There are two main types of cockroach in the UK - the German cockroach (blatella germanica) and the oriental cockroach (blatta orientalis).
Cockroaches are large insects with antennae and two sets of wings. The most common one in the UK is the German cockroach - 10-15 mm long and usually yellow/brown. It has a shiny leather like appearance and is often seen climbing up walls. Oriental cockroaches are larger and darker.
Signs of infestation
- Cockroaches normally live indoors, although they can be found in drains, and like warm, damp conditions (high humidity) with a ready supply of food
- They are nocturnal and are active at night or when it is dark so if you come home in the dark and turn on the lights you may see them
- Large infestations produce an almond-like odour and small spindle shaped droppings may be present (like small mouse droppings)
- Cockroach bodies
- Cockroaches present a significant health risk and can carry a number of diseases including dysentery, typhoid and polio
- They can carry food poisoning organisms on their bodies and will feed on almost anything including faecal matter
- Contamination occurs when cockroaches come into contact with foodstuffs.
The female cockroach can produce up to eight egg cases (each containing 30 eggs) at monthly intervals. Nymphs emerge from their eggs in two to four weeks and are white, but the cuticle soon darkens to the normal colour. They are like the adults but smaller and as all insects need some months to mature.
- A high standard of hygiene will cut down on food sources and hiding places
- Eradicating cockroaches is difficult because eggs are resistant to poisons and may lay dormant for months before hatching
- Treatment is usually carried out by putting down insecticidal gel - slow working poison – and leaving it in place for up to several weeks
- Repeat treatments may be necessary depending on the size and scale of the infestation.
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