Cockroaches are a common throughout New Zealand and are considered a low-level health threat. The American (Periplaneta americana) and German (Blatella germanica) are the main disease carrying species. Gisborne (Drymaplaneta semivitta) and Native Bush (Celatoblatta vulgaris) cockroaches mainly live outside and do not pose as much of a risk.
Cockroaches are able to survive for long periods without food and water.
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The Gisborne cockroach arrived from Australia in 1949 and is now widespread. Adults are wingless and 30-35 mm long. Lives mostly outside in timber/bark but will enter buildings. It is harmless, cannot fly and does not spread disease.
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The German cockroach is the most common species and breeds in large numbers. It is an indoor species favouring dark, moist shelter near food. It carries various diseases and can cause allergic reactions.
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The Native Bush cockroach lives outside under the bark of trees, however it can be carried indoors on firewood. It is unable to survive indoors and does not infest food.
Reduce your chances of an infestation by filling cracks in walls, keep living areas dry and clean, dispose of rubbish and remove human and food waste quickly and efficiently.