Cockroaches are distinguished by their very long whip-like antennae, flat oval bodies and rapid, jerky walk. The adult German Cockroach is a light yellowy/brown and is 10 to 15mm long. The Oriental Cockroach is dark brown/black and is 20 to 24mm long. Immature stages of Cockroach, look exactly like adults, just on a smaller scale.
There are two main species of cockroach in Britain, Oriental and German Cockroaches.
The German Cockroach carries its egg case until the 30 or more nymphs are ready to hatch. The Oriental Cockroach deposits its 13mm long egg capsule on packaging, sacking or in suitable dark crevices before the 16 to 18 nymphs hatch around 12 weeks later. They grow in stages, from nymphs to maturity in 6 to 12 months for the Oriental Cockroach, and 6 to 12 weeks for the German Cockroach.
Cockroaches are rarely able to survive out doors in the British climate but thrive around the heating ducts and boiler rooms of large centrally heated buildings e.g. hospitals, bakeries, hotels, restaurant kitchens, and blocks of flats. They cluster around pipes, stoves, and sinks, especially in humid areas, and will often remain hidden during the day.
Cockroaches will feed on almost anything, including refuse, faecal matter and food for consumption. They also require access to water and will be generally found in inaccessible harbourages, close to water and food. Cockroaches can survive for several months without food, but will not live for more than a few days without water.
Why control Cockroaches?
When foraging for food and water, Cockroaches can contaminate food, utensils, and preparation surfaces as they go. They taint food with an obnoxious smell and can be vectors of disease, capable of carrying the organisms which cause food poisoning in humans and many other bacteria.
Cockroaches can ruin an organisation’s reputation. If clients and customers spot evidence of cockroach infestation in the premises you manage, they are likely to complain and request a refund, report on your company negatively potentially resulting in closure by an Environmental Health officer, making it unlikely for some people to want to do business with you again.
How to prevent Cockroaches
Areas with food, water and dark spaces to hide are ideal environments for Cockroaches to live. Here few prevention tips for securing your property:
- Keep areas clean and tidy – Clean all surfaces thoroughly to remove any food residue. Try and not leave dirty dishes and utensils in the sink. Keep bins covered, clean, and emptied regularly. Areas such as top or beneath your refrigerator are warm and food collect their, attracting Cockroaches, so clean these areas regularly
- Proofing and Repair – seal gaps around doors, windows, and where utility lines enter to prevent entry. If possible, repair any leaks beneath the sink, and on the sink top, immediately, thus cutting a potential water source