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FACT SHEET - Cockroaches
(Blattella germanica & Blatta orientalis)

Although unpleasant in most people's eyes, cockroaches have existed on Earth for longer than the dinosaurs and have survived climate changes from ice ages to tropical heat. There are many worldwide species with at least three common UK species. They exist today in outdoor locations in warm countries all over the world and in houses, hospitals, kitchens, factories and offices in cold countries. The species has survived despite millions being eaten by predators and all attempts by man to exterminate them. Despite outward loathing for cockroaches, it is important to recognize that they are one of the most successful species of insect ever to exist, and they attained this status by being exceedingly difficult to eliminate. Killing a single cockroach is easy; removing an infestation is difficult. It is really a job for a pest control expert who knows the biology and habits of cockroaches, and who has access to the most up to date insecticide formulations. There are a number of very effective pesticides available for professional use, but if eradication is to be successful the work has to be thorough and done with care.

Why Cockroaches are so successful in life and so difficult to eliminate

They will eat almost anything, even items that we would think of as hardly edible and can go for months without consuming any nourishment. Generally speaking they avoid light, so few cockroaches are seen during the day or in well-lit rooms.

By insect standards, cockroaches are big and strong and can stand up for themselves in the insect world. An adult cockroach will live for about 6 months, and each female will produce about 50-100 eggs. A really important defence against man is the way it lays eggs. They are laid deep in cracks and crevices and contained in what amounts to a small armour plated capsule (the ootheca). Once laid the eggs do not hatch for 2-12 weeks. Even if the area is sprayed with pesticide and all cockroaches are killed, the eggs inside the capsule will survive until the insecticide sprays effects have worn off; once hatched they are independent and within a few months the young hatchlings will reproduce and the cockroach infestation will be back

How to control cockroaches

A detailed survey must be carried out to find out which species are present and just how big the infestation is. Sticky traps are sometimes laid to catch specimens for identification purposes. Once the size of the infestation is known the best method of treatment can be selected. Some of the modern treatment methods are very effective. Again as the treatments are specialized you may need the services of a pest control contractor. Areas may need to be sprayed with chemicals or sometimes special gel baits are chosen dependent on environmental factors. These are professional treatments using products not available to the general public. We do not recommend that you attempt any form of control yourself as spraying with aerosols and other amateur use of products will simply disperse the problem to previously unaffected areas.

For any treatment to be effective there are certain actions you the householder needs to take before and after any treatment provided, all responsible pest control companies will advise you what you must do.

SDK (Environmental) Ltd trading as Dial A Pest, Acorn House, Aspen Way TQ4 7QR.
Full terms & conditions can be found at www.dialapest.co.uk