Cockroaches are scavenging nocturnal insects found in warm areas and near to taps, sinks and drains. They are good climbers and are known to produce a sour smell. This is from their faecal deposits, which can carry bacteria, and which can contaminate human foodstuffs.
There are two main types of cockroaches commonly seen in Britain:
- Oriental Cockroach: This is found mainly indoors in heated buildings like hospitals, hotels, restaurants, prisons and blocks of flats. It is sometimes found outdoors around dustbins and rubbish tips. It is dark brown to black in colour, very shiny, and has long flexible antennae and a flattened body. They are 17mm-30mm in length with partial wings but cannot fly, or climb smooth surfaces but can move very rapidly. They can live for up to one and a half years.
- German Cockroach: The German cockroach prefers warm, moist environments, particularly heating systems in large buildings. It can swim, fly, climb smooth surfaces easily and hide in inaccessible places. They are 12mm-15mm in length and are a yellow brown colour. The female lays one egg case that contains 30 eggs, which she carries with her.
Signs of infestation
- Cockroach marks - This is liquid excreta produced by cockroaches and are usually brown in colour and much bigger than the marks left by a fly, often numerous where they are hiding.
- Faecal pellets - look a bit like mouse droppings, but they are only 2 mm long and brown to black in colour.
- Egg cases (Oothecas) - These can sometimes be seen if the main breeding area is found.
- Live insects.
- Nymphal skins.
- Smell - musty, rank odour.
How to treat
We don't recommend that you treat for cockroaches yourself. Please use a professional pest control officer from the Council or from a private pest control company.
How the Council treats
We use either a spray or a gel treatment in the affected area. It is safe to enter the room after the treatment.