‘Bush cockroach’ is a very broad term for native cockroaches. Almost all cockroaches outside a home/business setting will be a native cockroach. A garden with dense shrubs, groundcovers, mulch, leaflitter, and rockeries can provide sheltered habitat for native cockroaches.
Some species including the colourful Austral Ellipsidion (Ellipsidion sp.) and Mardi Gra Cockroach (Polyzosteria sp.) are active in the day and bask on rocks and logs.
A template of a bug hotel is illustrated below. Things to consider:
Place several bug hotels throughout the garden to avoid disease spread.
Have several smaller hotels throughout the garden to avoid parasite and predator burden.
Position in a north and east position sheltered with dappled shade.
Keep dry and ensure protection from the rain.
Avoid using insecticides around the garden.
Habitat Guide - Food and Water
Providing natural sources of food
Bush cockroaches have varied diets. Bush cockroaches including the Austral Ellipsidion (Ellipsidion sp.) feed on the nectar, pollen, and fresh growth of native species. Austral Ellipsidion feed on moulds which could have a beneficial impact on soil and plant health.
Native cockroaches feed on decaying materials and help enrich the soil and maintain health. Ground dwelling cockroaches including the Mardi Gra Cockroach (Polyzosteria sp.) will forage in leaflitter and mulch.
Providing sources of water
Bush cockroaches visit bird baths and frog ponds for a drink. Insects often fall into water sources and can drown. A partially submerged rock or stick can provide a safe avenue for smaller creatures to leave the water safely.
Bush cockroaches lay their eggs in damp soils. A dampland garden can provide additional breeding habitat.
Bush cockroaches are ecologically important as pollinators, soil enhancers, and as prey for various birds, reptiles, frogs, and mammals. If you find a cockroach, you can search on the Atlas of Living Australia to find the matching species and record your sighting!