What is that Critter?
For us Top End locals, cockroaches are a part of every day living in the tropics. We have big ugly ones, little ugly ones, and some in between ugly ones but unfortunate no cute ones. So what is this menagerie of cockroach species and how can you identify them. In this blog series 'cockroach identification' we are going to help you to identify types of cockroaches species, their preferred hangouts and tell tale signs of cockroach activity.
THE AMERICAN COCKROACH
The American cockroach is the largest of its kind you will encounter in Darwin and most people would agree the ugliest. Fast and fearless and able to live for days even when their head is detached from their body these guys give off a pungent odour when in high numbers and carry and spread disease such as Salmonella.
Appearance - 40 mm in length, flattened oval in shape, reddish brown in colour with a yellow band behind the head. Both the female and male of the species appear the same. These guys are the Usain Bolt of cockroaches being able to run the equivalent of 50 times its own body length in one second.
Harbourages - Preferring warm weather American cockroaches are well suited to the tropics and relish Darwin's average 30 degree day time temperatures. They love moisture! Damp, wet, moist, humid areas are the ideal haven hangout for these guys. Under kitchen cabinetry, around leaking pipes, in and under wet area appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines, drains, grease traps, wall cavities, cracks and crevices. Moist and dirty is how they like it and where you will find them.
Signs of Activity - Like all cockroaches, American cockroaches are nocturnal and shun the daylight and are most active during the night when they come out to forage and feed. American cockroaches are omnivorous feeders meaning they will eat both animal and plant base materials, there is not much they will not have a go at from meats,cheeses, vegetables and cereals to papers, pet foods, clothing and animal hides. There faeces are approximately 3 mm in length and dark in colour and can be found around there foraging and harbourage sites. Chewed packaging, papers and clothing as well as there droppings are signs these guys lurking around. When a population of American cockroaches is high in numbers they radiate a pungent odour with permeates the area they inhabit and is clear indication of a heavy infestation of these guys.