Brown Cockroaches

  • Scientific Name: Periplaneta brunnea

Brown Cockroaches

Scientific Name:

Periplaneta brunnea

How to identify Brown Cockroaches

Brown cockroaches are large species of cockroaches. They are about 3-4 cm long and have wings. They are dark, reddish brown in colour. The brown cockroaches can be distinguished from American cockroaches by observing their cerci, which are two pointed barbs, or spines, near the posterior end of some cockroaches. Brown cockroaches have a pair of blunt, short and dark cerci while American cockroaches have longer and sharp pointed cerci.

Where are cockroaches commonly found?

Cockroaches prefer warm, moist areas which remind them of their tropical origins. In a kitchen, they can be found in places that provide warmth, food & moisture so a dishwasher is prime real estate as far as they are concerned. When such desirable habitats are fully occupied, they start to move out to less suitable environments.

Why are cockroaches considered pests?

Cockroaches are probable carriers of a number of debilitating diseases including salmonellosis, dysentery, typhoid, hepatitis and tuberculosis. There is no unequivocal proof that cockroaches are disease carriers unlike in the case of rodents and flies but, it doesn’t take much imagination to conjure up the image of them crawling through drains and sewers and then scuttling across the speciality of the house!

What is possibly more disturbing to families is the fact that people can become allergic to cockroaches and their faeces. “This allergic reaction is a worldwide phenomenon, with sensitivity to cockroaches ranging from 23–60% of the population tested. There seems to be a particular association between cockroach allergens and asthma but they can also cause rhinitis and dermatitis. The allergens are potent sensitisers of children and exposure to cockroach allergens early in life has been found to be a predictor for the development of asthma."

On commercial premises, the presence of cockroaches contravenes health regulations and could result in a significant fine.

What is the biology and lifecycle of cockroaches?

Cockroaches undergo an incomplete (or gradual) metamorphosis with the juvenile stages being similar in appearance to the adult form, apart from the presence of wings. Female cockroaches produce an egg case (ootheca) after mating and they either deposit this sometime before or immediately prior to the baby (nymph) cockroaches emerging. According to the species involved, there are a number of juvenile stages lasting from six to twelve months. Adults can live from three to twelve months.  Juveniles and adults are found living together in aggregations with up to 75% of the aggregation consisting of juveniles. All stages have similar mouthparts and feed upon identical foods.

Management Tips for Brown Cockroaches

Steps for controlling cockroach populations
  1. Site Evaluation: Carry out a risk assessment and site evaluation. Look for evidence of cockroach activity such as live or dead insects, cast nymphal skins, egg cases, droppings, regurgitation marks and you can even smell them out if there are quite a few of them. Carry out the inspection in a systematic manner from left to right or vice versa depending upon your preference.

  2. Do not use an aerosol as a flushing agent as this merely disperses them and makes subsequent control efforts much more difficult. Look for locations that provide warmth, moisture, food and shelter such as dishwashers, refrigerator motors, microwaves and coffee machines. Do not neglect any possible harbourage as adult German cockroaches can hide in a gap less than 2 millimetres high. Look for hygiene and proofing issues that may contribute to the pest problem. Write them down and detail any recommended actions.

  3. Treatment: When you are aware of all actual and potential harbourage areas, apply your insecticide. There can be nobody in the vicinity while you are working and you may need to put out warning signs. Refer to the NSW WorkCover publication, “Safe Use of Pesticides Including Herbicides in Non-Agricultural Workplaces Code of Practice 2006” for detailed information on relevant safety precautions.

  4. After Treatment: After the treatment, you should evaluate the situation. Walk around and re-inspect. You will need to stoop to look under fittings and you may need your ladder to look up high. You may need to apply additional insecticides or knock them down with an aerosol.  Are there any liquid or dust puddles? You will need to remove those before the client re-enters. Place cockroach glue traps in the worst harbourage areas. These will give you valuable information when you return. If there are lots of cockroaches stuck on them, you will need to do another thorough treatment. After completing the necessary paperwork, take another look around. Is there anything you may have missed? Detail any client recommendations regarding hygiene and proofing. Tell them how important it is for an integrated pest management programme that all these recommendations are acted on. Don’t be surprised if your recommendations are not promptly actioned.

  5. Servicing Intervals: Now that you have completed the initial treatment, you will need to return to ensure that the results are satisfactory. In your quotation, you will have noted any follow-ups and service intervals. Always make at least one follow-up visit after ten to fourteen days. Check your glue boards to see if there is any fresh activity. If there is, you will need to re-treat and come back again a week later to check the results. You should never leave a site if you think that live cockroaches are still there unless you have applied gel to those areas. For most food facilities e.g. restaurants, hotels and food manufacturers, at least a monthly service is required. Some sites have weekly or even twice weekly visits. With other non-food sites, a quarterly service may be all that is required. With domestic premises, your service schedule is more flexible. Some companies provide three or six-month free service periods. With experience, you will be able to decide on service intervals with more precision

Chemicals Required to Control Brown Cockroaches

Chemicals required to treat and control cockroach populations

If you start a job thinking that an insecticide will do all the work for you, then you and your client will be disappointed. To manage and control cockroach populations, you need to work in a diligent, systematic fashion. Please see our list of recommended insecticides to assist with the treatment of cockroaches below. The standard types of insecticides for a cockroach eradication job should include:

  • Two residual insecticides (with different modes of action),

  • An insecticidal dust,

  • An Insect Growth Regulator,

  • An aerosol with an applicator nozzle,

  • Two cockroach gels (with different modes of action), and for big jobs.

For a heavy infestation, you will achieve better and quicker results if you apply a liquid insecticide with added insect growth regulator and treat any voids or cavities with an insecticidal dust. Some pest managers rely almost exclusively on cockroach gel as their one and only method of treatment and these products are effective control agents. However, they are not rapid acting and it may be some days before results are noticed. For initial treatments, a liquid residual insecticide plus dust will give faster, more impressive results. You will need a crack and crevice/borer nozzle and apply the spray with a low pressure into harbourages. It is not wise to spray skirting boards/carpet edges as has been the custom of some pest managers in the past. This procedure is not productive and may lead to staining of surfaces. Always prepare and apply insecticides according to label requirements.

You can apply dusts to voids and cavities where it will not be blown onto foodstuffs, food handling surfaces or cooking utensils. It must be applied lightly or the cockroaches will avoid it. Do not apply it in areas which will become wet. Dust can be applied to enclosed roof voids or sub-floors where it will not contaminate any stored materials.

Cockroach gels are relatively new on the scene having appeared only in the last 20 years. They are cost effective and provide excellent results when used according to label instructions relating to “dot” size and spacing. They should be applied with a proper gel gun not just squeezed from the tube. Many pest managers use gels to the exclusion of all other formulations and there is nothing wrong with that approach but, as mentioned prior, they will provide slower results. Other pest managers only use gels to treat harbourages where liquids or dusts may cause problems e.g. electronic equipment. This is a more economical approach.



Each pest control product is registered for use in specific environments, situations, pest life stages and other key factors. Please always consult the product label for detailed information about how to use each product.

Goliath Cockroach Gel 4 x 35g
0.5g/kg Fipronil

Goliath Gel Cockroach Bait provides complete, lasting and cost-effective cockroach contro in a palatable, potent, economical and convenient gel form.

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Seclira Pressurised Insecticide 397g
5g/kg Diontefuran

Seclira Pressurised Insecticide is a fast-acting, non-repellent, ready-to-use product with System III compatibility for the control of a broad range of pests including ants, and cockroaches.

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Seclira WSG Insecticide
400g/kg Dinotefuran

Seclira® WSG insecticide is a non-staining, odourless, broad spectrum, general insect control product for indoor and outdoor use.

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Maxforce Activ Cockroach Gel (3 Pack)
10g/kg Clothianidin

Maxforce Activ Cockroach Gel is the latest gel, in the line of ‘new generation’ cockroach control products. Trials suggest that Maxforce Activ Cockroach Gel placements remain palatable for at least 12 months. Incorporating the patented blue bead feeding stimulant technology to ensure Total Life Cycle control (TLC).

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Maxforce Fusion Cockroach Gel
21.5g/kg Imidacloprid

Maxforce® Fusion is the next generation gel against cockroaches large and small. Incorporating for the first time, a patented fusion technology (Total Life Cycle Control or TLC control), incorporating a feeding stimulant and capsule technology within the gel matrix (blue beads).

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Maxforce Gold Cockroach Gel
0.3g/kg Fipronil

Maxforce Gold Cockroach gel is a fipronil based gel formulation for control of cockroaches in residential and commercial areas by professional pest control operators.

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Perigen Defence 500EC Residual Insecticide
500g/L Permethrin

Perigen Defence 500 Residual Insecticide is registered for the control of cockroaches, spiders, fleas, ants and more in domestic and commercial situations.

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Starycide Insect Growth Regulator (IGR)
48 g/L triflumuron

Starycide is an insect growth regulator (IGR) registered for the control of silverfish, immature fleas and cockroaches in indoor and outdoor situations, and container breeding mosquitoes outdoors.

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Suspend Flexx Insecticide
25g/L Deltamethrin

Suspend Flexx Insecticide is a synthetic pyrethroid (3A) formulation for the knockdown and residual control of a range of insect pests in various indoor and outdoor situations.

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Biflex Aqua Max Insecticide and Termiticide
100g/L Bifenthrin

Biflex AquaMax is the first ever Professional Strength, multi-insecticide and termiticide. Effective on a wide range of common household pests and all termite species in Australia.

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PCO Bifenthrin 100EC (Low Odour)
100g/L Bifenthrin

PCO Bifenthrin 100EC (Low Odour) is formulated for the protection of structures from subterranean termite damage and for the control of termites and a range of other urban pests.

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PCO Bifenthrin 100SC
100g/L Bifenthrin

PCO Bifenthrin 100SC is formulated for the control of a range of urban interior and exterior pests, for the control of mosquitoes, biting midges and flies by forming Residual Surface Treatments on a range of urban interior and exterior situations, for protection of structures from subterranean termite damage and for the control of termites.

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PCO Deltamethrin 10SC
10g/L Deltamethrin

PCO Deltamethrin 10SC is formulated for the control of a range of insect pests, Cockroaches, Web-spinning Spiders, Non web-spinning Spiders, Ant, Fleas, Silverfish, Bed Bugs, Bird Mite, Carpet Beetle, Clothes Moth, Mosquitoes, House Flies, Stored Product Pests in various situations.

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PCO Deltamethrin Tetramethrin 10SC 5L
10g/L Deltamethrin, 10g/L Tetramethrin, 80g/L Piperonyl Butoxide

PCO Deltamethrin Tetramethrin is formulated for the control of a range of insect pests including: Ants, Cockroaches, Fleas, Silverfish, Spiders, Bird Mites, Carpet Beetles, Clothes Moths, Bed Bugs House Flies and Mosquitoes in various situations.

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Advion Cockroach Gel
8g/kg Indoxacarb

Advion Cockroach Gel is a highly palatable gel bait targeting all pest species of cockroaches. It is powered by Indoxacarb which has a unique mode of action allowing for the primary, secondary and tertiary control of cockroaches.

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Advion Evolution Cockroach Gel
8 g/kg indoxacarb

Advion Evolution Cockroach Gel is an indoxacarb-based bait that features a new attractive bait matrix with improved palatability to ensure increased bait consumption and improved speed of kill.

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Arilon Insecticide
200g/kg Indoxacarb

Arilon® is a non-repellent insecticide which provides excellent control of ants, cockroaches and other key insect pest species on a variety of interior and exterior surfaces.

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Antagonist PRO Insecticide 1L
80g/L Bifenthrin

ANTagonist PRO insecticide is a suspension concentrate formulation containing a Polymer Enhanced Synthetic Pyrethroid approved for the treatment of ants, spiders, wasps, cockroaches, mosquitoes, midges, fleas, flies, ticks, termites and turf pests including lawn armyworms, sod webworms, argentine stem weevil, billbug, African black beetle, ants and ornamental pest including mites, aphids, caterpillars, loopers, earworm, budworm, light brown apple moth, whitefly, mealybug, thrips and cutworms.

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Delta Pro 25SC Professional Insecticide
25g/L Deltamethrin

For the control of a range of insect pests such as spiders, cockroaches, flies, ants, mosquitoes in various situations.

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Ensnare Pro 50SC Insecticide 1L
50g/L Indoxacarb

EnsnarePRO is a non-repellent residual suspension concentrate spray. It can be used in conjunction with baits without reducing the performance of the bait. Ants, cockroaches and flies don’t know it’s there. The ‘non-repellent’ properties of this formulation does not interfer with insects natural behaviour...

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Chaindrite Perforce 500 Residual Insecticide
500 g/L Permethrin

Chaindrite Perforce 500 Residual Insecticide is formulated for the control of a broad range of insects in various situations as per the Directions for Use table.

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Clear Out Cockroach Bait 3 x 30g
0.5g/kg Fipronil

Clear-Out Cockroach Bait is a crevice, crack or spot treatment formulated with a unique food matrix and the active ingredient 0.5g/kg Fipronil. It can be used control cockroach infestation including German and other common cockroaches in commercial, domestic and public service buildings.

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Clear Out Commercial Cockroach Bait 2x30g
0.5g/kg Fipronil

Clearout Commercial Cockroach Bait has been formulated with a unique food matrix and 0.5g/kg Fipronil in a white aesthetic colour for sensitive areas. It is highly palatable to cockroaches and can be used as a crevice, crack or spot treatment. for the control of cockroach infestation including German and other common cockroaches in commercial and domestic situations.

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Clear Out Plus IGR Dust Insecticide
20g/kg Permethrin, 2g/kg Pyriproxyfen

ClearOut Plus IGR Dust Insecticide is a dual active dustable powder containing Permethrin and Pyriproxyfen for the control of adult and juvenile insects.

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Shieldrite Crawling Insect Foam 350g
0.5g/kg Imidacloprid

Shieldrite Crawling Insect Foam is a non repellent suspension concentrate formulated into a ready to use foam for the use in the management of pest insects including Termites, European wasps, Ants, Cockroaches and Bed bugs.

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Vectorforce ULV and Thermal Fogging Insecticide 5L
25g/L Cypermethrin Solvent

Vectorforce Thermal Fogging and ULV Insecticide Concentrate is formulated for the knockdown control of adult mosquitoes, biting midges, flies and cockroaches.

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Scuttle Cockroach Gel
20g/kg Hydramethlynon

Scuttle Cockroach Gel is a ready-to-use gel formulation for the control of cockroaches in domestic, commercial and warehousing premises. Scuttle Cockroach Gel can be used as a high-attractive bait targeting problem cockroaches.

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PY Fog Insecticide
4g/L Pyrethrins, 12g/L Piperonyl Butoxide

PY Fog is a ready to use, broad spectrum insecticide for the control of a range of insect pests in various situations using a thermal fogging machine.

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PY Spray Aerosol Insecticide
10 g/kg pyrethrin and 50 g/kg piperonyl butoxide

PY Spray Aerosol Insecticide is a ready to use professional aerosol for control of a range of insect pests in various situations. Suitable for crack and crevice applications. PY Spray Aerosol Insecticide is an industrial strength spray, suitable for flushing or as a space spray.

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Sumilarv Insect Growth Regulator 500ml

Sumilarv Insect Growth Regulator is registered for use with an adulticide to control cockroaches and fleas in domestic, industrial and public health situations.

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