Most often cockroach infestations within your property will require a professional pest treatment. We have expert knowledge in the identification of each cockroach species and will provide an effective treatment solution.
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Cockroaches may become pests in homes, schools, restaurants, hospitals, warehouses, offices, and virtually in any structure that has food preparation or storage areas. They contaminate food and eating utensils, destroy fabric and paper products, and impart stains and unpleasant odours to surfaces they contact.
People are repulsed when they find cockroaches in their homes and kitchens. Cockroaches (especially the American cockroach, which comes into contact with human excrement in sewers or with pet droppings) may transmit bacteria that cause food poisoning (Salmonella spp. and Shigella spp.). German cockroaches are believed to be capable of transmitting disease-causing organisms such as Staphylococcus spp., Streptococcus spp., hepatitis virus, and coliform bacteria. They also have been implicated in the spread of typhoid and dysentery. Indoor infestations of cockroaches are an important source of allergens and risk for asthma among some populations. The levels of cockroaches and allergens are directly related to cockroach density, housing disrepair, and sanitary conditions.
Cockroaches are most likely to infest places that provide abundant food, water and shelter. Cockroaches eat almost any animal or vegetable material, including paper, fabric, leather, starches and grease particles.
Cockroaches are mostly nocturnal. Cockroach activity during the day may indicate a large infestation. They congregate together, and frequently groom themselves. This behaviour is exploited by pest control methods such as pesticide dusts, which contact the feet or body of the cockroach and become ingested during grooming.
Cockroach eggs are enclosed in a purse-shaped egg case, which may be carried, dropped or glued to a surface. When hatched, the nymphs congregate with adult cockroaches and mature after a number of moults. The number of nymphal moults, time taken for maturation and the adult lifespan depends on the species of cockroach.
Effective cockroach control requires:
- Thorough inspection of the infested area
- Reducing access to food, water and shelter, including:
- maintaining high standards of hygiene
- limiting water availability by removing unnecessary containers of water and repairing leaky taps and pipes
- storing food in sealed, airtight containers and keeping garbage bins tightly closed
- sealing cracks and crevices where possible.
- Application of pesticides to areas that will target the cockroaches.
- Continual monitoring and maintenance of hygiene
(Periplaneta americana) American cockroaches are the largest common pest species of cockroach, reaching 35-40 millimetres in length. They are reddish-brown in colour with a pale yellow border around the upper part of the thorax and pale legs. They have wings and males can be distinguished from females as their wings extend beyond the tip of the abdomen. American cockroaches are capable of flying short distances in warm conditions. Females produce up to 50 large egg capsules in their lifetime, each containing 12 to 16 eggs. They usually carry these around for about 2 days, then drop them or glue them to surfaces close to food and water. Nymphal development takes 6-12 months and the adult lifespan is 6-12 months. American cockroaches prefer to feed on decaying organic matter, but will eat most other organic foods, including paper and clothing (particularly if soiled). Their desire for fermented liquids, such as beer, is very strong. They will often travel for food, but adults with a water source can survive for 2-3 months without it.
Australian cockroach (Periplaneta australasiae) These are darkish-brown cockroaches, about 35 millimetres long with yellow markings on the upper part of the thorax and on the fore margins of the forewings. Females produce up to 20 egg cases, each containing up to 24 eggs. Development takes 6-12 months and adults live for 4-8 months. Australian cockroaches are most commonly found in warm sub-tropical to tropical environments and usually live outside in greenhouses, in and around shrubs and trees, around woodpiles and under bark or leaf litter in gardens. They sometimes come indoors and will inhabit subfloor, wall and roof voids. They prefer food of plant origin, becoming a pest when they enter homes and eat holes in clothing and books.
(Blatella germanica) German cockroaches are amber in colour,12-15 millimetres long when fully grown, with two dark longitudinal stripes.They have wings that extend beyond the abdomen, but do not appear to fly.They are the most prolific breeder of the pest cockroaches; generally having three to four generations per year, with up to 40 offspring per generation.They take as little as 40 days to develop from hatchling to adult. Adults often carry egg sacs. German cockroaches will eat almost any organic material, ranging from crumbs to built-up grease.They can survive for up to a month without food, provided water is available.
German cockroaches congregate in warm, undisturbed areas of high humidity. Most infestations are found in kitchens. Cockroaches may be found under sinks, in and under cupboards and drawers, and around electrical equipment. They hide in cracks and crevices during the day and feed at night. Sightings in other areas of the house, for example bedrooms, may indicate a large infestation.
(Blatta orientalis) Oriental cockroaches are of medium size (20-25 millimetres long) and are uniformly dark brown to black. Male wings cover most of the abdomen, female wings are reduced, and nymphs have no wings. These cockroaches generally do not fly. The female may produce up to 14 egg cases in her lifetime, each containing up to 16 eggs. She carries her egg case around for about one day before gluing it to a surface. Nymphal development may take 6-18 months and adults live for 3-6 months. Oriental cockroaches prefer cool climates and are often found outdoors under leaf litter and bark, in damp subfloors and around drainage systems. They are relatively sluggish and are usually located at or below ground level in buildings where they eat a range of decaying organic matter. Starches and books may also be attacked.
(Periplaneta fuliginosa) Smokybrown cockroaches are about 30 millimetres long, a shiny dark brown-black colour and fully winged. Egg cases contain up to 26 eggs and are dropped or glued to surfaces. When hatched, nymphs take 6-12 months to develop to adulthood. Adults live for 6-12 months, during which time females produce up to 17 egg cases. Smokybrown cockroaches are susceptible to losing moisture through their cuticle, and so are usually found in damp, dark, poorly ventilated environments. They rarely infest the dwelling parts of buildings, and are instead found in sheds, wall and roof voids, subfloors, mulched areas, and in and around grease traps and drains. They prefer food of plant origin, and are therefore often a pest in greenhouses, nurseries and gardens. They can fly short distances in warm weather, and are often attracted to lights at night.