A woman was alarmed after finding an unwanted pest in the packaging of a new home appliance she'd ordered.
The woman, from Albion Park south of Sydney, received the delivery at home this week, but when opening it, discovered a cockroach that had laid eggs inside the box.
While cockroaches have a reputation for infesting homes during summer, this one is of particular concern, she pointed out.
"Inside the packaging was a German cockroach which had laid an egg sack, and when I was lucky enough to open it up it had hatched," she wrote on Facebook.
"If I’d left this unopened for another day I’d have them throughout the house."
German cockroaches worst of all species
The common German cockroach, while smaller than the regular American kind, are the hardest pest cockroach to get rid of and is the most troublesome pest known in Sydney, according to the Australian Museum.
They are tan to medium brown in colour and can be found anywhere in the home, but are most common in the kitchen, including inside cupboards, drawers and appliances.
The woman warned people to "check your boxes and avoid an infestation".
"They are nearly impossible to get rid of once they get a hold," she said.
This is because German cockroaches breed at a rapid rate and lay more eggs more quickly than any other kind, ABC Pest Control's Stephen Amos told Yahoo News Australia.
"Because they breed so fast, people generally need help [with an infestation] because you just can't keep up with them," he said.
Sydney is most infested with the German species due to its ideal breeding climate.
"Cockroaches like damp, warm places like under the refrigerator, in the microwave, dishwasher," Stephen added. "The motor attracts them due to its warmth combined with dampness."
The woman who raised the issue on Facebook said the cockroach was alive when she saw it, but she promptly sprayed the critter and the "hatched babies" before they spread throughout her home.
ABC Pest Control warned that even after using off-the-shelf sprays, German cockroaches "drop their egg sac upon death" meaning they can still spread.
Posting in the comments, one person said the same thing happened to them.
"I bought a microwave locally from a store and they were in the LCD screen," they wrote. "Went through the house and cost me a fortune to get rid of them."
How to avoid an infestation
With the warmer months approaching, Warren Bailey, director of ABC Pest Control Sydney, said residents should take preventative measures to avoid a swarm of cockroaches in the home.
"In Sydney, a lot of people wait until it’s too late to call in professional help. But really they need to be taking preventative measures before it gets to that point," Mr Bailey previously told Yahoo News Australia.
He said the best thing people can do to stay on top of the number of cockroaches in their home is to maintain a high level of hygiene and not neglect specific areas of the house like the bathroom and kitchen.
The pest experts warned again to check plastic shopping bags which are often "forgotten under sinks, cupboards, and other places.."
"This is the perfect moist, damp and protected area for the German cockroach to breed," they said.
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