Australian Cockroaches

Facts, Identification, & Control


Periplaneta australasiae


What Do They Look Like?
  • Color: They are reddish-brown to dark brown with yellow markings on the top of their head and the front edge of each wing.
  • Size: They are slightly smaller than American cockroaches. Their wings are about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches long.
  • Characteristics: They are also known as shad roaches. Their wings extend over the abdomen.

How Did I Get Australian Cockroaches?

Wherever warmth, moisture, and food, homeowners have the potential for an infestation. Heated buildings with plenty of humidity attract them, especially during cold weather. Australian cockroaches find their way into homes through:

  • Open windows and doors.
  • Small cracks and holes.

How Serious Are Australian Cockroaches?

Australian cockroaches contaminate starchy pantry goods and feed on house or garden plants. These insects are a source of allergens and breed rapidly.

Signs of Infestation

The presence of either adult, nymph, or egg cases are sure signs of infestation.

How Do I Get Rid of Australian Cockroaches?

What You Can Do

Habitat removal where these pests live is an effective way to help reduce their populations.

What Orkin Does

If needed, insecticide may be helpful to control Australian cockroaches. Your local Orkin technician is educated in the safe use and application of any chemicals and is trained to help manage Australian cockroaches and similar pests. Since every building or home is different, your Orkin technician will design a unique program for your situation.

Orkin can provide the right solution to keep Australian cockroaches in their place…out of your home, or business.

Behavior, Diet, & Habits

What Do They Eat?

They feed primarily on plant material, but inside the home they will feed on starchy materials.

Where Do They Live?

Australian cockroaches are most commonly found in yards. They live primarily outdoors, but can also be found indoors. They prefer to live under moist and sheltered areas such as:

    • Drains
    • Greenhouses
    • Piles of firewood
    • Sinks
    • Toilets
    • Tree bark
    • Water pipes
Geographic Range

These cockroaches are widespread throughout Florida and other coastal states in the Southeast.

Life Cycle

Their life cycle includes eggs, five nymph stages, and the adult stage. In total, it takes about one year for complete development.


Female Australian cockroaches carry their eggs in cases, and a healthy female will produce about 20-30 egg cases during her lifetime. Each egg case contains about 25 eggs.