Have you noticed more cockroaches than usual in your Adelaide home?
You’re not alone! The summer’s combination of heavy rainfall and hot weather has led to a cockroach infestation in Adelaide households.
While they’re certainly an annoyance, cockroaches can also pose a bit more of a threat than they seem. Not only do cockroaches bite people, but they can also spread disease and trigger asthma.
There are over 3,000 different species of cockroach found in Australia, some of which are pests, and others of which are considered beneficial to their environment.
In this article, we’re going to cover the three most common species of cockroaches in South Australia: the American cockroach, the German cockroach, and the Oriental cockroach.
If you would like to be better prepared for dealing with cockroaches and their bites, or you want to learn how to perform first aid in other emergencies, head to our website to enrol in one of our general or childcare first aid courses in Adelaide.
Table of Contents
American cockroaches (Periplaneta americana), otherwise known as Palmetto bugs, are the largest cockroach pest species in Australia with an adult measuring up to 50 millimetres long.
They have a reddish-brown body, pale legs, and a yellow band behind their head. This species has wings and can fly, typically toward a light source.
Head to our article about common Australian cockroaches for more information about the American cockroach.
The most common species in Australia, the German cockroach (Blatella germanica) has a beige to amber-coloured body with two dark stripes extending from the head.
Adults are between 12-15 millimetres in length and have wings extending from their abdomen - however, they rarely fly.
Head to our article about common Australian cockroaches for more information about German cockroaches.
The Oriental cockroach is anywhere from dark brown to black, and can be between 20-25mm in length.
Females tend to be larger, but they have no wings. Males have wings that cover almost their entire abdomen.
They prefer damp, dark, and covered areas, and are often found in and around pipes and drains.
Cockroaches are known to carry infectious bacteria and diseases such as E.coli, Salmonella, and even Polio virus. The cockroaches pick up the bacteria from the unsanitary environments in which they live, such as in sewers and rubbish dumps. Because the bacteria can survive in their body for months and is passed on through their faeces, an infestation must be dealt with immediately.
There have also been recent studies that have found that cockroaches can influence allergy and asthma conditions. Cockroach saliva, faecal matter, and shed body parts can trigger allergy and asthma symptoms when airborne, leading to chronic symptoms that remain after allergy season has passed.
In rare cases, there have been records of cockroaches biting people during the night due to their inability to find food. Although not venomous, a bite from a cockroach can leave red and itchy welts on the skin. Visit our Resource Library for more information on first aid for cockroach bites
Due to their ability to breed rapidly, it is important to eradicate cockroach populations within households to prevent them from spreading the bacteria. To reduce the risk of a cockroach infestation within your home or workplace, you should:
You can find further management protocols in our article on common cockroach species in Australia.
If you believe that the cockroach infestation is too extensive to manage yourself, you should consider hiring professional cockroach control.
A cockroach infestation should be taken quite seriously. Cockroaches can spread diseases, but they can also bite and trigger asthma.
If you’re worried, you can contact licensed pest control to come to your home or business.
If you would like to be better prepared for dealing with cockroaches and their bites, or you are looking to learn how to perform first aid in other emergencies, head to our website to enrol in one of our general or childcare first aid courses in Adelaide.