The cockroach will send a shiver down anyone’s spine; repulsive creatures that scuttle around properties and homes, once you see one, you know there are hundreds more…
Usually thought to be a sign of poor hygiene and unsanitary conditions, cockroaches, like many other pests, are attracted to places that are clean.
The ‘humble’ cockroach
With all kinds of facts and figures, from being able to survive a nuclear bomb to there being over 3,000 species of this pesky insect being found across the globe, here in the UK, we only have 3 species with which to contend – the German cockroach, the Oriental cockroach or Common cockroach.
There are four times the number of infestations involving Oriental cockroaches than German ones, and yet the German cockroach can reproduce far more rapidly.
Despite there being 3 species in the UK, they all act the same and are all effectively exterminated and controlled in the same way; displaying similar habits too, cockroaches are nocturnal creatures, not enjoying the intrusion of light or people. They will eat literally anything they find.
The BIG problem with cockroaches
They carry diseases that are dangerous to humans; from an unpleasant bout of salmonella, to gastroenteritis, dysentery, tuberculosis, tapeworm and hookworm – apart from the fact that you do not want to share your home with any pest, least of all a cockroach, for your own health, any infestation, as soon as it is spotted, needs to be dealt with quickly.
What attracts cockroaches?
As we have already mentioned, the cleanest of homes and businesses can find themselves deluged by these pesky insects but they favour hot humid conditions, hence kitchens, laundries and large industrial food plants are all attractive to the cockroach.
Their flattened shape is also in their favour as they can get in through the smallest cracks and crevices. However, despite their similarities, the 3 species all have their own likes and dislikes;
- The Oriental cockroach prefers the coolness of the basement or cellar, as well as underground ducts or tunnels and, it has been known to find them outside rubbish tips.
- The German cockroach, on the other hand, have pads on their feet that allow them to climb shiny, glossy, polished surfaces and, as a result, are often found above ground level. Other species of cockroach can climb too, but with their claws, not pads
- The Oriental cockroach, although apparent in numbers, tend to be dispersed; German cockroaches prefer the company of their fellow species, clumping together in groups.
- Remember, all cockroaches are nocturnal so walking in to the kitchen at night, switching the light on or shining a torch and you may see them scuttling to the edge of the room, diving for cover
- There is also an unpleasant, unmistakeable smell with cockroaches; some describe it as a ‘musty’ smell, others as oily.
- You may also spot ‘mysterious’ brown smudges on surfaces, in cupboards or on floors; this is cockroach excrement and is a sign they have access to water. They are hardy insects, and if water is not present, they will lay hard ‘pellets’ instead.
- If you suspect cockroaches, you can lay sticky traps to catch them during the night in order to confirm their presence.
Spotting the signs…
Getting rid of cockroaches
The vast nature of their infestation, coupled with their ability to make us humans incredibly ill, means that you should waste no time in seeking effective, professional treatment for cockroaches.
They can live up to 3 months without food or water; they can live and access your property in the smallest of cracks and crevices; their numbers can be huge… sticky traps and a quick clean will not suffice.