Cockroaches are a problem for every household at some point. Understanding this problem and finding solutions can be difficult though. Why? Well, asking your family, friends or neighbours about cockroaches will mean telling them you have cockroaches. Finding out about cockroaches will mean your family, friends or neighbours admitting to having had cockroaches. Most people will run a mile to avoid that conversation!
We understand the sensitivities and we want to help you out of that bind. We talk cockroaches all day long. It’s our job. In this post, we have gathered the information you need to identify your problem and begin resolving it.
Identifying the six most common species of cockroach
Here are six of the most common species of cockroach you are likely to meet:
American Cockroach (Periplaneta americana)
Australian Cockroach (Periplaneta australasiae)
Brown Banded Cockroach (Supella longipalpa)
German Cockroach (Blatella germanica)
Oriental Cockroach (Blatta orientalis)
Smoky Brown Cockroach (Periplaneta fuliginosa)
Read on to find out how to identify these little beasts. When you know what you’re dealing with, it’s easier to get the right support.
1/ German Cockroach (Blatella Germanica)
Definitely one of the usual suspects. Finding lots of little cockroaches when you switch the light on indoors? There’s a good chance these little guys are the culprits.
Only 12 to 15 mm long, these guys are small enough to fit into the tiniest crevices. Check for 2 dark stripes running the length of their backs to be sure you have identified them correctly.
Despite their name, these cockroaches are not confined to Germany. They are prevalent in kitchens and bathrooms the world over. Anywhere warm, humid and indoors, in fact.
These guys get out of control fast! Females lay about 40 eggs 3-4 times a year. The eggs hatch in a month and nymphs can mature in six weeks to six months.
2/ Oriental Cockroach (Blatta Orientalis)
These cockroaches are more likely to live in the natural environment around your house than in it.
These 20 to 25 mm cockroaches are dark brown or black and can’t fly. Their wings are underdeveloped (in males) or undeveloped (in females).
Favouring cool, moist environments, these cockroaches will turn up in cellars, drains and under decks.
Rubbish tips and leaf litter are their favourite hiding spots. They will carry germs from outside into your home unless eradicated.
3/ American Cockroach (Periplaneta Americana)
The American cockroach is one of the largest cockroaches you will ever see. And, as its scientific name ‘periplaneta’ suggests, it has spread around the globe. Americans may know them as ‘Palmetto bugs’.
They’re enormous! Huge! These shiny, reddish-brown brutes are 30 to 40 mm long with fully developed wings.
Similar to the oriental cockroach, this little creep likes dark, humid hideouts. Floor, wall and ceiling cavities are favourite haunts.
We’re sorry to say this, but these guys can fly! When it gets hot, they may take to the wing. It can be a shock if you thought cockroaches can only scurry.
4/ Brown Banded Cockroach (Supella Longipalpa)
These tiny cockroaches only measure 10 to 15 mm tip to tail.
Apart from being tiny, these little guys have yellowish-brown stripes across their bodies and may fly when it’s very warm.
Look for these cockroaches inside where it’s warmest. They will love the warmth in your attic or even the heat around the electric motors of your kitchen appliances.
Nocturnal creatures, you may only see them if you get up during the night. They will gravitate to the kitchen or any foodstuff with a lot of starch.
5/ Australian Cockroach (Periplaneta australasiae)
Not an Australian native species, despite its name. Very common in tropical and subtropical climates around the world.
They’re huge! Looks a bit like its American cousin (described above), if slightly smaller. Yellow streaks around its head and down its sides are a defining feature.
Sneaking inside at night after spending the day foraging in your garden, gutters, wall cavities or under your decks.
They can move! Despite their size, they can move very fast and they fly when it’s warm. They can also flatten their bodies into surprisingly small crevices.
6/ Smoky Brown Cockroach (Periplaneta fuliginosa)
Another ‘outside’ species that may be an unwelcome visitor to your kitchen or bathroom at night, the smoky brown cockroach won’t wait for an invitation.
Shiny and dark brown, up to 35 mm long, they have wings and move fast.
Similar to their Australian counterparts, they live outdoors in warm, dark hidey holes outside, like under tree bark. They creep into your home at night looking for food and warmth.
Despite their ‘free range’ habitat, they contaminate your home with bacteria from the decaying matter they feed on outside. Not to mention their own excrement and saliva!
What to do with a positive ID
If any of these cockroaches looks familiar, we suggest you get in touch. It pays to get rid of these unwelcome guests before they invite friends and family to join them.