Types of Cockroaches

There are many types of cockroaches in New South Wales, and correctly identifying the one infesting your property is essential for effective treatment. This cockroach control is crucial, as cockroaches bring diseases such as Salmonella, Staphylococcus and E. coli, as well as triggering asthma and other allergic reactions. 

Below are the most common cockroach species we treat in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Port Stephens, Maitland and the Hunter Valley. Contact Rebel Pest Professionals for cockroach pest control treatments today.


Large Cockroaches

American Cockroach

One of the largest pest cockroach species. It is found in Australia and all temperate to tropical countries around the world.

What American cockroaches look like?

American cockroaches are a glossy reddish-brown colour, with a pale band around the pronotum (shield covering the head). Adults can grow to over 40mm in length. Male American cockroaches have long wings which overlap the body, while the female’s wings are shorter, roughly the same length as the abdomen. They will fly in warm weather.

What is the life cycle of the American cockroach?

The female will carry up to 16 eggs in the ootheca (egg sac). The egg sacs a placed in a sheltered location before hatching. The nymphs are around 6mm when they hatch and will go through several moults before turning into an adult. After each moult they are a white colour until the new cuticle hardens. Only the adults have wings. The live cycle can take nearly 2 years with adults living for more than 12 months.

Where do American cockroaches live?

American cockroaches prefer dark, moist environments and generally live outdoors and on the fringes of buildings – in drains, sub-floor, bathrooms, kitchens, laundries and garbage bins. That said they do also like living in the insulation of roof voids (which can be warm and dry).

Australian Cockroach

Despite its name, Australian cockroaches are not actually native to Australia. They most likely originated in Africa and can be found in tropical climates worldwide.

What do Australian cockroaches look like?

The Australian cockroach is very similar in appearance to the American cockroach, with a glossy reddish-brown body and lighter coloured head and legs. However, they have yellowish streaks along the wings and head. Adults can reach 2.3 to 3.5cm in length. Both the male and female Australian cockroach have fully developed wings and can fly. The nymphs (young cockroaches) don’t have wings and have obvious yellow spots / blotches on their abdomens.

What is the life cycle of the Australian cockroach?

The female can carry up to 24 eggs in the ootheca (egg sac), which is placed in a sheltered place before they are ready to hatch. The live cycle is a bit shorter than the American cockroach generally completed within a year, with adults living for around 6 months.

Where do Australian cockroaches live?

Like American cockroaches, Australian cockroaches are “peridomestic” cockroaches, living outside and around and under buildings. They prefer dark, moist environments and generally live outdoors and on the fringes of buildings – in drains, sub-floor, bathrooms, kitchens, laundries and garbage bins. That said they do also like living in the insulation of roof voids (which can be warm and dry).

Oriental Cockroach

Also known as the “water bug”, oriental cockroaches are found in Australian and in warmer countries worldwide.

What do oriental cockroaches look like?

Glossy dark brown to black in colour. They are around 20-25mm long. Neither the adult male or female oriental cockroach can fly – the male’s wings are around ¾ of the length of the body whilst the female’s wings are very short and under-developed. The females also have a thicker body than the male.

What is the life cycle of the oriental cockroach?

The female oriental cockroach will carry up to 18 eggs in her ootheca (egg sac). The egg sac is placed in a safe place prior to hatching. The complete lifecycle takes around a year to complete with the adults living for around 6 months.

Where do oriental cockroaches live?

The oriental cockroach is a peridomestic cockroach like the American and Australian cockroaches. However, they are probably more of an outdoor species preferring to feed on decaying organic matter in mulch and leaf litter. They are found in other dark, moist areas, such as drains, sewers and basements. 

Small Cockroaches

German Cockroach

Of all the types of cockroaches, the German cockroach are the most common worldwide and the hardest to eliminate. They are considered a “domestic” cockroach as they only live in close association with humans. They are also called the 5-star cockroach as they are a big problem in hotels and restaurants. 

What do German cockroaches look like?

The German cockroach is a mid-brown cockroach, with two stripes running from the base of the head to the tips of the wings. They are the main small pest cockroach species, with adults only up to 15mm in length. Although both adult male and female German cockroaches have wings, they rarely fly. The nymphs are tiny when they hatch (only 3mm), and it is not uncommon for people to common on “small brown beetles” rather than realising they have cockroaches!

What is the lifecycle of the German cockroach?

Once fertilised, the female carries up to 30-40 eggs in the ootheca (egg sac) inside the abdomen. The egg case is carried by the female until just before the nymphs hatch, which increases the survival rate. Couple with the large number of eggs, this is one reason a German cockroach infestation can get quickly out of control. The lifecycle can take up to 2 years but will be a lot quicker in warmer temperatures. The adults can live for up to 6 months.

Where do German cockroaches live?

German cockroaches aggregate in groups – they like squeeze into small spaces. Due their small size they can fit into very small cracks and crevices. This makes them very hard to find. This will take up home in all sorts of cracks and crevices in kitchens and bathrooms, in door hinges and in appliances. The adult cockroaches only travel a metre or two from their hiding place and night cockroach nymphs very rarely leave the hiding place. This can make German cockroaches very difficult to detect and control.

Brown Banded Cockroach

The brown banded cockroach is the other main small species of pest cockroach but is less common than the German cockroach.

What does the brown banded cockroach look like?

The brown banded cockroach gets its name from the light brown/tan-coloured bands seen on the wings of the adult and across the body of nymphs. The adults are up to 15mm in length. The adult male brown banded cockroach can fly, but the female has shortened wings and cannot fly.

What is the lifecycle of the brown banded cockroach?

The female brown banded cockroach can carry up to 18 eggs inside the ootheca (egg sac). The lifecycle is quite short, completed in 4 months with adults only living for 2 months.


Like the German cockroach, the brown banded cockroach is also considered a “domestic” pest control. However, it generally prefers warmer, drier locations than the German cockroach and will often be found in living areas and bedrooms, sometimes in plugs and electrical equipment.

CALL (02) 4956 8727
CALL (02) 4956 8727