Size, Shape and Colour: Adult Australian cockroach is approximately 30mm to 40mm long, with extremely long antennae. They have hairy legs and eye-pattern on their thorax. They are reddish brown in colour and have yellow edges on the front part of the forewings. Their body is flat and broad so that they can squeeze into very tight places. The adults have wings but are not good flyers. Their wings are membranous with toughened forewings which overlap left over right. They have three pairs of strong legs so they are very good runners. The head is small and pointing downwards, concealed under the pronotum.
Biology: The Australian cockroach life cycle requires about one year from egg to adult. The ootheca takes 40 days to hatch. There are 24 eggs per egg capsule, 16 of which hatch. Each female produces 20 to 30 oothecae. Nymphs take about one year to develop. Some eggs produced parthenogenetically hatch, but the nymphs do not mature.
Behaviour: This cockroach is commonly attracted to homes to feed on improperly maintained trash containers and pet food on patios and decks. Once by the house, these insects may then enter causing an infestation.
Preferred Foods: These cockroaches scavenge for food and will eat almost any organic matter no matter how rancid. Once inside the home, they will seek out food scraps, unsealed food containers, sugar and grease deposits, pet food, rancid meat, glue and even book bindings. They eat each others faeces, to feed the young “nymphs” and extract all nourishment from an organic food source.
Habitat: Australian cockroaches are prevalent in leaf litter, in and around shrubs, flowers and trees, tree holes, wood piles, garages, crawl spaces, attics, and greenhouses. It is a pest when it enters homes where it may eat holes in clothing and feed upon book covers.