Pest Information - Roaches

There are over 4,000 species of roaches but only 12-14 are associated with humans. This site will focus on the roaches most commonly found in Hawaii. Learn about their Appearance, Habitat, Diet, Health Risks, and Reproduction.
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Australian Roach

Australian Roach

Scientific Name

Periplaneta australasiae


The Australian cockroach is a large species of cockroach, winged, and growing to a length of 1 1/4"-1 3/8". It is brown in color and a bit smaller than the American cockroach, has a yellow margin on the thorax, and yellow streaks at its sides at the wing base.


This species has become established in the southern U.S. and in tropical climates including Hawaii, and can be found in many locations throughout the world due to its travels via shipping and commerce between locations.  It lives outdoors around the perimeter of houses, in leaf litter, in and around shrubs, flowers and trees, tree holes, wood piles, garages, crawl spaces, attics, and greenhouses.


It appears to prefer eating plants more than its relatives do, but can feed off a wide array of organic (including decaying) matter. Like most cockroaches, it is a scavenger.

Type of Damage

The Australian roach becomes a pest when it enters homes, where it may eat holes in clothing and feed upon book covers.

Health Risks

Roaches contribute to health concerns such as asthma and the spread of bacteria.

Life Cycle

The Australian cockroach life cycle requires about one year from egg to adult. The ootheca (egg sack) takes 40 days to hatch. There are 24 eggs per egg capsule, 16 of which hatch. Each female produces 20 to 30 oothecae.

Interesting Facts

Despite its name, the Australian cockroach originated in Asia.