Cockroaches Found In New Zealand

The German cockroach (Blattella germanica) is very successful at establishing an ecological niche in buildings, and is very hardy and resilient against attempts at pest control. This is because of the large number of nymphs produced from each egg case, the short period between birth and sexual maturity, and their ability to easily hide due to their small size. The mother also carries the egg case (called an ootheca) with her during the germination period, rather than depositing it like other species, a practice which would leave them vulnerable in a human habitat to zealous attempts to wipe them out. This cockroach is also smaller than many other species so it can more easily hide and fit into very small cracks and crevices to evade humans. That is also the main reason they can most effectively be controlled with bait in cracks and crevices near harborages. These type of pest control methods must kill 95% of the overall population to be effective in a property due to the fast reproductive cycles. The German cockroach, discounting the presence of pets, has few natural predators inside a human habitat. The German cockroach's thigmotactic nature compounds the difficulty of pest control treatment. The immature cockroaches will live off excretions and moults from the adult cockroaches and thus can remain hidden away from most surface treatments.  American cockroach (Periplaneta americana) adults grow to an average length of around 4 centimetres and about 7 millimetres tall. They are reddish brown and have a yellowish margin on the body region behind the head. Immature cockroaches resemble adults except that they are wingless. The insect can travel quickly, often darting out of sight when someone enters a room, and can fit into small cracks and under doors despite its fairly large size. It is considered one of the fastest running insects. Due to their large size and slow development, large infestations of these insects are not common within houses. However, during certain times of the year, these cockroaches may move inside a house from outside. In cold weather these cockroaches may move indoors, seeking warmer temperatures and food. Cockroaches may enter houses through sewer connections, under doors, around plumbing, air ducts, or other openings in the foundation. Cockroach populations may be controlled through the use of insecticides. 

The Gisborne cockroach (Drymaplaneta semivitta) is often found in sources of wood, such as timber or bark chips. It feeds off organic material but does not normally infest food. In cold weather, it can be found in roof cavities and the empty spaces between walls, it is generally regarded as harmless.