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How Do I Get Rid of Cockroaches?
Cockroaches are stubborn pests that with rapid breeding cycles that allow them to quickly replenish their populations if only a few eggs survive. Treatment must be thorough and control measures are just as important as extermination if you want to stop cockroaches from coming back time and time again.
Pesticides alone won’t do the trick: if you don’t change whatever conditions in your premises attracted and sustained cockroaches to begin with, they’re likely to keep coming back.
Worst of all, cockroaches are increasingly pesticide resistant, putting pest control companies in an arms race to keep up with their rapidly evolving immunities. Anything you can buy in a shop almost certainly won’t do the trick, and there’s a high risk that a DIY application won’t be well-targeted or safe.
You can make your environment inhospitable for cockroaches by filling in the cracks and crevices that they use for nests and pathways. For Oriental cockroaches, who prefer damp spaces and feed on rotting matter, you also need to make sure all water pipes and joints are fully sealed as even a small leak can provide ideal conditions for a cockroach nest.
Of course, hygiene is issue number one. While cockroach infestations can still occur in clean environments (which is distressing for restaurants and hotels who have reputations to maintain) it’s a simple fact that the more exposed food and residue you leave lying around, the more likely you are to attract cockroaches.
A clean, dry, ventilated and well-sealed site is much less likely to sustain a cockroach population because they won’t have access to food or anywhere to hide. Cockroaches hate being out in the open, so if they find themselves exposed they’ll move on elsewhere.
Detailed, thorough control measures are beyond what most people can achieve by themselves, and as the risk of reinfestation is so high, it’s better to go the professional route if you want long term cockroach extermination and control.
I only saw one cockroach, maybe it’s not so bad?
Whether you’re dealing with a German or an Oriental cockroach, one fact remains the same: cockroaches hate light.
Cockroaches only typically come out at night and will do their best to stay in the shadows and squeeze into dark crevices if they’re on the move any other time. They’re also very fast, particularly the smaller German cockroaches, who are also skilled climbers. Most cockroach sightings occur when switching on the light at night and seeing them for a brief moment before they disappear.
Their light phobia and athletic ability makes them very good at not being seen. If you do see one, you’ve either caught it by surprise or it’s been forced out of its usual environment, either way there’s almost always many, many more cockroaches that you’re not seeing for every one that you do.
What type of cockroach do I have?
It’s easy to tell the difference between German and Oriental cockroaches. German cockroaches are smaller and faster with a light brown colour and (mostly useless) wings that extend just beyond the body, while Oriental cockroaches are larger, rounder and are brown or black with a distinctive shine – the more cockroachy-looking cockroach of the two.
German cockroaches are the more common of the two as an indoor pest, with Oriental cockroaches preferring damp, dark environments such as leaf piles.
American and banded cockroaches also make appearances in London, but are very rare in comparison and usually hitch a ride in food imports.
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Cockroaches are luckily a relatively uncommon pest in London, but if they do strike, they are incredibly frustrating to try and get rid of, and spotting one can be enough to make customers not want to return to a restaurant or hotel.
How to get rid of cockroaches
- Hygiene is number one: if cockroaches can’t find food, they won’t stay around.
- Pesticides are ineffective. Not only are cockroaches increasingly resistant, they lay their eggs in hard-to-reach crevices.
- Cockroaches hide in tight, dark spaces. Fill in any cracks or crevices that could be providing them a nest.
- The larger Oriental cockroaches thrive in damp spaces. If you see them, check your plumbing for leaks.
- Making an environment inhospitable to cockroaches is a better long term solution than trying to kill them.
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