- Common Name(s): Australian Cockroach
- Order: Blattodea
- Family: Blattidae
- Common Species: Periplaneta australasiae
- Commonly Confused With: American Roaches
How to Identify?
These roaches are red-brown to dark brown to black in color with a dark yellow circle on the area directly behind their head (pronotum). They also possess yellow streaks on either side of the wings. They tend to be about 1.25-1.4 inches in length. The juveniles have yellow/white coloration on their bodies at all stages and are more ornate than the other large roaches in Georgia. Like other roaches, only the adults possess wings and the ability to reproduce.
Where do they live?
These roaches are not very common throughout all of Georgia, but they can be found in and around homes in South Georgia. Populations are particularly bad in Florida. Humid areas like greenhouses tend to have a greater abundance of these roaches present. They can also be found under the bark of trees, under wood piles, or other areas with a high moisture content. Inside the home, they are found in bathrooms, drains, pipes, and other damp locations. They thrive in areas with high humidity and warmer temperatures.
What do they eat?
They prefer to feed on starchy materials and the more tender parts of plants, with seedlings being at the greatest risk.
What do they do?
These roaches are usually nocturnal and live in the top layer of soil, roughly 1-1.5 inches deep. They come indoors in search of food or water. All it takes for these roaches to enter your home is a gap the size of a quarter. Their search for water can send them through some pretty gross locations which means they can track bacteria throughout your home.
While these roaches may be called ‘australian’ roaches they are actually thought to have originated in parts of Africa. The theory is that they were brought to America on goods and slave transport ships many, many years ago.
Author: G. Wyatt West– B.S.E.S University of Georgia 2017; Board Certified Entomologist
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