Australian Cockroaches


Periplaneta australasiae


Australian cockroaches, also known as shad roaches, are slightly smaller than American cockroaches and are reddish-brown to dark brown with yellow markings on the top of their head and the front edge of each wing. The wings extend over the insect’s abdomen, and this cockroach is about 1-¼ to 1-½ inches long. Their life cycle includes eggs, five nymph stages and the adult stage. In total, it takes about one year for complete development.


Australian cockroaches are one of many cockroaches categorized as peridomestic roaches, meaning they live primarily outdoors, but can also be found indoors. Greenhouses are one of the more common inside locations, along with sinks, toilets and other dark, humid and warm areas. Outdoors, Australian cockroaches prefer to live under tree bark, in piles of firewood and other locations that are moist and sheltered. They feed primarily on plant material, but inside the home will feed on starchy materials.


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.


The presence of either adult or nymphs and egg cases are a sure sign of an infestation.


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


If you suspect you have a cockroach problem, contact your pest management professional for a correct identification and a comprehensive pest management plan. Because the Australian cockroach primarily lives outdoors, preventing entry to inside structures is a key component of an integrated pest management plan. Also, habitat removal of places where Australian cockroaches live is an effective way to help reduce these populations. If needed, insecticide applications where pests are active are helpful; however, if using an insecticide always be sure to follow the product’s label.