Detested by everyone, there are thought to be over 3,000 species of cockroaches across the world but here in the UK, there are 4 species that thrive, causing problems wherever they decide to make their homes.
Common in the kitchen of a home or business, cockroaches are the type of infestation that needs dealing with quickly and effectively – over-the-counter remedies rarely deal with the infestation completely, only denting the population for a short time. The sheer numbers of cockroaches involved is not the only problem – they carry disease and bacteria that is harmful and dangerous to human health.
- The German cockroach: known around the world and found in north Lincolnshire too, German cockroaches can be identified by the 2 dark stripes across their thorax (upper body). Found indoors, they prefer wet, humid conditions therefore our kitchens and bathroom are the perfect location for these insects that can measure up to 15mm in length. Following the cockroach habit, their numbers can be astronomical.
- The Oriental cockroach: a uniform dark brown in colour, these can be twice the size of their German cousins, preferring the dark, dank habitat of cellars and basements. They can also be found in the cool, damp areas in porches and in drains etc. with a food source nearby. Preferring rubbish and decaying animals etc., they can be a common site around large rubbish-laden areas. They can also cope with cold temperatures, so don’t think that a cold snap kills them.
- The American cockroach: is the largest cockroach to invade the home – between 20 and 30mm in length is the norm – and reddish brown in colour. Preferring dark, humid and undisturbed portions of a home, they like our kitchens and bathrooms.
- Brown banded cockroach: the smallest of the cockroaches found in Britain, this yellow and brown striped insect can be on the ground but can fly in warmer climates. Preferring war, humid conditions they find our heated homes perfect… and find their way in to all nooks and crannies, from electrical sockets to the darkest corner of the kitchen. Opportunistic in nature, they will love food that is readily available and high in starch.
The problem with cockroaches
Apart from being unpleasant to look at and tending to infest a property in abundance, they also spread disease…
· Why do they cluster in groups?
As they make their way through buildings, looking for food etc., they leave a trail of pheromone, a chemical they secrete in their faeces. Always on the lookout for a breeding opportunity too, this hormone attracts other cockroaches, hence they are found in groups.
· How do they spread disease?
Cockroaches, regardless of their species, will eat anything, from faecal matter to the sandwich you left on the worktop… and they will carry the bacteria from decaying organic matter and spread it all over your food, worktop, floor, and walls, anything in fact, they come in to contact with.
It is not unusual for people with cockroach infestations to become very ill with illnesses such as dysentery, gastroenteritis, food poisoning such as salmonella and e.coli, for example. Some people with sensitive immune systems can also be allergic to some of the hormone and bacteria that cockroaches spread.
Cockroaches, similar to other insects, are prolific breeders, producing egg at regular intervals every few months; the oriental cockroach can lay up to 30 eggs a times. Depending on temperature, from egg to adulthood can take 6 to 18 months, and an adult can expect to live for a further 26 weeks.
Seen a cockroach? It is unlikely to be on its own!
The sighting of one cockroach (they are nocturnal, so switch a light on at night and watch the, scurry to the edge of the room and hide) means there are more lurking close by. Due to their sheer numbers and the public health implications, it is imperative that you engage the service of a professional pest controller – we are experienced and adept at dealing with cockroaches!