All You Need to Know About Cockroach Infestations

Cockroaches are common in Australia, where about 400 species can be found. The most common variants are Australian Cockroaches, American Cockroaches and German Cockroaches.

Cockroach infestation must be avoided because of the economic and health problems that they could bring to property owners.

Here are some important facts you need to know about cockroaches to help you avoid an infestation.

What causes cockroaches in the house?

There are many things that attract cockroaches to your home. Knowing what causes cockroaches will help you avoid drawing the attention of these filthy and dangerous pests to your home.

Here are the things in your house that cockroaches will go after:

  • Pet food in the bowl
  • Dirty dishes in the sink or on the countertops
  • Food crumbs on the floor, furniture or counters
  • Garbage
  • Leftover food in cans or containers
  • Still water spots

Cockroaches are also drawn by humid weather. They thrive in excess moisture, so they would naturally gravitate to the leaky pipes and faucets in your bathroom, kitchen or laundry area.

Do cockroaches live in walls?

Yes, if the walls offer them darkness and humidity. They also prefer to stay in the area near their main food source, so you are most likely to see cockroaches coming out of cracks, crevices and other structural damage in the home.

Unlike mice or rats, cockroaches don’t make noise. So, if you hear cockroaches inside your walls, you are mostly likely dealing with a severe infestation.

They can also build their nest inside walls, if the conditions are favourable enough. They can also use loose wallpaper or the spaces between the baseboard and the wall. These places are ideal because they are often ignored.

How fast do cockroaches reproduce?

Cockroaches multiply quickly, so you probably have a serious infestation if you see one or two. Depending on the species, female cockroaches lay between six and 14 egg capsules in their lifetimes. One capsule contains approximately 16 eggs.

Let’s find out how quickly the most common species of cockroaches in Australia produce eggs.

German Cockroach

Females are able to carry more eggs than other females of the species. Each egg capsule can hold up to 48 eggs, so a female can be the mother of 35,000 baby roaches. They also carry their eggs until they hatch, increasing the young’s survival.

American Cockroach

At their peak, the females can produce two egg capsules a week. One capsule contains about 16 eggs. Luckily, females don’t have much breeding time. After their peak, females can only produce one egg capsule per month.

Oriental Cockroach

Females lay an average of eight egg capsules. They carry their eggs until they can deposit them on a warm, moist spot.

Brown Banded Roaches

Cockroaches have wings, but only this species can fly. Like the Oriental Cockroaches, females carry their eggs until they can deposit them in a safe place. Females produce about 12 egg capsules during their lifetime.

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Where do cockroaches hide during the day?

It’s rare to see cockroaches during the day as they do their searching of food at night. During the day, here are the places where cockroaches are most likely hiding.

  • The back of kitchen appliances like microwaves and fridges
  • Inside cabinets and pantries
  • Electronics like keyboards where food crumbs might have fallen in between keys
  • Pipes in the basement and under sinks as they are dark and moist
  • Furniture like couches where food or drinks might have spilled while you are watching television
  • Nooks and crannies like baseboards and trims, the backs of picture frames and corners where stuff has accumulated

Does killing a cockroach attract more?


Killing cockroaches and not properly disposing the dead cockroaches will catch the attention of more cockroaches. It is because dead roaches discharge oleic acid, which signals other roaches that there is food.

So, should you just leave cockroaches alone?

The key is proper disposal of the dead cockroaches. Simply throwing them in the trash bins will not work because, over time, the dead cockroaches will produce a smell that attracts other roaches.

The proper way to dispose dead cockroaches far from your home and disinfect the surface where the cockroaches died. You can use a disinfectant or essential oils like peppermint or eucalyptus. These are smells that cockroaches will try to avoid.

Will cockroaches leave on their own?

Cockroaches will not go away just because you’ve moved out of your home temporarily, leaving them without sources of food crumbs, dirty dishes and water.

This is because cockroaches are the most adaptable insects in the world, allowing them to adjust and thrive in any type of situation or environment. In an empty house, cockroaches will eat starch-based paint, paper, cardboard and wallpaper pastes.

They can even survive on nymphs and dead or dying cockroaches. Cockroaches will remain in a vacant house until the food source runs out.

What’s worse is that cockroaches will use the empty house as a base for shelter and warmth and will widen their food search to include surrounding homes. Because of their flat bodies, they can easily get through small holes and gaps to gain access into homes.

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What happens if a cockroach touches or bites you?

Cockroaches don’t bite as a natural defence against attacks. In fact, their mouths are not even strong enough to pierce through human skin. In situations where they seem to be biting, they are most likely trying to pick up food or dead skin.

Perhaps the only reason for cockroaches to bite is if they are absolutely starving because there is no other possible food source that they can get their hands on. This can be true for severe infestation. The cockroach population could grow big enough that they would be forced to modify their feeding habits and turn to biting people in order to survive.

Red cockroach on a denim pocket

What kills cockroaches instantly?

There are many products that are designed to kill cockroaches. Choosing which to use will depend on finding the right product that works best for you.

  • Roach spray
  • Traps
  • Borax
  • Bleach
  • Baking soda
  • Boric acid
  • Roach Fogger
  • Gel Bait

While all of the DIY products above are capable of killing cockroaches, there is no instant or overnight solution for a cockroach infestation. One approach that has been proven to be more effective than other is calling a pest control specialist.

Cockroaches are difficult to kill and infestations are even harder to control that only professionals have the experience and technologies to deal with cockroaches as efficiently as possible.




How do you know if cockroaches are gone?

The same signs that you look for to determine if you have a cockroach infestation are the same signs that will tell you if the cockroaches are gone for good.

  • No cockroaches crawling on the walls, floors and countertops
  • No unpleasant, strange odour
  • No cockroach faeces or droppings
  • No cockroach eggs and cases

Why are there suddenly so many cockroaches in the house?

You have a clean house. Therefore, it must mean it has no cockroaches. Sadly, this is not entirely true. While it helps to control cockroaches when your house is clean, there are still other ways that these pests can enter your house.

It could be that a single cockroach hitched a ride with you via one of the paper bags from the grocery store. Or, it could have come from the purse of one of your most recent guests.

If you live in an apartment building, a cockroach can move from one unit to another through pipes and other holes in the shared walls. Or, from the outside, cockroaches can enter through openings around the doors and windows.

What time of the year are cockroaches most active?

Cockroaches are present all year-round. However, expect to see heightened cockroach activity during autumn when they are searching for a place to keep warmth – and with plenty of food sources – which is usually people’s homes.

Always make sure that food items are properly stored and sealed in containers and your home is kept clean at all times to discourage cockroaches.

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