There are over 5,000 cockroach species in the world with only 400 of the species being known to reside in Australia. Within the 5,000 cockroach species only 30 are considered pests. The most common of species within Australia include:
The average cockroach length is 5cm with some species growing up to 8cm in length and over 2.5cm wide whereas others growing to only mere millimetres. Cockroaches have a flat oval body which is covered by a large slate, from bum to neck, and a smaller slate that covers the head, like a helmet. They have six long legs that allow for quick running on almost any surface and specialised pads on the feet which allow them to scale almost any surface which can also include ceilings and walls for some tactful cockroach species.
Not all cockroaches have wings in some species only the males have wings and in others both genders can take flight. These wings lay flattened against their backs when not in use and for some are not necessarily used for flight, but rather cleaning and protection. Males are smaller than females and some species lay eggs called Oothecae were as others give birth to their young.
Cockroaches can be light brown to black, including red, in colour, with the young being paler than the adults. Cockroaches also have two long antenna on the top of their heads that they use to sense temperature, objects, humidity, chemicals and smells.
The American, Australian, German and Oriental cockroaches are directly affected by human habitat and thrive on our waste, materials and comforts. Cockroaches commonly inhabit houses, sewers and restaurants, wherever they have direct access to food and particularly water as they can live one month without food but only one week without water. This is the reason why cockroaches tend to congregate around water supplies, such as under sinks and around pipes, therefore where pipes come in and out of our homes, through cracks in walls, floors and backs of cabinets, around washing machines and dryers and where exposed pipes are situated. Ideally damp areas that are continually releasing parts of warm condensation for cockroaches to frolic in.
Cockroaches also live in and enjoy furniture, particularly soft furnishings and they tend to lay their eggs under wooden and plastic furniture. Some Cockroach varieties consider paper a delicacy and others use it as a preferred area for leaving their waste. Cardboard or food and beverage containers are also ideal places for cockroaches to hide, eat and leave their waste. Other places cockroaches tend to congregate in and around include appliances, such as around refrigerator motors, ovens, toasters, coffee makers and even microwaves. Sinks, dishwashers, cabinets, dish cloths, linen closets, beneath door and window trims, at the base and corner crevices of walls, backs of photo frames and mirrors. Basically any nooks or crannies they can squeeze their little bodies into.
Bathrooms and kitchens are the main target areas for cockroaches as they contain an abundance of food and water for the insects to frolic in and around, the only benefit of this is that the cockroaches tend to not travel outside of these areas as they have plenty of substances within the areas to successfully sustain them. But the German cockroach which is more problematic, tend to go everywhere and anywhere within our homes, restaurants and cities, with no limits. Outside of the home Cockroaches tend to love piles of wood and other convenient hiding places, and as the weather turns colder, they tend to migrate inside the house to keep warm.
Poisons need to be applied where you know cockroaches will encounter them such as under sinks, in corners, and along skirting boards and in wall voids
Cockroaches are hardy, they are very adaptable and intelligent creatures that have adapted to change, with the human environment, this makes them incredibly hard to remove from your home without the use of chemicals. They can carry diseases and parasites from one environment to another, these are the main reasons why professional pest control and treatment for cockroaches is necessary to ensure these pests do not enter your home, business or property where they can wreak havoc causing damage to property and illness to yourself, friends, family members, colleagues etc.