Pest Control: Cockroaches

Cockroaches are usually associated with poor standards of hygiene and if left undisturbed with a plentiful supply of food and water their numbers increase quickly. 
Their presence in toilets and sewers provides them with the opportunity to carry infections on the outside of their bodies as well as internally.  They will consume both the food and faeces of man and animals and as a result come into contact with a variety of organisms.
There are two types of cockroaches most commonly found in the domestic houses and within commercial premises they are:

Oriental Cockroach

The Oriental Cockroach averages 20 - 24 mm in length and is a dark reddish-brown to black in colour.  They can tolerate hot, dry locations around domestic and industrial heating appliances, provided they can obtain access to water.  Infestations of Oriental Cockroaches are more frequently found below ground level or on the ground floor of buildings.  The Oriental Cockroach has occasionally been able to survive winter conditions in this country by harbouring in refuse dumps and rubbish heaps.

German Cockroach

The German Cockroach averages 10 - 15 mm in length and are pale buff in colour. The German Cockroach prefers a warm, moist environment around 20 - 30oc, and has become a pest in kitchens, larders and restaurants where food, warmth and moisture provide all the requirements for life.  In kitchens, the German Cockroach is typically found harbouring behind radiators, ovens and hot water pipes.  They are also found in toilets and behind sinks, where large numbers congregate around sources of water.

Prevention and control

Control of a large cockroach infestation usually means the use of a suitable insecticide.  The application of these substances should be undertaken by fully trained and qualified Pest Control Technicians so that the maximum control is achieved. 
However, control is not just about the application of insecticide - good housekeeping is essential as this will deny sources of food and hiding places.  All food residues should be thoroughly cleared up and standing water should not be left in bowls and sinks overnight.  It is extremely important that the occupiers of the premises with the cockroach infestation adhere to this advice.


Last updated: 23 March 2011
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