Often confused with black beetles from the garden, cockroaches are distinguished by their very long whip-like antennae, flat oval bodies and rapidly jerky running style. The two main types of cockroach found in the UK are the German Cockroach and the Oriental Cockroach. The adult small brown German Cockroach is around 10 to 15mm long, whilst the Oriental Cockroach is normally about 20 to 24mm in length.
Although cockroaches are rarely able to survive outdoors in the British climate, they can thrive around the heating ducts and boiler rooms of large centrally heated buildings, such as hospitals, bakeries, laundries and hotel and restaurant kitchens where they cluster around pipes, stoves and sinks.
The main problem with cockroaches is that they are disease carriers, known to carry organisms that can cause illnesses including Salmonella, Gastroenteritis and even Tuberculosis. This obviously poses an extreme hygiene concern, particularly to business owners in the hospitality and catering industries due to the risk to customers through food contamination. In addition, food may be tainted with the characteristic smell of the cockroach, which is produced by faeces and salivary/abdominal gland secretions, or by the dead insects.
Dealing with Cockroach Infestations
Compared to some other pests, cockroach infestations are relatively easy to deal with. Firstly, traps should put down to determine the extent and nature of the infestation. A night inspection is also a good idea as this is when cockroaches can be easily flushed from their harbourages (often inside catering equipment, bottle washers, switchgear etc) using a pyrethroid based aerosol spray.
Treatment should be focused on wall/floor and wall/ceiling junctions and attention should be paid to very small cracks, crevices, broken tiles, ill-fitting door frames, gaps around pipes in walls, and guards on wall corners. Cockroaches are resourceful creatures and as such they will get inside anything and everything which will harbour them. Indeed, they will seek sanctuary in the hollow legs of equipment and tables, machine dead spaces, cable trunking, switches, electrical motors, coolers, fridge motors and even drinks machines. Some of these areas can be treated with care with an insecticide; however, it is often best to flush electrical areas with an aerosol and band the area around them with a suitable preparation. Contact dust such as a dehydrating silica cockroach gel can be used in voids as long as there is no danger of cross contamination.
Naturally, effective cockroach control depends upon the selection and thorough application of the insecticide. Many insects and egg cases are discretely hidden; therefore the insecticide must be placed at and around these harbourages and maintained over the developmental period of the particular species. To control an infestation the insecticide should ideally persist until all egg cases have hatched, although continued immigration may necessitate routine treatments.
So, if ever you notice an unpleasant oily smell in your kitchen or find irregular brown marks on your floors, make a beeline for our outstanding pest control products here at Pest Control Supermarket.com Ltd.