The cockroach is one of the most hated pests in the world, and also presents a range of health risks to animals and humans alike. These creepy crawlies come out at night and flourish in moist, warm environments. They devour almost everything, and contaminate food with their waste and pungent secretions.
Once cockroaches have entered a property, they reproduce at an alarming speed, and getting rid of them can be very challenging. It is important to undertake thorough, regular cleanings and ensure all food storage areas, garbage bins and drains are routinely inspected to prevent cockroach infestations.
Are you the victim of a cockroach infestation?
Although cockroaches eat whatever they can get their feelers on, they usually go into hiding in the daytime, which can makes it difficult to know when your home is infested. Cockroaches often enter our homes via our groceries and goods we've imported in from elsewhere. They then search for the bathroom or kitchen, and from there they travel all over the house via electrical wiring and pipes.
Tips for preventing cockroach infestations
- Take all cleaning and washing up seriously, particularly when it is hot and humid outside.
- Keep all food in airtight containers.
- Ensure garbage and compost containers are emptied often (and have tightly closing lids), as food, moisture and decomposition lures cockroaches.
- Avoid leaving pets' water and food out, especially at room temperature, unless absolutely necessary.
- Ensure all cracks, crevices and gaps around pipes and other penetrations on the walls of your home are promptly sealed.
- Inspect any bags, packaging or boxes thoroughly before allowing them into your home.
Tips for treating a home with cockroaches
- Keep all areas clean at all times and remove any stray objects.
- Get rid of or securely cover pet food after your pets are done with their meals.
- Vacuum the area thoroughly, paying attention to cracks, crevices and hard to get at spots. Start at one end of the area and then continue on to the other to ensure no sections are missed.
- Apply a cleansing agent to floors before wiping dry.
- After vacuuming, take the vacuum bag out, seal it in a plastic bag and then discard it in the garbage bin which should have a tightly closing lid.
As one of the world's most ancient bugs, the cockroach is virtually indestructible. The cockroach is actually closely related to the termite. The world's largest cockroach species can grow almost to a scary 12 cm, while the tiniest measure not more than a few millimetres.
Different cockroach species dominate in different areas. For instance, in Australia, we have several pest cockroach species which readily co-habitate with us eg. the German cockroach, which measures 10 to 16 mm, the American cockroach, Australian cockroach and Smokey Brown cockroach, are all around 30 to 40mm in length.
Are cockroaches harmful?
Living in a cockroach-infested home can be hazardous to one's health, as they spread diseases and also contaminate food and living spaces with their faeces and foul-smelling secretions. Once food products come into contact with cockroaches, the products should be discarded immediately. Some people are also allergic to cockroach secretions and exoskeletal castings (cockroach skin).
How does cockroach treatment work?
Cockroaches can hide almost anywhere, and that makes them exceedingly difficult to eradicate. Here at Flick Anticimex, a mixture of cockroach monitoring traps and pesticides are used to get eradicate cockroaches, together with advisory services.
Cockroaches move fast at night
Cockroaches are omnivores and nocturnal (active at night), running and flying around from place to place. They thrive in warm, moist, dark areas, situated close to a food sources. They reproduce at frightening speeds and can thrive in temperatures as high as 40+ degrees Celcius, or as cold as -5 degrees Celcius.
Cockroaches reproduce quickly
A female German cockroach lays an egg case, or oothecal, about three to five weeks after fertilisation takes place. A single egg case contains up to 50 nymphs (or baby roaches).
In Australia we have approximately 400 cockroach species. However, only about 6 species are considered serious pests of urban households and businesses.
There are the native species, which are often larger than the pest species. They can usually be found under rocks, logs, in soil, in hollow stumps and decaying timber. They move considerably slower than the pest species and do not require treatment.
These native species of cockroaches are an important part of our unique bio-diverse ecosystem and should be left alone.