Cockroach Fact Sheet

Infestation Identification: It is often easier to notice signs of a cockroach infestation that the cockroach itself due to them being nocturnal and usually stay hidden during the day. Common signs of a cockroach infestations are; their cast nymphals (shed skins) are shed 5 to 8 times before they become adults, these will be found where they are finding shelter during the day. Often smear marks are left which are brown, these will be found on surfaces and usually along walls or plinths. Cockroaches defecate anywhere, it is identified as black or brown, cylindrical shaped and approximately 2mm long. You may also notice a strange and unpleasant musty smell.

American cockroaches are a reddish-brown colour and are between 20 to 30mm long.

Brown Banded cockroaches are brown with yellow or brown stripes across their abdomen and are between 10 to 15mm long. They may fly in very hot weather.

German cockroaches are yellowish brown, have wings but rarely fly, adults are between 10 to 15mm long and have 2 dark stripes across their thorax. They can climb on smooth surfaces because they have sticky pads on their feet.

Oriental cockroaches are black or brown, adults are between 20 to 30mm long.

 

Common Names: Cockroach, Blatta Orientalis (Oriental), Blatella Germanica (German), Supella Longipalpa (Brown Banded), Periplaneta Americana (American)

 

Diet: Cockroaches usually only feed at night. They will feed on any food which they can find, they will even eat; refuse, plastic packaging, leather, fabric material, paper, animal faecal matter, basically anything they can find. They have also been known to be cannibalistic. Cockroaches can survive for several months without food but will not survive without water for longer than a few days.

 

Habitat: The location of where the cockroach infestation is differs, depending on which species is infesting your property. Areas cockroaches are usually found are; kitchens, bathrooms, lofts, laundry rooms, drains and basements.

American cockroaches live in dark areas such as; basements, kitchens and bathrooms which are dark and undisturbed.

German and brown banded cockroaches live in warm areas and are usually found in; kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, near pipework and laundry rooms.

Oriental cockroaches often live in damp and cooler conditions, they are often found in areas such as; extensions, basements and drains.

Prevention: Keeping areas clean and tidy from all food stuffs is the main way to prevent cockroaches. Ensuring that all surfaces are cleaned thoroughly to remove all food residue and wash dirty dishes, utensils and cutlery after use. Emptying bins daily and making sure they are covered and clean is also a very important prevention measure. Cockroaches love fridges and cookers, making sure there is no food or grease remanence will also help not to attract cockroaches. Cockroaches can travel through the smallest of gaps, having maintenance carried out on your property so block off any access holes will help reduce the risk of cockroaches entering your property.  Keeping food sealed in containers will prevent an infestation. Cockroaches need a water source, making sure there are no leaks in your premises will make it difficult for them to survive. 

 

Life Cycle: German cockroaches can produce 10,000 cockroaches per year, each ootheca (egg casing) hatches 35 to 40 eggs after being held by the female until they are due to hatch, these eggs hatch in a month. Once hatched they reach adulthood anywhere between 6 to 12 weeks.

Oriental cockroaches deposit the ootheca in a suitable dark place which will hold 15 to 20 nymphs and will hatch 12 weeks later, once hatched they will reach adulthood 6 to 12 months.

 

General Information: Cockroaches can carry many diseases such as; Gastro-enteritis, Dysentery, Salmonella. Cockroaches will contaminate food, utensils and food preparation areas when they are looking for food spreading diseases. Due to cockroaches breathing through holes on their bodies and their circulatory system being open, they can live for several days without their heads. The saliva, faeces and shed body can cause asthma and allergies, they are similar to dust mites which are airborne.

 

Treatments: Treatments for cockroaches vary on the extent of the infestation or the circumstances inside the property. Using cockroach sticky traps will only monitor infestations, they will catch some but they only give pest control technicians a better indication of the infestation severity. Using insecticides is this most effective way to eradicate cockroaches, however this does depend of the strength of the product, most amateur products do not have the strength required to eradicate the full infestation and they are not long lasting.

Using professional services is always recommended to eradicate cockroaches. Pest Control Technicians will inspect the property to locate where the cockroaches are harbouring, this is the main thing which is required to eradicate the infestation. The use of an insecticide gel is an effective method because the cockroaches are attracted to the product, they remain moist and easy for the nymphs to eat. Fumigation is usually also required for severe infestations, the residue of the insecticide will continue to eradicate cockroaches until it is washed away. Dependant of the size of the infestation in the property, depends on the required amount of treatments, for example; if infestations are small, one treatments is usually required, if infestations are severe three treatments are usually required. The quantity of treatments is also dependant on the preparation which is carried out, please see out Cockroach Preparation Guide.

 

Quick Facts:

  •  Cockroaches are nocturnal.

  • Different species live in different areas of properties.

  • They will feed on any food which they can find, they will even eat plastic packaging, leather, fabric material, paper, animal faecal matter, basically anything they can find.

  • German cockroach can produce 10,000 eggs per year.

  • A cockroach can live for several days without its head.

  • Cockroaches can carry many diseases such as; Gastro-enteritis, Dysentery, Salmonella.

  • German cockroaches reach adulthood between 6 to 12 weeks, Oriental cockroaches reach adulthood between 6 to 12 months.

  •  Cockroaches can survive for several months without food but will not survive without water for longer than a few days.

  • Cockroaches can trigger asthma attacks.

  • Cockroaches are a serious health and safety issue.

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