Cockroach Infestations in London

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Common Cockroach
The Common Cockroach – German Cockroach, Blattella germanica

Empire, the popular cockroach control experts in London

Cockroach infestations in London can be a real problem both for home owners as well as for business owners. Empire, based in London have extensive experience in controlling and treating cockroaches and have compiled this informative article so that you have some background idea of the things cockroaches are attracted to and their natural lifestyle habits.

The Key Features of Cockroaches

Known to be nocturnal, cockroaches tend to hide away in crevices during the day. They may also be found lurking near drains and sinks, among other places that provide the ideal conditions to survive. Because of their night time habit it can make it difficult to know whether you’ve been invaded by an infestation of these pests. So what do you need to look out for to alert you that cockroaches may have moved in? Firstly, once established, they can produce a foul, almond-like scent. Another tell take sign that you have an infestation of these unattractive pests is that they leave behind them large quantities of excrement. Depending on the conditions these can be either dark coloured droppings that resemble coffee grounds or, if the conditions they live in are more moist, dark smear marks that will cover the surfaces and walls where they have crawling.

Other signs that they leave behind them are discarded egg casings. These vary between the different types of cockroach but are capsule like in appearance. Lastly, as they grow, cockroaches also shed their skin several times before reaching adulthood and these too can become visual signs that you have a large, unwanted population of cockroaches in your building.

So what if you actually catch sight of one of these elusive creatures how would you tell it was a cockroach? Well, in London there are three common species out of over 3000 different species worldwide and these have the following characteristics:

German Cockroach – Lighter brown with two dark lines that run down the length of its body. The smallest cockroach at about 1.6cm in length and the most commonly found in the UK. They prefer a warm and humid environment and are likely to inhabit bathrooms, kitchens and laundry areas of a building.

Oriental Cockroach – Dark brown or black all over colour, adults can be 2.5cm long. They can live in cooler and damper situations and are often found around drains or in basements. They can even be found in outside areas near refuse if the conditions are right.

American Cockroach – Reddish brown body colour with paler edges, up to 3.5cm in length. The least common species found in the UK.

Biology of the Common Cockroach

A cockroach’s life is broken up into three stages. They start off as an egg and, once they hatch, they begin life as a nymph before developing into an adult insect.

Despite this, their transformation from egg to adult is relatively quick, taking roughly 100 days in most cases. In saying this, external variations can make a difference to their development, such as temperature and whether they are receiving adequate nutrition.

Throughout their lives, these cockroaches will breed incessantly, resulting in overlaps when it comes to life stages. Providing ideal living conditions are in place, cockroach numbers, when it comes to an infestation, can reach enormous heights. Typically speaking, cockroach populations will consist of roughly 20% adults and the remaining 80% will be developing nymphs.

Adults will usually survive for around three to six months, and they will moult anywhere from five to seven times during their lifespan.

A German Cockroach’s diet will comprise of anything from scraps on the floor to pet food, and the species may even result to feasting on the bindings of books as well.

How They Affect You

Cockroaches can affect London’s commercial and domestic properties as well as its inhabitants in different ways, but arguably what’s most alarming is that they can carry harmful diseases and organisms.

These germs can be passed on through direct contact, either with the pest or through their droppings.

This pest can also contaminate food, making professional cockroach control absolutely vital with any cockroach infestation. Here at Empire, we have extensive experience of dealing with cockroach infestations within London and surrounding areas and provide complete satisfaction in dealing with any type of cockroach problem.

Methods of Cockroach Control

Cockroach control should only ever be carried out by professionals, as it can be complicated, and the pests are notoriously difficult to get rid of thanks to their breeding process and hiding places.

To begin with, the extent of the infestation should be monitored, and nightly assessments should be carried out, as this is when the pest is likely to be most active. For the latter to be successful, torches with red filters are most effective.

During treatment, all cockroach food and water sources should be cut off to direct the infestation towards insecticides.

As a number of egg cases are hidden away in crevices, insecticides need to be strategically placed and maintained throughout the life stages of this pest. Ideally, this method should be used routinely until all cases have hatched, and to control the infestation, frequent treatments are required.

Following this, sustained treatments to keep the cockroach population low will be carried out at fewer intervals. This type of treatment usually targets adults, leaving behind a few nymphs. Sticky traps are a popular method, and should be placed underneath equipment, behind furniture and inside electrical trunking and ducting. When this pest is trapped, it will release special pheromones, which will attract more of the same species.

Managing Cockroach Problems in London

Our cockroach control officers in London have a trained workforce of local staff familiar with cockroach issues who will be able to quickly visit your home or business premises and decide on the appropriate course of action in order to deal effectively with the infestation.

Cockroaches, can and do carry harmful diseases, including typhoid and dysentery, as well as cause allergic reactions like bronchitis and dermatitis. Cockroaches leave behind an unpleasant mess, such as droppings and regurgitated foodstuffs, and are capable of spoiling materials with their familiar, foul scent.

Live or work in London and need help with cockroaches, get in touch today through our website.