Cockroaches are often one of the most hated household pests. They can cause quite a commotion, especially when you have flying cockroaches coming at you.

There are 4,500 cockroach species in the world. In Australia, there are six common cockroach species that plague homes and businesses, which include the German, American, Smokey Brown, Brown-banded, Oriental, and Australian cockroaches. However, out of these six, only four have the ability to fly.

Which cockroaches in Australia can fly?

The four flying cockroaches are the American, Smokey-brown, Brown-banded, and Australian cockroaches. These cockroaches range in variating shades of brown and grow to anywhere between 12-55mm.

Where do flying cockroaches come from?

A common characteristic of flying cockroaches is that they are all outdoor cockroaches, found in coastal areas. The American cockroach is found in coastal Australia, and frequently inhabits drains. The Smokey Brown cockroach, mainly found on the east coast, is also an outdoor cockroach as they prefer feeding on plant materials grown in gardens. The Brown-banded cockroach is different from the rest as this pest prefers dry indoor spaces. This species has a large growth range, with the smallest starting at 12mm and the largest growing to 55mm.

The Australian cockroach is the only flying cockroach that is not found in coastal areas. This roach prefers tropical areas and like the American cockroach, it prefers inhabiting drains.

Why do cockroaches fly?

Adult cockroaches do not fly in the same sense as birds, flies or mosquitoes. Rather than flying, it is more accurate to say cockroaches glide, as they are only able to travel short distances with their wings. When they attempt to fly from higher locations, such as trees or ceiling cornices, they are able to travel a moderate distance.

As such, a majority of flying cockroaches prefer crawling over flying. Gliding is often used as defence mechanism, for example escaping threatening situations. Cockroaches prefer and thrive in conditions between 23-29°C. For this reason, cockroaches often fly in summer or when the temperature reaches over 30°C to seek cooler hiding space.

How do I get rid of flying cockroaches?

Flick Anticimex has outlined ten preventative tips in our Residential Tips on Cockroaches guide. To discover our ten tips, download the guide here now. It is unlikely for you to encounter flying cockroaches right now, however with summer fast approaching, we ask residents to stay alert. Call Flick Anticimex on 1300 270 019 to handle your cockroach problem. 


Did you know? Did you know that despite being omnivores, cockroaches have been observed to bite humans on our fingernails, feet, and/or hands! Read more about cockroach bites here.