Cockroaches have developed a kind of legendary status as insects which can’t be killed; they can survive for a while without a head, shrug off nuclear blasts and live for a month without food. However, while they’re disgusting insects that can spread disease around our homes and businesses, they’re not impossible to get rid of.
Here’s a quick guide to these resilient bugs.
What are cockroaches like?
Cockroaches are large insects with long antennae and legs. Several varieties of cockroach can be found in London, but the most common are the German and the Oriental cockroach.
German cockroaches (Blatella germanica) are the more widespread of the two, but their infestations are fairly easy to treat. They are relatively small (13mm – 17mm long) and brown in colour, with wings (although they don’t fly). Females can often be seen with egg cases protruding from their rear ends.
Oriental cockroaches (Blatta orientalis) are larger and darker than the German variety, coming in at around 25mm long. They tend to only occur in pockets in London, so you might not be affected by them at all. However, they move through the sewers and can be extremely difficult to eradicate. Our pest controllers can greatly reduce their numbers, but you may need regular treatments in the long term to keep them in check.
How can I tell I have an infestation?
Cockroaches are mainly active at night, so it can be hard to tell you have an infestation until their numbers are quite high. They are most often seen when you turn the light on suddenly. However, there are other tell-tale signs you can keep an eye out for:
- Cockroaches shed their skins, and you might also find empty egg cases.
- Droppings can often be found around the corners of the room. These are small and dark, and from a distance might look like dirt or dust.
- A strange smell.
- Small holes in objects such as books, leather, food and clothing.
If in doubt, call a professional pest control company to help identify your problem.
What places are likely to be affected by them?
Cockroaches can be found anywhere it’s dark, warm and humid, especially if food is readily available. In the UK this means they’re often found in the dark corners of homes, and they can infest restaurants, hospitals, hotels and even schools. While having them in the house is unpleasant enough, business owners have a responsibility to deal with infestations to protect the public. If controls and preventative measures aren’t put in place, you could even be closed down. Take a look at our commercial page for more information.
What health risks do they pose?
Some pests are just a nuisance, but cockroaches are a real health hazard. They crawl on work surfaces, crockery and food, spreading diseases like dysentery, gastroenteritis, salmonella and typhoid. There is also evidence that some people are allergic to cockroaches, and this allergy can produce asthma-like symptoms or a rash.
What can I do about an infestation?
To deter cockroaches, the most important thing is to keep your house clean and tidy, with all your food sealed away. That means not leaving dirty dishes sitting around and picking up pet food once it’s finished with. You could also block up cracks and holes around the house.
To get rid of an existing infestation, however, it’s important to get in touch with the professionals. Cockroaches can be difficult to deal with, and it’s important to get rid of them as quickly as possible to avoid potential health problems.
Cockroach pest control
Whatever type of cockroach you have, we can help deal with it. For German ‘roaches, this usually involves a course of three treatments using a species specific gel. These are around 2 weeks apart. However, for larger or more established infestations, a more extended course might be needed (perhaps lasting several months).
Oriental cockroaches can be difficult to eradicate completely, but their numbers can be controlled with regular treatments (around 4 a year). For cockroaches in the home, we provide an initial 6 week course of treatments, but we may need to revisit at a later date.
Let’s face it, cockroaches are disgusting. There’s no need to live with them. Give us a call and we’ll help make your home or business a pleasant place to be once more.