Cockroaches belong to the order Blattodea. They are a very successful group of insects that have changed very little in millions of years. Naturally they live in decaying vegetation, under bark and in the burrows of other animals but some species have become very adept at exploiting the dwellings of people. Our kitchens, drains and sewers provide the perfect conditions of food, warmth, humidity, shelter and the absence of predators. They will eat almost anything: animal or vegetable, food scraps, pet food, fabrics, paper and cardboard, hair and leather, animal carcasses and animal waste. Populations can explode to thousands of individuals within the confines of a single building.
Cockroaches are nocturnal (active at night or in darkness), gregarious (congregate and rest together) and thigmotactic (seek the security of contacting surfaces such as cracks and crevices when at rest.) These habits can disguise the level of infestation and a thorough inspection is often required to locate and treat them. Sighting of cockroaches during daylight or in well lit areas indicates an overpopulation and further investigation of their usual resting places is recommended.
Most commercial operators are fairly conscientious about hygiene and sanitation but it’s almost impossible to keep a kitchen spotless when you are cooking all day. Even the grease on exhaust fans can support a large population of cockroaches. Fridge and dishwasher motors are other common areas of infestation and these are unlikely to be included in daily or weekly cleaning regimes. Re-infestations from incoming stock or its packaging are common. Exterior drains or adjoining businesses can be another relentless avenue of attack.
Large populations of cockroaches will require treatment by a professional pest management Technician. Our Technicians are skilled at locating and treating cockroaches and will also be able to provide helpful advice about preventing re-infestation. Knowing the behaviour of cockroaches allows us to take advantage of their habits with the judicious application of pesticides not available to the general public.
Why are they considered to be pests?
Many people find the mere sight of a cockroach abhorrent but their presence carries risks far beyond any psychological response. Cockroaches can carry many diseases, including typhoid, dysentery, tuberculosis and gastroenteritis. In particular they are well known for spreading various types of food poisoning. Allergic and asthmatic reactions are also reported and when cockroach populations are large and they have even been known to bite people.
What can home owners do to control them?
There are pesticides available through retail stores and within certain limits; some of these may be effective on cockroaches. Surface sprays and bait stations can help reduce populations but only if careful hygiene practices are maintained.
Thorough clean-up of food scraps and food preparation areas.
Reduction of water availability.
Storing food in airtight sealed containers where possible.
Sealing cracks and crevices that might provide harbourage areas.
Regular disposal of garbage.