Pest control: cockroaches

Cockroaches pose a health risk because they can infect foodstuffs with a range of diseases such as food poisoning, dysentery, typhoid and polio. Apart from disease carrying they also render food inedible by transferring dirt and filth from their bodies and feet onto food and food preparation surfaces.

There are many species of cockroach throughout the world, but only two are commonly found in the UK.. The Oriental cockroach (Blatta orientalis) and the German Cockroach (Blattella germanica). Oriental cockroaches are larger than German cockroaches, dark-brown in colour and up to 25mm in size. German cockroaches are only 10-15mm in length and of a yellowish-brown colour.

Cockroaches normally live indoors but are occasionally found in drains or in exterior ducts. They are light sensitive and therefore do not often show themselves during the daytime. For this reason infestations often go unnoticed until they are extensive and serious. Cockroaches like warm damp conditions with a readily available supply of food, although they will eat almost anything and are very resilient. They breed by laying egg cases which, depending on the species type, carry between 8 and 30 eggs and these hatch into baby cockroaches known as nymphs. Both species start breeding when they become sexually mature at about 4 months. Therefore infestations can develop very rapidly, unless they are treated quickly and effectively.


The Service Provided

The Council carries out cockroach Treatments in both domestic and commercial properties. However the Council is not legally obliged to provide this service and therefore has to make a charge to its customers.

The treatment consists of applying an insecticide gel to areas frequented by the cockroaches. This is a slow working poison, which only affects the cockroaches. The insecticide will continue to work for up to 2 months and so you must not clean it off until after all the cockroaches have been destroyed.

It is normal to notice a reduction in the number of cockroaches within 10-14 days but it may take longer to kill off all the insects, as eggs laid before the treatment started will continue to hatch. The treatment is very effective, however because cockroaches are very resilient there are occasions when it does not fully work. Should there still be evidence of a live cockroach infestation 3 weeks after the final treatment, the Council will provide a follow-up treatment free of charge.


Safety Information

The insecticides used by the Council are the safest available and do not pose any risk to people or pets with the exception of fish, which have similar body structures to insects and may be affected. Should you use the service you will also be given an information sheet on the insecticide used by the pest controller which provides further information.


Contacting the Service

Treatments can be requested by contacting the Pest Control Service. You can also request a service by completing the online form.

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