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The Australian cockroach closely resembles the American cockroach , but can be separated from it by its slightly smaller size .
Australian cockroaches have long hairy legs and a distinguishing eye camouflage pattern on its thorax, which is often mistaken as being a part of its head, for warding prey. Their antennae are longer than their body length and their body is flat and smooth to get into limited spaces.
Adults have a pair of wings but cannot take to the air very efficiently but they have six strong legs that carry them along very fast. The young nymph cockroaches appear similar to the adults except they do not have their wings.
During they day this cockroach is usually found concealed in narrow gaps,necessitated by their flat broad bodies. At night time they become more active and are found moving around the household or in the vegetation outside.
Dense populations can leave a distinct odour. Food and utensils can be contaminated with droppings, cast skins, empty egg cases and vomit marks. A number of pathogenic organisms have been associated with cockroaches. Their ability to act as vectors of pathogens is still a matter of controversy. This is mainly because that transmission can only occur indirectly via contamination of food and utensils. Pest status applies equally to nymphs and adults.
Life Cycle: Gradual / Incomplete metamorphosis (egg â€“ nymph â€“ adult). Eggs are encased in an egg capsule (Ootheca). Female drops the egg capsule (Ootheca) shortly after it is formed near a food source, in crevices, on walls, or under workable material such as moist wood, so as to camouflage it.
Eggs per capsule: 16-24. Incubation period: 30-40 days. Nymphal period: 6-12 months Nymphs normally moult 10-12 times to reach adulthood. Females may produce 12-30 egg capsules in a lifetime. Egg capsules are completed and dropped at about 10 day intervals. Adult lifespan: up to 8 months.
Control: Because the Australian cockroach is found outdoors, applications of insecticides to foundation plantings, wood piles, mulch, and other infested locations are recommended. Treatments placed to intercept cockroaches are both environmentally- and entomologically-sound. Residual barrier sprays have been shown to provide substantial reductions of Australian cockroach populations around houses.
Power dusting of sewage lines, crawl spaces, false ceilings, wall voids, and trash chutes is an effective method of control. Space sprays, ULV treatment, or contact aerosols and sprays can be used in basements and utility rooms. Loose baits and other formulations better suited for damp locations can provide effective control in basements and similar areas.
When a male intrudes on a neighboring maleâ€™s territory, a fight will ensue. One male will attempt to push the other out of his territory. During the battle, a great deal of movement and hissing will occur; however, no harm is done to the loser. Mating behavior of the MHC is elaborate and involves posturing and hissing by the males to attract females.
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