Cockroach ID: what kind of roach is this?


Cockroaches are attracted to homes where there is food, moisture, and warmth. They feed on a wide range of human foods and also organic materials such as cardboard, glue, faeces, dead animals, and fellow cockroaches. They can pick up diseases from the filth in their surroundings and readily transmit them onto food and surfaces.

Signs of cockroaches

Cockroaches leave behind signs of their presence that are easy to spot before you are likely to see a live insect. As nocturnal creatures, cockroaches usually hide out of sight during the day and only become active at night to search for food.

Prevent them from spreading and multiplying by identifying a cockroach infestation:

  • Cockroach droppings – they leave a dust of black droppings that look like ground coffee.
  • Smear marks – they will produce brown and irregular shaped smear marks as they crawl or rest.
  • Egg capsules – cockroaches lay eggs in a capsule, called an ootheca, containing multiple eggs.
  • Shed skin – cockroaches shed their skins 5-8 times as they mature. Look for these skins of varying sizes in locations you suspect they are sheltering.
  • Damage – look for unusual signs of damage, not just on food packaging. Cockroaches will attack organic goods including leather and books.
  • Musty Smell – cockroaches defecate where they live and sleep, producing a pheromone that attracts other cockroaches to congregate there.

Common Species of Cockroaches

American cockroach

The American cockroach is one of the largest pest cockroaches to invade homes. They live on trees and prefer dark, humid and undisturbed areas such as subfloors, kitchens, roof voids, and bathrooms of homes. They’re shiny red-brown in colour and are 35-40mm long.

German cockroach

These are most commonly found indoors. They prefer wet, humid conditions and are typically found in kitchens and bathrooms in homes. German cockroaches are easily identifiable by 2 dark long stripes on their pronotum (the plate-like structure that covers part of the thorax). Adults grow to approximately 12 – 15mm in length.

Australian cockroach

They enter homes at night from gardens/debris and are generally prevalent in areas where winters are relatively mild. Despite its name, the Australian cockroach is not a native species.

Oriental cockroach

Highly adapted for surviving in the natural environment, Oriental cockroaches thrive in cool, damp areas such as drains and openings beneath porches. Known for their preference for feeding on garbage and decay, these insects can most commonly be found in rubbish tips and leaf litters.

Brown Banded cockroach

One of the smallest pest cockroaches, Brown Banded adult cockroaches are approximately 10 – 15mm in length and characterised by yellow-brown stripes across their abdomen. Brown Banded cockroaches mostly stay on the ground but may fly in very warm climates. Their preference for warm, humid environments leads them to harbourages within heated buildings – ceilings, roof voids, inside and around appliance motors. Primarily active at night, these opportunistic feeders particularly enjoy materials with high starch contents.

Smoky Brown cockroach

They live in tree hollows, under bark, under floors, and enter homes at night. Smoky Brown cockroaches have a habit of entering houses and contaminating food with excrement, regurgitated salivary fluid, and potentially harmful bacteria. They are shiny dark brown in colour and grow to 35mm in length.

How to get rid of cockroaches

Professional treatment is the most effective way to get rid of cockroaches in your home to guarantee a long-term solution and prevent re-infestation. Get in touch with the Experts for a thorough survey and treatment of your home.

Kathryn Birett

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