Cockroach Species in Australia
cockroaches eating bread

Written by Peter Muller

Invasive Cockroach Species in Australia

If you live in the tropics, you’d be well accustomed to seeing cockroaches scurrying around the home. With over 450 cockroach species in Australia, there are 6 types commonly found in the home and workplace. Obviously, cockroaches in the home and business are considered invasive pests, more often for their ability to rapidly grow in numbers.

Being able to identify the cockroach species may assist in being able to treat the infestation more effectively, however it’s always a good idea to seek advice from your local Cairns pest control specialist. Let’s dive into the 6 common species of cockroaches considered to be invasive pests.

German Cockroach

Scientific Name

Blatella germanica


German cockroaches are small in comparison to other invasive cockroach species in Australia, growing up to approximately 1.5cm. They have two brown lines along the outer sides of their body, and are light brown to tan in colour.


german cockroach

Australian Cockroach

Scientific Name

Periplaneta australasiae


Australian cockroaches are around 3.5cm long, with a pale yellow line around the head. Not to be confused with other native Australian cockroaches. 

australian cockroach

American Cockroach

Scientific Name

Periplaneta americana


American cockroaches are the largest of the group, with an average lenght of 5.3cm. They are often confused with Australian cockroaches due to the similar yellow band around the head and the reddish brown colour of their bodies.

american cockroach

Brown Banded Cockroach

Scientific Name

Supella longipalpa


Brown banded cockroaches are the smallest of the group, with an average length of 1.4cm. They are light to darker brown with lighter wings.

brown banded cockroach

Oriental Cockroach

Scientific Name

Blatta orientalis


Oriental cockroaches grow up to 2.5cm and is dark brown or black in colour. While the makes have wings, females do not.

oriental cockroach

Smoky Brown Cockroach

Scientific Name

Periplaneta fuliginosa


As their name implies, smoky brown cockroaches are smoky brown in colour and grow up to 3.7cm. They have long wings and are adept at flying longer distances than many other cockroaches.

smoky brown cockroach

Signs of a Cockroach Infestation

You’ll know if you have a cockroach infestation. While invasive cockroaches generally come out at night, they’re not the best at covering their tracks. Here’s a few signs that you have a potentially big pest control issue:

  • you see them scurrying everywhere when you walk into a room or open a kitchen cupboard or drawer at night.
  • you can hear them rummaging around your bin.
  • you find their shed skin in their common scavaging areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, laundries and other wet areas.
  • you can smell them. They poop everywhere and it stinks.

If you find all of the above, it’s likely you have a big invasive cockroach problem. What you’ll actually see is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s certainly in your best interest to contact your local Cairns pest control specialist to help you get rid of the invasive cockroach colony.

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