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Cockroach Control

Cockroaches are one of the most reviled of household pests and are difficult to control due to their habit of laying egg pouches containing many eggs in inaccessible places.
There are two common cockroaches found in the UK, the German cockroach and the Oriental cockroach. Whichever species you are being troubled by, we have the products to deal with it.

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The four keys to effective cockroach control are hygiene, control, proofing and monitoring.

There are four product types required to ensure successful cockroach control and these should generally be used in combination to effect best and swiftest control:

Residual insecticide sprays: leave a thin film of toxic deposit on surfaces and will kill cockroaches for a limited period of time, usually about two weeks before a fresh application is required.

Apply to cracks and crevices where cockroaches hide and move around, like under cabinets, etc.

Bear in mind that in some areas of the country German Cockroaches have developed resistance to some insecticides so if after a couple of weeks you notice no difference in population levels, try a different active ingredient.

Non-residual insecticide spray: kills on contact only, very limited or zero residual effectiveness depending on product. However, most contain pyrethrins which, whilst lethal to cockroaches, also act as a flushing agent, exciting the cockroach which then rapidly leaves it's hiding place. If it has received insufficient contact to cause death, then the effect may only be to drive it to other hiding places.

Apply directly onto the insect, or into cracks and crevices if you want to drive cockroaches out of hiding and over previously laid residual insecticide.

Insecticide Dust: can penetrate cockroach hiding areas that other insecticides cannot reach. When applied to dry locations they have a longer useful life than residual sprays. Some dusts contain insecticide and others contain no organic chemicals and act by rubbing off the protective waxes that cover the cockroaches body, causing death by dehydration.

Apply into dry cracks and crevices, under and behind cupboards where they may, if left dry, remain active for months or even years. Dusts can be used with great effect in areas where sprays could not be used, such as in and around electrical appliances.

Poison Baits: can be applied in areas where it may not be acceptable to use insecticidal sprays; for instance in kitchens where children and pets have access.

In such situations baits may be hidden and protected within specially designed tamper-proof bait boxes. Bait within bait containers can be highly effective but all alternative food sources should be eliminated in order to maximise effectiveness. Also, the more bait stations the better as in most cases cockroaches need to move only a few centimetres before being attracted into the bait stations.

Poison baits can be applied to surfaces providing there is no risk to non target species

Place the bait stations within and under cupboards, under cookers, refrigerators and in any areas where the cockroaches are known to frequent

Use pesticides safely and always read and understand the label

The two principle species encountered in Britain are:

German Cockroach description:

  • adult is 10-15mm ( 1/2 inch) long
  • yellowish brown in colour
  • two distinctive longitudinal dark lines down it's body
  • long whip-like segmented antennae
  • full set of wings but do not fly.
  • can easily climb rough and smooth surfaces.

    Oriental Cockroach description:
  • adult is 20-24mm (1.25 inches) long
  • dark brown or black in colour
  • long whip-like segmented antennae
  • female wings are stumps
  • male wings reach 3/4 down length of body
  • can climb rough but not smooth surfaces

German Cockroach life cycle:

  • female produces 4-8 egg capsules at monthly intervals
  • each capsule contains up to 30 eggs and are carried by female until ready to hatch
  • nymphs soon emerge and go through 5-7 moults before reaching adulthood
  • egg to adulthood takes 5-10 months depending on temperature and food supply
  • adults live approx. 8-9 months thereafter

    Oriental Cockroach life cycle:
  • female produces 5 egg capsules at monthly intervals
  • each capsule contains up to 16 eggs and are usually cemented to a surface
  • nymphs emerge 6-12 weeks later and go through 7-10 moults before reaching adulthood
  • egg to adulthood takes 10-24 months depending on temperature and food supply
  • adults live approx. 4-5 months thereafter

Cockroaches are common in commercial premises and are associated with food production and handling. They are also common in public buildings and residential units such as blocks of apartments.

Both species are gregarious and nocturnal. They spend daylight hours hiding in cracks and crevices around areas such as kitchen sinks, cookers, refrigerators, drains and cupboards. They especially favour large building complexes with interconnecting ducts and plumbing systems.

Cockroaches need food, water and shelter to survive. Water is particularly important which is why they are so often found in kitchens and bathrooms.

German Cockroach preferred habitat:

  • indoors in warm and humid areas
  • prefer crevices near food in kitchens and bathrooms
  • prefer to hide in wooden and paper materials
  • also shelter in electrical equipment
  • attracted to warmth

Oriental Cockroach preferred habitat:

  • prefer damp area with temperature below 20 degree centigrade
  • Cold tolerant
  • common outdoors
  • found in basements, sewers,drains,and in wall voids
  • prefer to eat decaying foods

Cockroaches may enter a building through ducts and pipes from another part of a larger building, or under poorly fitting doors or windows.

They are frequently are carried into buildings in food containers, appliances, furniture and clothing. Once established within the structure of a building they can be very difficult to eradicate so diligence and proofing are both important.

The key factors in preventing the establishment of cockroaches are hygiene and detection. Cockroaches need access to food, water and shelter in order to thrive. Water is particularly important. It is vital to reduce all, or eliminate one or more of these factors in order to achieve any meaningful long-term control.

Food: wherever possible store food in in sealed glass or metal containers

Water: try to eliminate potential sources of water such as open drains, dripping taps, water left in pans and containers overnight or in pet water bowls.

Shelter: reduce areas where cockroaches can hide by cleaning up any unnecessary boxes, paper, timber or similar items that could afford shelter.

Hygiene: Keep the whole premises clean paying particular attention to areas under and behind cupboards, cookers and white goods. Ensure potential food sources such as unwashed dishes, pet food bowls, open waste containers and spilt food are not available to cockroaches overnight when they are out searching for food.

Proofing: tightly seal potential access and hiding areas such as cracks in the fabric of the building, gaps around pipes, skirting and floorboards with a suitable sealant or decorators caulk.

Monitor: finally, monitor with sticky cockroach traps, and inspect them regularly to detect any new infestations before they become a real problem. Cockroaches tend to congregate in certain areas such as under cookers, cupboards etc., so place the traps in those areas and move them regularly to other locations.