Cockroaches are usually associated with poor standards of hygiene and will breed quickly if you don’t deal with them. Pubs, especially their kitchen and storage areas provide cockroaches with a ready supply of food and water and their presence in toilets and sewers makes them a perfect vector to carry infections on the outside of their bodies as well as internally.  They consume both the food and faeces (human and animal) and therefore come into contact with a variety of harmful organisms.

There are two types of cockroaches most commonly found in  pubs, they are:

Oriental Cockroach

The Oriental Cockroach averages 20 – 24 mm in length and is a dark reddish-brown to black in colour.  They easily tolerate hot, dry locations around heating appliances provided they can obtain access to water and infestations of Oriental Cockroaches are more frequently found below ground level or on the ground floor of buildings.  The Oriental Cockroach has occasionally been able to survive winter conditions in this country by living in refuse dumps and rubbish heaps.

German Cockroach

The German Cockroach averages 10 – 15 mm in length and are pale buff in colour and prefers a warm, moist environment around 20 – 30oc. It is frequently found in kitchens, larders and dining areas/restaurants where food, warmth and moisture provide all the requirements for life.  In kitchens, the German Cockroach is most often found harbouring behind radiators, ovens and hot water pipes, however, you may also find them in toilets and behind sinks, where large numbers congregate around sources of water.

Life cycle

The lifecycle of the cockroach consists of:

Egg -Nymph – Adult (incomplete metamorphosis)

The German Cockroach develops an egg case two to four days after a successful mating.  The female cockroach carries the egg case in the external opening of the genital pouch until shortly before hatching, when it is deposited in a suitable location.  In the case of the Oriental Cockroach the egg case is dropped as soon as it becomes fully developed and usually close to a food source.  In both cases the egg case is large in comparison to the size of the adult and is polished with distinct divisions indicating the position of the eggs within.

The egg case of the German Cockroach contains about 32 eggs and the Oriental Cockroach between 15 to 18 eggs.  All the eggs will hatch within a short while of each other and under optimal conditions of food and temperature are able to develop to an adult in approximately 6 weeks.

Prevention and control

Control of a large cockroach infestation usually means the use of a suitable insecticide and the application of these substances should be undertaken by fully trained and qualified Pest Control Technicians so that the maximum control is achieved. However, controlling cockroaches is more than just the application of insecticide, proper food hygiene standards, cleaning procedures and ‘good housekeeping’ is essential. You need to deny sources of food, water and hiding places, accordingly, all food residue should be thoroughly cleared up and standing water should not be left in bowls or sinks overnight.  It is extremely important that the if you experience a cockroach infestation you adhere to this advice or the eradication of these pests by insecticides may not succeed.

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