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Cockroach identification tips from Sydney’s experts

Cockroach Identification Guide:

Whilst there are thousands of species of cockroach, only certain types are considered pests and have a damaging effect in commercial and industrial premises. The species listed below are the most common of these pest species of cockroach. 

If you have a cockroach infestation, check the description chart below to help ascertain which species may be present within your property.

American Cockroach

American cockroach
The American Cockroach prefers dark, damp areas away from sight, often dwelling in rubbish disposal areas, subfloors, grease traps, drains or sewers, wall and roof voids. They are often a problem in all types of food production, processing and/or storage facilities.
  • 35-40mm in length
  • Shiny Reddish-brown in colour with yellow border around pomotum
  • Wings completely cover the abdomen in both male and female, but are longer than the body in males. Female’s wings only just cover the abdomen. 
  • Will travel for food
  • Mostly runs but will fly during very warm weather

German Cockroach

German cockroach
German cockroaches prefer to dwell in areas very close to food, often becoming a problem in such areas as commercial kitchens, restaurants, food processing and storage facilities, lunch rooms, food production plants and warehouses. They prefer warm moist areas and can be found in and around water heaters, refrigerators, sinks, ovens and stoves, waste traps in kitchens and other appliances.
  • 12-15mm in length
  • amber-brown and light in colouring
  • 2 longitudinal stripes present on pronotum
  • Does not fly

Australian Cockroach

Australian cockroach
Most commonly found in outdoor areas, Australian cockroaches prefer to feed on vegetable matter and are found in areas such as subfloors, decaying wood piles, under garden mulch, garage areas and outdoor sheds or garbage areas.
  • 30-35mm in length
  • Brown in colour with distinct yellow border around pronotum
  • Foremargin of forewings also distinctly yellow in colour
  • Wings cover the abdomen
  • Mostly runs but will fly during very warm weather

Oriental Cockroach

Oriental cockroach
Oriental cockroaches prefer cooler conditions and can be found both indoors and outdoors. They often become a problem in food preparation and storage facilities, being found in damp areas such as under garden mulch, inside wall cavities, damp alleyways containing rubbish disposal areas and in subfloors.
  • 20-25mm in length
  • Dark brown to black in colour
  • Wings do not cover the abdomen and in females wings are only wing buds
  • Does not fly

Smoky Brown Cockroach

Smoky brown cockroach
Also most often found outdoors, the Smoky Brown Cockroach prefers to feed on vegetable/plant material. They can become pests in places such as indoor garden areas, nurseries, garages, outdoor storage sheds, woodpiles and around drainage/rubbish disposal areas.
  • 30-35mm in length
  • Dark brown mostly in colour, can be nearly black
  • Wings cover the abdomen
  • Will fly during warm weather

Brown Banded Cockroach

Brown banded cockroach
Brown Banded Cockroaches infest the interior of building such as restaurants, offices, clubs/bars and other commercial properties. Unlike German cockroaches, they may dwell and infest the entire building rather than just kitchen or bathroom areas. They are often found in dryer areas such as in and around furniture and in light fittings etc. but will also dwell in kitchen areas and places of the like.
  • 10-15mm in length
  • Paler brown in colour with distinct pale yellow-brown stripes across the thorax and abdomen
  • Male wings cover the abdomen, females have smaller, reduced wings
  • Will fly in warmer conditions

Call us today on  02 9796 7999  to find out more about cockroach identification in Sydney.

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