Believe it or not, there are approximately 3500 species of cockroaches – but only only five or six species are pests of homes and businesses.
Most species feed only on vegetables, however, cockroaches which live in houses are scavengers and will eat a wide variety of food products.
Many species favour activity at night (or in dark areas). Depending on the species of cockroach, they hide during the day in warm, dark undisturbed places such as cracks and crevices, behind heating equipment, in sewers, storm water drains, in retaining walls and similar locations.
Read about the risks and what you can do below.
Cockroaches can carry disease-causing bacteria, spreading salmonella, dysentery, gastroenteritis and diarrhoea among others.
- Asthma and Allergies:
Cockroaches can also be responsible for asthmatic reactions. Children, the elderly and people prone to bronchial ailments can react to the discarded fragments of “skin” when cockroaches moult.
They spread rapidly. Every property is at risk from a cockroach infestation. Almost any organic matter is food for cockroaches, and they are great hitch-hikers and fliers.
- Breeding success:
Cockroaches are rapid breeders; just a couple of cockroaches can turn into huge numbers in just a few weeks. Continued sightings of cockroaches is a fairly good sign that they are breeding nearby
- Work Health and Safety:
For a business, control of cockroaches is vital to ensure a healthy work environment for your workers and the public.
- Commercial Risks:
Cockroach infestations can cause major damage to products and reputation of a business
What To Look For
Cockroaches – What to look out for
Seeing cockroaches scurrying across the floor, furniture, food or just lurking in a dark corner. You might even find dead cockroaches in the kitchen area ( cupboards, under sinks and around appliances like the refrigerator, dishwasher, stove and microwave oven); Wet areas like the bathroom and laundry (in cabinets and drawers); or in sub-floor areas (underneath the house).
Cockroach droppings look a lot like mouse droppings (about the same size). Either way, you don’t want find them in your cupboard.
- Egg Cases:
Cockroach egg cases are fairly distinctive and are a sure sign that they are active nearby
- Vomit Marks:
Small brown smears near cracks and crevices – particularly around kitchen areas.
Main control strategies for Cockroach Control:
- Remove food:
You need to be able to reduce the food source for the cockroaches. This means removing stray food particles lying around by good cleaning practices. Do not leave food scarps exposed. Make sure that you pay particular attention to cleaning cracks, cervices, bench tops and appliances. It’s also a good idea to seal up any rubbish bins and making sure they are well covered. Keep all your food in sealed containers.
- Remove water:
Cockroaches need water to survive. They love warm, damp places; making sure there are none in your house is the second major cockroach control step. Look out for leaking taps or places indoors where water seems to collect. Check that there is no leaking plumbing in the kitchen, bathrooms and laundry areas. If you property has a sub floor area, make sure that water drains away properly and it is well ventilated.
- Remove shelter:
Cockroaches prefer small confined spaces like cracks and crevices. Taking away their preferred habitat and breeding grounds is an important aspect of cockroach control. Seal all cracks and crevices in the bathroom, pantry and kitchen cupboards, including cracked tiles and splashbacks. Avoid storing unnecessary items, like cardboard boxes, plastic bags from the supermarket and old toys or clothes.
Collecting cockroaches on special sticky traps is another easy home step to help with cockroach control. These traps can be purchased, and often contain a food or pheromone attractant to entice the cockroaches onto the sticky board. Its best to place these traps where you see cockroaches running regularly.
- Chemical Control:
Professionals have access to a variety of different registered pesticides including gels, baits, dusts and sprays.
Management and treatment of cockroaches is best achieved through a team effort between yourself and your pest management technician.