps can be purchased from any hardware store and work by luring cockroaches before trapping them, making them unable to escape. Baits are another handy way to get rid of cockroaches, however, any of these methods will only be temporary. If you have an infestation or if there is a nest of cockroaches nearby you will then need a professional.

Mantis Pest Control

Author Mantis Pest Control

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