Riley Pest Management
We specialize in commercial non-profit organizations and small businesses

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FLORIDA ROACHES
A source for information on roaches 

Australian Roach      Periplaneta australasiae

Appearance:
Australian roaches are reddish-brown to dark-brown in color with long antennae. They closely resemble the American cockroach (both have the eye-pattern on their thorax), but is distinguished by its smaller size, yellow margin on the thorax and yellow streaks at its sides near the wing base.

Size:
Range from 1 1/4 to 1 3/8 inches in length.

Behavior: Australian cockroaches are rapid breeders, and complete their life cycle in about a year (from egg to adult). The egg sac takes 40 days to hatch, and can sometimes be seen attached to the end of the females abdomen There are 20-30 eggs per egg capsule, 16 of which hatch. Nymphs take about one year to develop.

An infestation can rapidly expand in ideal conditions, particularly during the warmer climates when temperatures are regularly above 80 degrees. They are scavengers and can feed on a wide array of organic and decaying matter. When it enters homes it has been known to eat holes in clothing and feed upon book covers.

Habitat:
During they day the Australian cockroach is usually found around the perimeter of buildings and often conceal themselves in narrow gaps, which necessitates their flat, broad bodies. They are generally prevalent in areas where winters are relatively mild, making them one of the most common outdoor cockroaches in South Florida.

They are opportunistic fliers and will infest anywhere adequate heat, humidity, and food is available. They can be found in leaf litter, tree holes, wood piles, garages, attics, and tend to favor cupboards, pet food bowls and food waste storage areas once indoors.

Medical/Economic Significance:
The Australian roach is more vegetarian than other species, and in the northern U.S it has been responsible for damage and contamination in greenhouses and atriums. They are also capable of transmitting pathogens and can contaminate food in houses and restaurants.

Control:
Because the Australian cockroach is found outdoors, dispersing or eliminating foundation plantings, woodpiles, mulch, and other infested locations is recommended. They may enter homes in search of food. Cover vents and pipes leading indoors with screens, and seal cracks and holes in exterior walls.

  • Eliminating or minimizing potential harborages outside is the best way to limit infestations of these cockroaches.
  • Sealing cracks in the building's exterior is a prudent step to prevent pests from entering.
  • Installing screening in all vents is important.
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-- Duggan Cooley, former CEO- RCS

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