The British climate is not suitable for cockroaches to survive outside. Therefore, they tend to live around warmer heated areas such as boiler rooms and kitchens. They also remain hidden during the day, gathering in groups around humid areas such as pipes.
We understand that finding cockroaches in your kitchen, house, or apartment can send shivers down your spine. To help alleviate your cockroach problem, we've created this guide, entirely for free.
However, you're probably wondering who Integrum Services is? We're a leading member of the British Pest Control Asociation (BPCA) and have tons of experience offering cockroach control in London and all the south-east of England. We always advise using a professional cockroach removal company, as the results will be more effective. However, our guide is here to help you attempt it on your own.
Identifying a cockroach
The first step on how to get rid of cockroaches is to identify if they are the problem pest. Cockroaches are often confused with beetles, but thankfully, identifying a cockroach is a relatively straightforward process. Roaches are very distinguishable by their long whip-like antennae, flat oval bodies and quick, jerky walk. There are two types of cockroaches in the UK to be on the lookout for, Oriental and German Cockroaches.
The German Cockroach has a light yellow, brown look to it and is approximately 10 to 15mm long. German Roches carry around 30 nymphs until they are ready to hatch. They grow in stages, from larvae to maturity in 6 to 12 weeks.
The Oriental Cockroach has a dark brown, black look to it and is 20 to 24mm long. Oriental Roaches deposit egg capsules in a suitable dark location before the 16 to 18 nymphs hatch around 12 weeks later. Unlike German Cockroaches, Oriental Roches grow from larvae to maturity in 6 to 12 months.
Finding a cockroach infestation
Now that you know what a cockroach looks like, the next step is to identify where the cockroach infestation is.
Start by beginning your search at night; cockroaches are nocturnal and tend to hide away during the day. Grab your torch and something to prod around in cracks and crevices. The best place to start would be the kitchen, although, other places cockroaches usually hide include bathrooms, living rooms, pipes, pantries or anywhere with warmth and food. Not to mention moist and damp areas are where you're most likely to find roaches gathering.
If you're unable to perform a night inspection we recommend looking for the following cockroach signs:
- Droppings: cockroaches, like all other pests, are identifiable by their faeces. You should look for two types, hard droppings and liquid smear marks.
- Smell: cockroaches have a very unpleasant smell. The odour tends to worsen when you have a severe cockroach infestation so don't rely only on this to identify them.
- Damage to food: check your food or packaging for damage as cockroaches will need to feed. Hence, the most popular place to find cockroaches is in the kitchen.
- Skin: as cockroaches grow from nymphs to adults, they shred their skin.
Why should you control cockroaches?
It's essential when deciding how to get rid of cockroaches you understand the dangers of not acting straight away. Cockroaches carry a whole host of diseases and are a severe risk to your health. Proven issues and conditions include:
- Dysentery: cockroaches spread dysentery, which causes severe diarrhoea with blood. The primary cause of dysentery is poor hygiene, which proves the need for cockroach control.
- E. Coli: cockroaches carry another bacteria called E. Coli, which often causes food poisoning - another reason to get rid of cockroaches in your kitchen.
- Typhoid fever: cockroaches spread bacteria such as salmonella which can lead to such problems as typhoid fever.
We strongly advise if your developing symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea, contact a pest control professional to solve your cockroach problem immediately. DIY solutions are not guaranteed, and a cockroach removal specialist will have the experience to solve your problem for good.
How to get rid of cockroaches
As recommended multiple times throughout this article, you should not attempt to control cockroaches on your own. Cockroaches are natural-born survivors, and an untrained individual will likely not kill all lifecycles (eggs, nymphs and adults) meaning the problem will return.
- Clean: cockroaches are often associated with poor hygiene. We strongly recommend cleaning your home to both help prevent cockroaches and make your home hygienic again.
- Remove food: cockroaches are usually located in your kitchen, feeding on food sources. If you seal all food tightly and make sure no crumbs are left, you can have confidence that the diseases mentioned above won't impact your health. Also, emptying your bins is important, a large amount of waste food is deposited here making it a perfect feeding area for roaches.
- Seal all gaps: removing food sources won't get rid of all your cockroaches. A useful measure for eliminating them would be to fill any identified entry points. It would help if you filled all gaps between walls, tiles and pipes.
- Bait stations: are probably the most effective method for getting rid of roaches. We must point out that these are extremely harmful to children and pets, and inexperience in placement can backfire.
- Sticky traps: are a perfect way to monitor if you have got rid of cockroaches. Don't use sticky traps as a control method, only to see if you've solved the problem.
- Contact a pest control professional: we probably sound like we're beating a dead horse but eliminating cockroaches is not easy. There may be DIY solutions and poisons that you can find online, but you won't be able to gain access to professional grade poisons like a registered member of the BPCA can.
How do you prevent a cockroach problem?
The best method is to be proactive and stop cockroaches before they ever become a problem. You can prevent cockroaches by maintaining high hygiene levels and storing food in tight containers. Furthermore, water is a vital part of a cockroaches survival, so stop all possible water access. If you've just moved into a new home, you should check the fridges and freezers over to make sure they are thoroughly clean.
Integrum Services are BPCA members and have a range of experience using cockroach control methods in homes, businesses or apartments. Our service locations include all of the south-east, such as London and Surrey. For more details on pricing or how we can get rid of roaches for you, call us on 020 8914 7894 or email at email@example.com.