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Cockroach problems in your home or business

At PEST UK we constantly get calls relating to Cockroach Removal.

Commercial Cockroach Removal

CockroachPeople ask  us to remove or get rid of cockroaches in commercial premises such as restaurants and commercial kitchens as well as domestic properties. In the case of commercial premises it is mainly (but not exclusively) kitchens that are in large buildings,  or businesses dealing in 2nd hand kitchen appliances. The reason for this is that the cockroach infestation may have spread from a neighbouring property or been introduced inside 2nd hand freezers, fridges, cookers or other kitchen appliances. The main cockroach pest in the UK which in PEST UK’s catchment area is the German Cockroach which accounts for over 95% of the cockroach problems we deal with. This cockroach likes to live in temperatures of over 90C which is why they like to live in or near fridge and freezer motors, cookers and the such like.

Domestic Cockroach Removal

20111110_120157695In these situations cockroaches are usually restricted to rooms with fridges or freezer in. In houses made up of bed sits or multiple occupancy this may be many rooms in a house. The same problem applies as commercial premises, there may be spread from a neighbouring attached property.


cockroach-jpgPrior to treatment it is important that the premises is clean and grease free. The PEST UK technician will then apply a special bait that is harmless to humans and other mammals but has a domino effect when poisoning cockroaches. Once a cockroach has eaten the bait and died then another cockroach will eat the dead cockroach and also die. This happens four times. While the cockroaches are dyeing (it can take a few days) any cockroaches that eat the poisoned cockroach droppings will also die. After laying the poison cockroach bait the PEST UK technician will make another visit in two to three weeks to lay pheromone cockroach monitoring traps. These will be left down so the occupier can see if there is another outbreak in the future.

BPCA info on Cockroaches

German Cockroaches are a potential health hazard and can lead to an Environmental Health Officer to close a restaurant to protect the public. The picture below is that of cockroach monitoring traps laid in an Indian restaurant in Reading, Berkshire where PEST UK have a pest control contract. All of PEST UK’s food related contracts have cockroach monitoring built into the contract. This means that cockroach problems are picked sooner rather than later, preferably before an Environmental Health Officer, a member of staff or worse a customer sees the problem. This was the case with this particular customer, a scheduled inspection found the cockroach problem and this was acted on immediately by the technician. The problem in this case was that as well as a server cockroach infestation the hygiene was appalling.

German Cockroaches on a Pheromone Sticky monitoring trap

German Cockroaches on a Pheromone Sticky monitoring trap

Cockroach treatment effectiveness much reduced if the hygiene is poor. Cockroaches will feed on spilt food mater, grease and fat in poorly cleaned kitchens. Pest controllers spend a lot of time on their knees looking under kitchen furniture. Most kitchens have debris and grease in these areas. Not many kitchens are very clean in these ‘unseen’ places. We will be writing to this customer to reinforce what they have been told verbally and in writing on the reports produced on site at the time of the visit by the pest control technician. As is often the case in many aspects of pest control, the customer has to work with the pest controller to eradicate pests, wether it be to stop bird feeding, clean the premises or replace missing drain plugs in bins. Insect and rodent pest problems cannot always be sorted using rodenticides and insecticides on their own. This does not always satisfy some customers who expect complete eradication of their pests quickly!

BPCA – Cockroaches

German, Australian & American Cockroaches:
I was luck to be on holiday in Tenerife over Christmas and was unlucky enough to live with a cockroach infestation, both German, Australian and American. The larger Australian and American variety were less of a problem and were probably casual intruders from outside areas. These are more alarming than the smaller German Cockroaches but less of a health hazard as they (in this sub tropical situation) anyway.

The German Cockroach infestation was mainly in the ‘normal’ places you would expect to find German Cockroaches in an infestation in the UK ie: in the kitchen around the fridge, dishwasher and cooker and in the bathrooms and boiler. The only difference is that they seemed to wander further from these areas than they generally would in the UK.

Probably due to the fact that seeing large Cockroaches outside is common place people tend to tolerate them more inside but the fact of the matter is they spread disease and should not be tolerated in living areas. Most hotels will regally treat external walls and pavements with a residual insecticide on a regular basis to control the larger species that live outside in these hotter climates. In food preparation areas pest control is generally exactly the same as the UK.

The maintenance company did try and treat the problem with Gel and spray. I could see this was going to fail. The DIY man only gel baited part of the kitchen and only pulled the appliances out on my insistence. Any treatment takes time to work and this was no exception. Dead and dying cockroaches were found in and around the baited area throughout our two week stay. The treatment was a failure as healthy cockroaches of all species were still active throughout our stay. We found cockroaches living in the kettle and the toaster at the start of our stay and although these were both replaced they were re infested by the end of the two weeks. Cockroaches were found in the beds, falling out of the seal of the fridge and throughout the apartment.cockroach-jpg

Cockroaches The BPCA

Cockroaches, treatment options:
Cockroaches are less of a problem or pest control companies regarding treatment. This is because 15 years ago the only way to deal with cockroach infestations was with a residual insecticide spray. This would work but only if the surfaces were clean, grease & dust free. As cockroaches like to live inside fridges, cookers and other electrical equipment and are often present in kitchens where hygiene is not brilliant then control with sprays would fail or only achieve partial success. Basically then it was the same problem that we have with bed bugs now which is the preparation is more time consuming and important than the treatment itself. Getting success with block treatments for cockroaches using sprays was virtually impossible.

cockroach-jpgWith the arrival of cockroach baits (Maxforce & Goliath being the 2 main products) treatments became easier. Hygiene is still important but not essential. The baits are virtually harmless to mammals, which removes a problem and work by poisoning the cockroach that eats the bait, killing any cockroaches that eat the poisoned cockroaches body or droppings. This domino process works for 4 times. So cockroaches eating the body or droppings of a poisoned cockroach also produce toxic bodies and droppings for four more layers.

At PEST UK we always do 2 visits usually leaving a 2-3 week interval. We have moved from Maxforce to Advion which works the same way only quicker. On the 2nd visit the technician looks for bodies, looks for signs of activity (also asks the customer what they have seen) and lays non toxic monitoring traps so the customer can see if there is any more activity. He may even top up baits if activity is still present. In severe infestations a 3rd visit may be needed but this is rare and can usually be predicted from the initial inspection. Cockroach jobs vary throughout our service area (Reading, Newbury, High Wycombe, Slough, Wokingham, Camberley, Bracknell, Farnham, Woking, Marlow, Henley on Thames, Aldershot & Guildford) the built up areas with high density populations having more problems.

So far there have not been any resistance or behavioral problems using these baits & it has revolutionized the treatment of cockroaches. It is a pity the same can’t be done for bed bugs but as these are blood feeders developing a bait will be more difficult.

For advice or a pest control treatment please phone PEST UK on 0330 100 2811. Alec Minter

BPCA – Cockroaches

PESTUK info on Cockroaches

A Pest Control Contract is not expensive. Not only will it protect the health and safety of your employees, it will also protect your reputation. Most prosecutions happen to smaller companies. Remove the worry and leave pest control in the hands of experts.

If you are regularly experiencing pest problems, maybe a Pest Control Contract is better. That peace-of-mind knowing that there is an expert team just a phone call away!

Take a look at our Pest Control Contract page, or call us now on 0800-026-0308

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