Cockroaches are close relatives of termites and belong to the insect Order Battodea. They represent a primitive and highly successful group of insects whose orgins extend back at least 300 million years. Despite their somewhat misleading common names, most pest cockroaches that occur in Australia originated in tropical or subtropical Africa.
Their wide distribution and close association with humans, coupled with the high frequency with which they carry human diseases, in and on their bodies, have given them a very high pest status in most parts of the world.
While there are about 3500 species of cockroach worldwide, only about 10 species have seriously exploited the dwellings of humans.