There are five species of cockroaches problematic in Sydney.The worst and most common being German cockroaches followed by Oriental, Australian, Smoky Brown and American species of cockroach.
Cockroaches And Their Habitats
All cockroaches thrive in warm humid environments such as kitchens. Some tropical species of cockroach have limited distribution, because ambient household temperatures may be too cool for them. However, cockroaches are famously known as one of the hardiest insects on the planet, and with good reason. Some varieties can go without food for a month without food, and can feed on marginal food sources.
Although the cockroach is commonly perceived as disease-ridden, the likelihood of a roach transmitting a disease is actually quite low. In fact, in developed countries such as Australia transmission is a fairly rare occurrence; in part because in Australia bathroom areas are typically kept well away from food preparation areas and kitchen staff are trained to wash their hands and or wear gloves. Transmission may be more of an issue in developing countries where these practices may not be commonly followed.
Cockroaches are perhaps seen as an indicator of poor hygiene because they can often be found in food preparation or storage areas, and may be particularly prevalent where foodstuffs have not been adequately cleaned away, or where traces of food and cooking products may be found.
This is not always the case especially with German cockroaches , they are introduced into the house or food shop by bringing in grocery's or takeaway food from other shops or locations. The eggs or baby cockroaches are hiding in the food packaging and once in your house they will breed prolifically. Roaches are known for leaving an unappealing odour, and may trigger reactions such as asthma in some individuals.
Roaches and chemical trails
Like ants, cockroaches emit special chemicals in their wake. These chemicals are used as a signal to entice other cockroaches to follow them, and can result in cockroach “swarms” and serious infestations within a household or building. For this reason, it is advisable to always maintain good hygiene practices and to keep food preparation and storage areas tidy, as doing so can help decrease the appeal of an area for roaches.
There are a number of basic measures homeowners can use to identify cockroaches in the home. If a cockroach infestation is suspected, a thorough inspection of the area should be undertaken. Areas that should be inspected include kitchens, basements, sinks and dishwashers, microwaves and ovens, floor areas, and drawers. Cockroach glue traps can then be used to confirm cockroach activity.
Once an infestation has been confirmed, cockroaches can be managed by removing sources of food or water where possible, and by reducing the accessibility of hiding spaces. An environmentally friendly way of trying to eliminate cockroach infestations is by introducing a dehumidifier into their environment.Roaches like a humid environment.
However, because cockroaches are notoriously difficult to eliminate entirely, the services of an expert pest controller are highly recommended. A pest control expert can help to identify less obvious hiding places, and to put in place a comprehensive cockroach management plan.Depending on the species of cockroach a baiting system or residual treatment may be required.
German roaches Identification.
German cockroaches typically grow to 1.3-1.6 centimetres in length, and range in colour from tan through to a very dark brown. They have two distinctive dark bands running the length of their head.
German Cockroaches. Where To Find Them.?
This species of cockroach is most at home in warm humid areas such as kitchens and bathrooms. Common hiding areas include pantries, cupboards, and beneath cooking appliances , fridges , microwaves , dishwashers and ovens. It is a very common for German cockroaches to short out electrical equipment especially dishwashers. Please be aware cockroaches shorting out electrical equipment is not covered by product warranty.
German roaches Breeding Cycle.
German cockroaches breed extremely quickly, meaning that they can become a problem in a very short amount of time. The female of the species lives for up to six months, and lays one egg at a time. Each egg contains forty baby's. With the growth cycle of a German cockroach being only a month, it's possible for a roach population to reach up to a one thousand within a year. They breed a lot quicker in the summer months because of the warm weather.
Managing German roaches
German cockroaches often enter premises along with packaged items or foodstuffs. Care should be taken when transporting these items, and in the subsequent storage of these items. Because this variety of cock needs to be close to a food or water source to survive, fixing potential leaks and practising good food storage and hygiene is a good first step in cockroach management.
Despite its name, the Australian cockroach is an introduced species that may have originally come from Asia. Though prevalent in Australia, it is also commonly found in other areas with warm climates. Its introduction to a variety of countries is thought to be due to the species travelling in shipping containers or other vessels.
Australian roaches: appearance
The Australian cockroach is quite large in appearance, and with its tan body, resembles a slightly smaller version of the American cockroach. Visually it can be differentiated from the American cockroach by the yellow streaks near its wings, and by the yellow outline on its head.
Australian roaches: where to find them
Australian cockroaches prefer mild climates, and are often found in humid, warm areas. They may be found in cooler areas provided there is ample heating. Unlike many other varieties of roach, Australian cockroaches can and do fly, which allows them to easily travel from place to place and make their home somewhere new. They are often found around bins, pet bowls, and other areas where food can readily be accessed. Other areas of concern include roof areas, and below-floor areas.
Australian roaches: the breeding cycle
Australian cockroaches breed quickly, particularly in very warm areas. The female lives up to six months, and as the growth cycle of an Australian roach is around 40 days, an infestation can become problematic very quickly.
Managing Australian roaches
Because Australian cockroaches thrive when food is left out, some simple steps towards managing their numbers include throwing away old pet food rather than leaving it out over night, and ensuring that rubbish bins are kept closed and are regularly emptied. Because Australian cockroaches can fly, keeping windows, doors, and other access points closed can help. Fly screens are a must have.
A large variety of cockroach, American cockroaches are also known as “water bugs”. Despite its name, the American cockroach was introduced to America from Africa. The American cockroach thrives in warm climates, and is commonly found throughout Australia.
American roaches: appearance
American cockroaches are notable for their size; the average specimen is around 4cm in length. Like the Australian cockroach they are reddish-brown in colour, and have a yellow highlight in their head area. American cockroaches are a winged species, with adults exhibiting a full set of wings. Young American cockroaches do not develop wings until maturity.
American roaches: where to find them
Despite their size, these cockroaches move extremely quickly, and can man oeuvre beneath doors and into fairly small cracks. They prefer damp, humid areas, and typically live in environments where temperatures average a minimum of 29 degrees. They can be found in sewers and drains, in large cracks or nooks around a building's foundations or beneath a building. American cockroaches are scavengers that prefer organic matter.
American roaches: the breeding cycle
This species of cockroach is long-lived, with females living up to 1.5 years. The growth cycle of an American cockroach is around 6-8 weeks, and in optimum environments this species can breed very quickly. However, as they are so large, they are often identified and dealt with before they reach plague proportions.
Managing American roaches
Problematic infestations of American cockroaches in residential buildings are uncommon. This is partly because their large size means that they are more readily captured and dealt with. Their preference for warm temperatures also slows their development. As American cockroaches tend to enter buildings via plumbing infrastructure, building foundations, or beneath doors, stopping up these areas can help manage initial infestations. Insecticides can also be effective, and these should be applied by a qualified expert.
A distinctive-looking species of cockroach, the Oriental roach is somewhat unusual in that it prefers cooler environments. With their preference for damp areas, Oriental roaches are a common pest throughout not just Sydney, but Australia more generally, and in a variety of areas around the world.
Oriental roaches: appearance
The Oriental cockroach is typically around 2.5cm in length, and is a glossy dark brown or black in colour. The male of the species has long, functional wings, while the female has very short wings that cannot be used for flight. The female has a wider body than the male.
Oriental roaches: where to find them
Oriental cockroaches thrive in cool, damp areas, and are common in temperate climates. They are often found outside in the garden or in rubbish bins, and may also make their home around drains and sewers. Inside, they are most commonly found beneath the floor of a building. Other cool areas such as pipes, paths, basements, and building foundations are also a popular habitat for these roaches.
Oriental Roaches : the breeding cycle
They breed relatively slowly when compared with others. The female lays eggs cases each containing around 16 eggs apiece, and these cases take about two months to hatch.
Managing Oriental cockroaches
Oriental cockroaches have much higher moisture demands than other cockroaches, and removing water sources and keeping your property dry can go a long way towards deterring this variety of roach. However, pesticides tend not to be especially effective on Oriental cockroaches as they tend to wash away with the rain or morning dew. Oriental cockroaches can also be difficult to identify, as they make their home in damp and out-of-the-way places, and their dark carapace provides good camouflage. Oriental cockroaches like to feed on starchy foodstuffs, so keeping these foods carefully packaged can help.
Smokey Brown Cockroaches.