In New Zealand, we have a number of species of cockroach. We have the Gisborne and the Native Bush cockroach who prefer to live outside in the bush, however, will stray inside when it is wet or temperatures are too hot outside.
The Gisborne cockroach can be told apart from the native bush cockroach by its more distinctive white bands and larger body, which measures up to 45 millimetres long and 12–15 millimetres wide. It has very prominent hind legs and its flattened body can squeeze through gaps less than two millimetres high. Both these cockroaches can be treated with a spray treatment.
The German and American cockroach are as follows:
German cockroaches prefer living indoors and find their way in through old furniture and boxes or electronic devices. They prefer warm, moist environments and leave peppery faecal matter on countertops, shelves and cupboard doors; particularly around hinges. It can also be found in corners of rooms or along door openings. You may notice a musty odour, which is a sign of an infestation. Identifying features include:
- light brown in colour
- two black stripes behind the head on the pronotum
- grow to 15mm in length
- lay up to 40 eggs at a time, 3-4 times a year
American cockroaches generally live outside, they are commonly found in drainage systems and prefer warm, damp environments. Unfortunately however, they do make their way indoors for food and water; they can pass under doorways if not sealed correctly, and garages are frequently known to be high entry points. American cockroaches tend to gather together in open spaces unlike the German cockroaches who hide in crevices. Identifying features include:
- brown – reddish in colour
- adult American cockroaches have a yellow band outlining behind their head
- grow to 40mm in length
- lay up to 16 eggs at a time
- fecal material are blunt at the ends and are ridged on the sides, often times mistaken for mouse droppings