How To Identify A Cockroach

Some of the over 3,000 different species of cockroaches are thought to be pests while others are more beneficial in their natural environment.

The three main types of cockroaches normally found in New Zealand homes are German cockroach, Gisborne cockroach and American cockroach. Here Ventura Pest Management shows you how to identify all the cockroaches below.

German cockroach


German cockroaches are easily recognizable by 2 dark longitudinal stripes on their pronotum. Adults grow approximately 12 – 15mm in length.


  • German cockroaches have a life span of 4 – 6 months and in that lifespan a female roach can have up to 8 egg casings, each case having 30 – 40 eggs with 3 – 4 generations a year.
  • This type of cockroach is the most prolific breeder of all pest cockroaches and left untreated will lead infestation, resulting in unhealthy living environments as they have the ability to carry diseases.
  • They contaminate food products by their droppings, skin cases, empty egg cases.
  • Most commonly found indoors. They prefer damp, humid conditions and are typically found in kitchens and bathrooms in homes and commercial properties.
German Cockroach

Gisborne cockroach


  • The Gisborne cockroach can be up to 45mm long and is of dark brown to black with distinctive white bands.
  • They have an incomplete metamorphosis and develops to adult through nymphal stages.
  • Gisborne cockroaches are harmless, unlike German or American cockroaches, it does not spread disease, nor can it fly. It characteristically does not invade food supplies, unless they’re decaying. It prefers to stay outside under bark or woodchips, however will come inside if it’s wet or too hot.
Gisborne Roaches

American cockroach


  • The American cockroach can be between 35 – 40mm long, are shining red–brown in colour. Generally, they run but can fly at very high temperatures.
  • The egg case contains up to 16 eggs and is carried by the female for several days before being deposited. They hatch in around 1 – 2 months. Nymphs usually develop in 6 – 12 months, but it can take up to 15 months.
  • The American cockroach prefers dark, humid and undisturbed areas and can be found in subfloors, basements, kitchens, roof voids and bathrooms of homes.
American Cockroach

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