Sometimes referred to as the “Steam fly” due to their preferred habitat of hot, moist environments. They can be a major pest of laundries, hospitals, kitchens, restaurants, bars and even blocks of flats.
They do not live deep within the building fabric, but close to the surface and although this should make them easier to control, it does not. This is due to their liking of very small harbourages (down to 0.2cm), making the location of these harbourages difficult. German cockroaches can survive quite happily inside coffee machines, under bar counters, around the door seals of refrigerators and even in sink overflows.
The large number of eggs in an egg capsule along with the relatively short hatching time can quickly produce very large infestations.
The Common, or Oriental cockroach, is well-established throughout the UK. These insects prefer cooler environments to the German cockroach and tend to be found deep within building fabric.
This makes infestations of the Common cockroach difficult to control, as getting insecticide to the harbourages can be difficult, if not impossible. These pests can be found almost anywhere, from kitchens to cellars, in wall cavities, around fire places, in rubbish dumps and virtually any work environment.
These insects are often confused with ground beetles.
What they look like
Cockroaches are quite large insects. They vary in size from 10mm-23mm in length with long antennae and two sets of wings. The two main species of cockroach found in the UK are the German cockroach and the Oriental cockroach.
The German cockroach prefers warm, moist environments, particularly heating systems in large buildings. It can swim, fly, climb smooth surfaces easily and hide in inaccessible places.
The Oriental cockroach is found mainly indoors in heated buildings like hospitals, hotels, restaurants, prisons and blocks of flats. It is sometimes found outdoors around dustbins and rubbish tips. It is dark brown to black in colour, very shiny, and has long flexible antennae and a flattened body. It cannot fly or climb smooth surfaces but can move very rapidly.
Where they live
Cockroaches are nocturnal by nature being visible often only at night. They spend the day hiding in cracks around areas like sinks, drains, cookers and the backs of service ducts. If at night you suddenly turn the lights on you may see them. Where they are present in large numbers they may give out an unpleasant almond-like smell. The female cockroach can produce up to eight purse-like egg cases each month each of which can contain up to 30 eggs. Cockroach nymphs emerge from their eggs after 2-4 weeks (up to 6-12 weeks for oriental cockroaches). The nymphs are like the adults but smaller and lighter. The nymphs take some months to mature. Cockroaches will feed on almost anything including faecal matter.
Why cockroaches are a pest
Germs can be spread from the body of a cockroach or from their droppings. They can carry dysentry, gastro-enteritis, typhoid and food poisoning organisms. Contamination occurs when the cockroaches come into contact with our foodstuffs
How you can prevent an infestation
Good hygiene is the key to keeping cockroaches out of your home. It denies them a food source and makes them easier to spot. All cracks, crevices and other building problems that could provide a dark enclosure for cockroaches should be repaired as quickly as possible. Pipe work should not be boxed in as it provides an excellent hiding place for them.
How can I get rid of cockroaches?
Most treatments that you can buy yourself over the counter are not very effective against cockroaches. You should seek help from a professional pest control company at an early stage if you have cockroaches. Good hygiene is the key to keeping cockroaches out of your home. It denies a food source and makes them easier to spot. All cracks, crevices and other building problems that could provide a dark enclosure for cockroaches should be repaired as quickly as possible. Pipe work should not be boxed in as it provides an excellent hiding place.