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Cockroaches

Cockroach Silhouette

Cockroaches carry and spread various human disease organisms. Their habit of walking over and feeding on putrefying waste materials, and then walking over food preparation surfaces, cutlery and crockery, and human foods in search for further food enables it to spread freely many disease organisms. Both the Oriental cockroach, and the German cockroach species occur throughout Britain.

The adult German cockroach is 10 to 15mm long. The Common or Oriental cockroach is 20 to 24mm long. They are rarely able to survive out of doors in the British climate, but thrive around the heating ducts and boiler rooms of large centrally heated buildings e.g. hospitals, bakeries, hotel and restaurant kitchens, laundries and blocks of flats. They cluster around pipes, stoves, and sinks, especially in humid areas.

The German cockroach carries its egg case, a small brown purse-like capsule, until the 30 or more nymphs are ready to hatch from it. The Oriental cockroach deposits its 13mm long egg capsule on packaging, sacking or in suitable dark crevices before the 16 or 18 nymphs hatch out. Cockroaches grow in stages - from nymphs to maturity in six to 12 months for the Oriental cockroach, but only in as many weeks in the case of the German cockroach.

Both species eat any sort of food and are most active after dark, from their inaccessible harbours, going to forage, contaminating food and food utensils, or food preparation surfaces as they go. They taint food with an obnoxious smell and may be carriers of various diseases, including serious food poisoning.

There is no instant remedy to eradicate a cockroach infestation. Usually a course of treatments is necessary, with regular monitoring.