Australian Cockroach

Australian Cockroach
Australia cockroach (see image credit)


Key facts:

Latin name: Periplaneta australasiae

Life-cycle length: 365 days

Adult life span: 6 months

Adult size: 35 mm

Wings: Yes. Will fly in warmer temperatures

Geographic distribution: Primarily east coast from the tropics down to the Victorian border

Preferred locations: In gardens, drains, sub-floor, roof void

The adult Australian cockroach is reddish / dark brown, with a pale band around the pronotum (shield covering the head) and along the upper margin of the forewings. They are a large cockroach of up to 35 mm.

The young cockroaches (nymphs) are dark brown / black, with obvious yellow spots on the abdominal segments which can become more blotchy in the older nymphs. When the nymphs first hatch they are around 5 mm.

The are often confused with the American cockroach, which lacks the pale stripes on the upper forewings.

Australia cockroaches are one of the key cockroach pests in Australia. They are a peri-domestic cockroach, which means then tend to live outside around the perimeter of dwellings but will readily come in side looking for food and shelter.

As Australian cockroaches live in drains and around garbage, they can readily transfer a range of diseases to humans as they walk over food and food preparation surfaces, in particular gastro diseases such as Salmonella and E.coli.

If Australians do establish a significant population indoors, their spend skins and droppings have the potential to cause of allergic reactions and asthma.

To prevent Australian cockroaches easily entering a building fill any cracks and crevices and ensure insects screens and weather strips are well-fitting.

Ensure rubbish is put into sealed containers and stored away from the building.

Fixing any leaks and areas of moisture inside the home will make internal areas less attractive.


As with all cockroach species, the chances of suffering a cockroach infestation can be reduced through good hygiene to remove any potential food sources:

  • Don’t leave dirty dishes out
  • Clean up any food spills
  • Regularly clean the cooker and under the dishwasher and fridge.
  • Put opened food into well sealed containers
  • Don’t leave uneaten pet food out

As Australian cockroaches are primarily an outdoor cockroach a comprehensive spray to external areas with a residual insecticide spray, such as PestXpert Pro-Spray Outdoor Perimeter, will provide long lasting protection.

Areas to target:

  • Complete spray around the perimeter of the building, 1 m up the wall and 1 m out from the wall
  • Around windows, doors, vents, weepholes and other entry points
  • Around drains
  • In and around garbage bins


Australian cockroach image used under Creative Commons 3.0. Lucinda Gibson & Ken WalkerWalker, K. (2007) Australian Cockroach (Periplaneta australasiae), availabile online at