Typical species found in the UK are the German cockroach and the Oriental cockroach. Cockroaches dislike the winter almost as much as we do. They are not able to survive outside very well and will make every effort to enter your home where it is warm and has access to water. Interestingly, cockroaches can live for many months without food, but require water every few days to survive. This is why they are most likely to be found near water sources and in humid areas.
They are nocturnal insects, so you are very unlikely to see them during the day. They are also very quick movers. If you do happen to catch a glimpse, then you will notice their long antennae and flat oval bodies. Depending on species will vary their colouring. The Oriental cockroach is brown or black in colouring whereas the German cockroach is lighter in colouring, more yellow or brown.
Cockroaches are not fussy when it comes to food. They will eat pretty much anything they come across. This is not even limited to eating each other if necessary. As mentioned above, cockroaches can survive for many months without food so although it is a need, it is not as important for survival as water is. This is why cockroaches tend to congregate near water sources. In your home this could be under your sink, water pipes in the bathroom or damp utility rooms. They are attracted to darkness (being nocturnal) and will frequent areas of the home that are not disturbed regularly.
Even though you may not see cockroaches running around, you will certainly smell them. There is a strong odour that they emit which is pretty hard to miss. Not only that, it has been recently suggested that the presence of cockroaches correlates to an increase in asthma symptoms. Although this is not a proven fact, cockroaches are seriously bad for your health due to the bacteria that live on and around them. While the scuttle across the floor, the kitchen sides etc, they transfer these bacteria onto everything they touch. These bacteria have been associated with being the bacteria that causes food poisoning in humans. Nasty stuff…. very bad news for an establishment that serves food as you can imagine!
So what can you do?
Prevention is better than cure. If you require the cure (i.e a pest controller) then the infestation has already taken hold and you could be at risk health wise. Whether you are looking for preventative measures for your home or your business, the following will certainly assist in keeping cockroaches away;
- Keep all areas clean and tidy
- Regularly clean surfaces, always clean surfaces after preparing food
- Keep bins covered and clean them out regularly
- Pull out and clean under fridges and ovens (where possible) as food collects under them
- Seal any gaps around doors and windows, and pipelines (dishwasher/washing machine)
- Seal any leaks as soon as possible
A professional is typically required to remove a cockroach infestation so if you think you have cockroaches, please give us a call! We can certainly help!