Studies have shown that cockroaches have been around since the time of dinosaurs. They are a crucial food source for birds, mice, and rats. So if cockroaches happen to disappear, we will be having a problem with the so-called “nitrogen cycle.”
Cockroaches feed primarily on decaying matter which contains nitrogen. After that, they release that nitrogen with their faeces, and it goes into the soil to be used by plants. And plants are used by all other species living in the forest.
So the existence of cockroaches is good for nature, but you don’t need them inside your home.
Cockroaches don’t bite. They are known to carry germs and bacteria (more than 30 different kinds of bacteria), making you sick. The faeces of cockroaches also can trigger allergies and asthma attacks. Cockroaches are very unsanitary, and that makes them vectors of diseases.
Types of cockroaches
There are more than 4000 cockroach species in the world. Humanity, of course, is not broadly familiar with all of them. In the UK, the three most common types of cockroaches are:
- Oriental cockroaches: this type enjoys dirty places and cooler temperatures compared to other cockroaches. They feed on all types of garbage and other organic material. You can spot them in basements, between firewood and piles of leaves.
- German cockroaches: this type is attracted to sweet and floury foods. You can see them eating some non-organic items such as books and even toothpaste. They prefer warm and damp places, like kitchens, bathrooms, and areas where people eat and drink.
- Brown-banded cockroaches: this type prefers drier, warmer, and higher areas compared to other cockroaches. So don’t look for them in the kitchen or pantries. This type enjoys eating starchy foods such as wallpaper paste, book bindings, and even non-organic things like nylon stockings.
Oriental and German species are reported to be the most common domestic and commercial invaders around the county. So these two types are what most likely you will be dealing with in the UK. When we picture a cockroach, typically, we think of the Oriental cockroach.
How do cockroaches get inside the property?
Cockroaches can be attracted to your home or business for various reasons. However, they only need some wall cracks and crevices in the doors or windows to physically enter the property. Therefore, to prevent a cockroach infestation, it would be wise to seal any gaps on your door frames and see if your windows are getting closed all the way.
Other entrance mechanisms include:
- If your neighbour’s property is infested, you also can be at risk.
- Cockroaches can appear in your property by coming through holes in your walls or floors.
- Other common entrances are waste pipes, electrical cables, and vents.
- You can bring cockroaches into your home with food or packaging stored in infested areas.
- Be extra careful when buying second-hand goods, especially furniture and electricals. They could be coming from infested buildings. So every time, check the items you want to place into your home.
Unfortunately for infestation sufferers, cockroaches multiply very fast. Their egg capsules are the size of a small bean, and they can have up to forty eggs. Baby cockroaches are smaller than ants when they are just hatched. You can bring them into your home without knowing it because they are hard to be noticed at this stage.
To minimise the risk of bringing unwanted pests home, try to ensure the hygiene level of the places you visit is satisfactory.
Why are cockroaches attracted to your home?
Your property can potentially be infested with cockroaches, ants, bed bugs, or any other kind of pests. Their main goal, however, is not to cause you trouble. They simply look for some food and water. And those are the most easily accessible in your home. Cockroaches prefer warm and humid places.
Common reasons why cockroaches are attracted to your home are:
- Because of unemptied garbage bins – this is an ideal food source for cockroaches. Therefore, make sure to take out the trash regularly to prevent your home from cockroach infestation.
- Because of unwashed dishes – do not leave your sink full of greasy plates and bowls. The leftover food on them attracts cockroaches, especially during the night. Cockroaches are nocturnal animals, which means they get active during the night time – once they know there is food there, they will always come back for more.
- Because of crumbs – if you have crumbs on your floor or the kitchen countertop, make sure to clean them up carefully, especially if you have children. The little ones can leave crumbs everywhere, so you need to vacuum regularly. Don’t make it easy for cockroaches to find food in your home.
- Because of moisture – if you have areas in your home where there is always excess moisture because of dripping faucets or unsealed shower cabins, make sure to fix them on time. Cockroaches are attracted to damp environments. Always check your bathroom, kitchen, and around laundry appliances.
How dangerous are cockroaches?
Cockroaches are not popular with their biting abilities. Therefore, it is infrequent to see a bite from a cockroach. This can occur only if there is an extreme infestation where the cockroach population is more than the food they can find for themselves. Cockroach bites are similar to bed bug bites in their shape and form. However, cockroach bites can be observed one at a time, whereas bed bug bites are in a group in straight-line order.
Cockroach bites, compared to mosquito bites, are not dangerous. Or else said – cockroaches are not confirmed to transmit any diseases through their bites. On the other hand, cockroaches are very popular for their ability to contaminate your food. In fact, everything they touch has the potential to transmit you an illness. This is because cockroaches spread many germs and bacteria that can cause food poisoning, viruses, fungi, and moulds.
Several serious intestinal diseases can be carried by cockroaches. The most common ones are caused by bacteria related to food poisoning, including:
- Salmonella – bacteria that make people sick with diarrhoea, fever, and stomach cramps.
- Staphylococcus – a group of bacteria that can cause diseases in various body tissues.
- Streptococcus can cause many infections, from mild sore throat to pneumonia.
- Escherichia coli – bacteria that cause diarrheagenic illness, urinary tract infections, and meningitis.
- Asthma – cockroaches produce substances that can cause allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to those substances. If you have asthma, make sure to get rid of cockroaches as soon as possible.
In case you have developed any of the listed conditions, you must see a doctor and get further medical advice, along with immediately calling professional pest control.
How to get rid of a cockroach infestation?
Suppose you have a confirmed cockroach infestation in your home. In that case, the best way to get rid of them is by calling reliable pest control experts and booking an on-site treatment visit. Licensed professionals can apply special treatment to your property, which will remove all cockroach nests during the first or second visit – it depends on the infestation level.
Suppose you have a business (restaurants, shops, or hotels) suffering from a cockroach infestation. In that case, it is strongly recommended to contact a professional pest control company. Otherwise, you put at risk everyone’s health (staff, customers, and yourself), and it will ruin your reputation as well.
If you want to try to get rid of cockroaches by yourself, below we have listed a few methods which could help you:
You can buy baits from specialised stores – they will attract cockroaches as a food source. Once they ingest the insecticide, they will die because of the poison. Their dead bodies will become a source of food for the rest of the cockroaches, resulting in their extermination as well. They will spread the toxin among the nest, killing the cockroaches from the inside.
Place the baits strategically – in areas where you have seen cockroaches – bathroom, kitchen, around the sink, near garbage cans, etc. Remember that a professional pest control company will always keep your family and pets 100% safe when using chemical treatments – something that you can hardly guarantee yourself.
Place sticky traps
Another way to try to deal with cockroaches is by using specialised traps. You can find them in supermarkets with full instructions for use.
First, find a good spot to place the trap. It will attract cockroaches, and they will be caught in the trap. This method takes more time to give any results, so check the traps regularly to see if they have dead cockroach bodies.
If you don’t see any improvement, turning to an expert for help would be a wise thing to do.
There are plenty of products available in stores designed to kill any insect. Some of them are generic bug killers. But you can buy one designed to remove cockroaches in particular. In addition, they are more efficient because the liquid is concentrated for cockroach infestation.
Always read the instructions before taking any action. Then, carefully dilute the liquid as described in the instructions and start applying it. Try to pay more attention to cracks and crevices. Also, you can spray the entrance around the door to prevent an infestation from neighbours.
Call a professional pest control
The British Pest Control Association strongly advises that you always rely on professionals to handle the cockroach infestation – be it in your home or your business property.
Using the methods above can be inefficient and hazardous, especially for allergy sufferers and people who share a home with a child or a pet. In addition, applying strong chemicals by yourself is rarely a success story, as the cockroach population is often adaptive enough to get past it.
If you want to end the story fast, safe, and successful, find a trustworthy cockroach control company and don’t hesitate to follow their personalised treatment plan.
Methods to prevent a recurring cockroach problem
Suppose you manage to remove a cockroach infestation from your home or business. In that case, it is essential to keep high hygiene to prevent your property from re-infestation. Suppose you have never experienced a pest infestation yet. In that case, it is also good to follow some basic day-to-day rules to protect your property from a cockroach appearance.
Keep your place clean and sanitised
Cockroaches do not like cleanliness. Therefore, you are advised to improve your property’s hygiene if needed. Make sure you take out the garbage regularly. Do not leave it inside your home for more than one day – it will attract cockroaches. Wipe thoroughly every piece of furniture. Clean the kitchen countertop and always keep it sanitised and tidy. Also, it is imperative never to leave your sink full of dirty dishes.
Don’t leave food for cockroaches
Make sure you don’t leave any exposed food. Usually, we tend to forget crackers or meal leftovers on the kitchen countertop – this is precisely what cockroaches are looking for. Take your bin out as soon as possible, especially if it has more organic garbage after dinner. If you have crumbs on the floor, you will need to vacuum. The point is to remove any food source cockroaches might be attracted to.
Fix the dripping faucets
You can judge a property by its leaks. Cockroaches enjoy areas with moisture. Suppose you want to protect your home from a cockroach infestation. In that case, you need to eliminate everything they are attracted to. So if you have dripping faucets, you will need to fix them. First, check your bathroom area, under the sink, the toilet area and see if there is a leak. If so, make sure to stop it. You may also need to contact a professional who can repair them if needed. Meanwhile, you can apply all of the above, which will help you take control of the situation.
Did you know that cockroaches…
- Can live for about one week without their head!
- Can hold their breath for 40 minutes!
- Can breathe using small holes on their bodies; they don’t breathe using their heads!
- Are “morons in the morning, but geniuses in the evening” based on this study by Science Daily.
Put shortly – you shall never underestimate a suspected cockroach infestation. These insects multiply very fast and cause some unpleasant situations in your home. In addition, they can transmit different diseases, so we strongly recommend contacting pest control professionals who can handle the infestation and protect you and your family.