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COCKROACHES

Cockroaches
Cockroaches are among the most common of insects. Because cockroaches are so adaptable, they have successfully adjusted to living with humans. Cockroaches can measure over 50 mm length, with tropical species tending to be larger than those found in other climates. Cockroaches have six legs, two antennae and some have wings. However, most winged cockroaches are not particularly adept at flying.

The pest cockroaches can be carriers of various diseases because they are commonly found near waste deposits or in the kitchen, where food is present. Restaurants may also experience cockroach infestations.

Cockroaches in general produce odorous secretions that can affect the flavor of various foods. When cockroach populations are high, these secretions may result in a characteristic odor in the general region of the infestation. Disease-producing organisms such as bacteria, protozoans, and viruses have been found on cockroach bodies.

Different forms of gastroenteritis (food poisoning, dysentery, diarrhea, etc.) appear to be the principal diseases transmitted by cockroaches. The insects carry these disease-causing organisms on their legs and bodies and deposit the organisms on food and utensils as they forage. Cockroach excrement and cast skins also contain a number of allergens, to which many people exhibit allergic responses such as skin rashes, watery eyes, congestion of nasal passages, asthma, and sneezing.

About 3.500 species of cockroaches exist worldwide, with 400 species found in Australia. The most common types are listed below:
German Cockroaches
Latin name:Blatellagermanica

German cockroaches are well-known indoor cockroaches with a distribution that is worldwide. The German cockroach is best identified by its small size and by two dark parallel lines running from the back of the head to the wings. They are growing to a length of 13-16 mm, the much smaller young, or nymphs, are darker, almost black in color, also with the black stripes behind the head. Although they have fully developed wings, they do not fly.

Behavior
German cockroaches usually prefer a moist environment with a relatively high degree of warmth. The insects are mostly scavengers and will feed on almost anything, including soap, glue and toothpaste. They are especially fond of starches, sweets, grease, and meat products. In many locations, garbage is a principal food source.

As with other species, German cockroaches are mostly active at night, when they forage for food, water, and mates. During the day they hide in cracks and crevices and other dark sites that provide a warm and humid environment. These insects are good hitchhikers and often find their way into new structures via grocery bags, cardboard boxes, drink cartons and secondhand appliances. They may even be brought in with used appliances. In multiunit apartment buildings, German cockroaches can easily move between units, using the shared plumbing and pipes as a highway.They are frequently found in residential and commercial kitchen environments, and bathrooms.

There are several reasons for this cockroach’s persistence and the difficulty of controlling it. German cockroaches produce a larger number of eggs per capsule and they undergo the shortest time from hatching until sexual maturity, resulting in a rapid population growth. They can breed at a rate of up to six generations per year. A greater number of nymphs hatch successfully because the female carries the egg capsule during the entire time the embryos are developing within the eggs. Also, and most importantly, German cockroaches are smaller than most other cockroaches and can conceal themselves in many places inaccessible to individuals of the larger species.

 

Signs of a German Cockroach Infestation
Droppings – German cockroach droppings may appear as small, dark, “pepper-like” material left on countertops or in drawers. Fecal staining may appear as dark spots or smears, some that are slightly raised, in the corners of rooms, along the tops of doors or around small cracks and openings into walls.

Egg Capsules – Since German cockroach females carry their egg case until 1 to 2 days before depositing it, empty egg cases may be found in areas that the females frequent.

Odor – German cockroaches are also known to secrete a number of odorous compounds. When populations are present in large numbers, it may be possible to detect a mild, or what some have reported as a “musty” odor.

 

Oriental Cockroach
Latin name: Blattaorientalis

Oriental Roaches are commonly called water bugs or black beetles.

This cockroach is shiny black and is 25-33 mm long. They have wings, but the male or female roach can not fly.The females have small nonfunctional wings while the males have wings that cover about ¾ of the abdomen.

Behavior
Outside, Oriental cockroaches are often found in sewers and under debris, leaves, stones and firewood. They will enter structures through door thresholds, under sliding glass doors, along utility pipes and through floor drains. Once indoors, Oriental cockroaches find harborage in basements and crawl spaces. In more metropolitan areas, oriental roaches can be found in large numbers living in storm drains and sewers.

Oriental cockroaches are known for their preference of feeding on garbage, filth or material that has begun to decay. These cockroaches are very dependent upon water. While studies have shown that they can survive for up to a month without food, these insects can not survive for more than two weeks without water. Most of their water consumption is gotten through their food and the moisture around them.

Oriental cockroaches feed on all kinds of filth, rubbish, and other decaying organic matter. They seem especially fond of garbage and the contents of discarded tin cans. It prefers starchy food, and builds up populations around garbage cans.Cockroaches contaminate far more food than they are able to eat.

The key to exterminating large roaches like Oriental cockroaches is to kill the entire roach nest. If you just spray and kill the individual roaches that you see, you will continue to see roaches scampering around your home looking for food and water, and will most likely begin to see more of them and more frequently as they breed and the nest continues to grow.

 

American Cockroach
Latin name:Periplanetaamericana

American Cockroaches are also known as a “water bug” or “palmetto bug”.

Adult American cockroaches are reddish brown or mahogany colored. The area behind their heads is outlined with a yellow band. Adults can be slightly more than 50 mm long. Both male and female are fully winged, with fully developed wings that cover the entire length of the abdomen, but don’t fly much.

Behavior
This species often becomes abundant in city dumps and is most common in the basements and steam tunnels of restaurants, bakeries, food-processing facilities, and grocery stores.

The comfortable temperature for an American roach is about 29 degrees Celsius.As temperatures outside get cool, you may find the American roaches moving indoors. They come in thru entry points like, air ducks, around utility pipes, small cracks and crevices, sewer connections and under doors. They can be found near bathtubs, clothes hampers and plumbing.Cockroaches hide during the day in sheltered, dark places and forage for food at night, often running rapidly when disturbed. American cockroaches are one of the least common roaches found in homes and, though winged, seldom fly when disturbed.

American Cockroaches prefer decaying organic matter, but being scavengers will eat anything. Sweets are attractive to the American roach. They also will feed on starchy items like book bindings, and the back of wall paper.

 

Brown Banded Cockroach
Latin name:Supellalongipalpa

One of the smallest of the invasive cockroaches, the adult brown-banded cockroach may reach 11 to 14.5 mm in length. These colorful roaches received their name from the light brown or tan transverse bands that are present on the wings of the adult and across the body of the young, or nymphs.

Behavior
The brown-banded cockroach is more gregarious and more likely to be found in homes, hotels or apartments rather than commercial stores, restaurants or kitchens. These insects feed on starch materials (book sizing and wallpaper paste) and even non-food materials such as nylon stockings. They prefer to hide in warm, elevated areas near the ceiling, behind wall decorations, pictures, loose wallpaper, in shower stalls, underneath chairs and tables, in closets, beneath or inside upholstered furniture, and in electrical appliances such as TV sets, stereos, radios and toasters. They develop and live throughout the building (especially bedrooms), making control difficult. Cockroaches can foul food, damage wallpaper and books, eat glue from furniture and produce an unpleasant odour.

Brown-banded cockroaches can be found throughout structures, but show a preference for drier locations and warmer areas over 26 degrees. Brown-banded cockroaches often hide their egg cases in or under furniture. They tend to prefer higher locations than most cockroach species and are often found in upper cabinets in kitchens and bathrooms.

Since this species commonly hitchhike into the home, it is important to inspect furniture, clothing, sacks, cartons, boxes, etc., brought into the home. Destroy any cockroaches present. Sanitation is critical in roach control. They do not require as much moisture as the German cockroach, which explains their presence in rooms other than the kitchen or bathroom. Seal openings with putty or plastic wood.

Brown-banded cockroaches can be detected by examining the premises after dark with a flashlight. During the day, probing hiding places with a wire will expose cockroaches. Look beneath tables, chairs, dressers and chests, behind pictures, on rough plaster walls and ceilings. One may find tiny black droppings or cast-off skins where they have fallen from above onto shelves or ledges. They dislike light and are not normally seen during the day.

 

Australia Cockroach
Latin name:Periplanetaaustralasiae

The Australian Cockroach is similar in appearance to the American cockroach, reddish-brown in color, and winged. However, the Australian cockroach is slightly smaller than the American, growing to be approximately 40 mm The Australian Cockroach also has a yellow margin on the thorax, and yellow streaks at its sides at the base of the wings.

Behavior
The Australian Cockroach is almost identical to the American Cockroach. This species can be found in any warm, moist areas and will often live outdoors in wood piles, compost bins, mulch and hollow logs. However, many will venture into houses and buildings in search of food, water and to shelter from extreme weather.Inside, they prefer warm, dark places such as water pipes, sinks, toilets, inside cupboards, under fridges & stoves and even inside electrical appliances such as TV’s, microwaves and telephones. The long spiny legs of the Australian Cockroach help it run very fast over just about any kind of surface.

The Australian Cockroach is omnivorous, which means they can eat pretty much anything!  Outdoors, they will forage on decaying animal and vegetable matter, but they will often come into houses to scavenge for food scraps. This insect has a bit of a sweet tooth, so loves fruit, honey or anything sugary.  They have also been known to eat hair, leather shoes, animal hides, dead insects, nail clippings, book bindings and paper.

 

Smoky Brown Cockroach
Latin name:Periplaneta fuliginous

The Smoky Brown cockroach is closely related to the American cockroach, but is a uniform shiny, dark-brown or mahogany color. The American roach has a lighter color along the edges. Adults have well-developed wings that stretch to the tip of the abdomen. The young nymphs have long antennae, which are white at the tip.

Behavior
Smokey Brown cockroaches are susceptible to losing moisture through their cuticle, and so are usually found in damp, dark and poorly ventilated environments. They rarely infest the dwelling part of buildings, and are instead found in sheds, wall and roof spaces, sub-floors, mulched areas, and in and around grease traps and drains. They prefer food of a plant origin and are therefore often a pest in greenhouses, nurseries and gardens. This insect can fly short distances in warm weather and are often attracted to lights at night.

Commonly, Smokey Brown Roaches are found in the spring, summer and fall months and enter the home through attics, crawl spaces and cracks found on the exterior. They also hitchhike on firewood and can enter around doors and windows, through ventilation areas, or through any other small crevice that lead inside.

In general, successful Smokey Brown cockroach management requires planning and thoroughness. It also requires use of more different types of applications than any other type of cockroach management. Fortunately, once adequate results have been achieved in and around a home, the reproductive potential of this species is low enough (compared to the German cockroach) that their numbers will not rebound very quickly.

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Call 0438 892 088
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