Cockroaches

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Cockroach on bread

Cockroaches may, at first, seem to be a fairly innocuous insect. They don’t bite, they don’t do any constructional damage and they don’t consume great amount of food however, cockroaches can be one of the most high risk pests you can find in your home or office.

Cockroaches are one of the most common pests in Australian households as they tend to favour conditions similar to those that humans create. Cockroaches are omnivorous insects meaning they will eat almost any organic matter. They are also a very gregarious species and can easily form a group of cockroaches that can then lead to an infestation.

Cockroaches tend to be nocturnal creatures that hide during the day and it’s interesting to note (and valuable) to know, that observance of their activity during the day may indicate a cockroach over population . . . an infestation. Tell-tale signs of cockroach presence includes the presence of egg cases, faecal pellets and cast off nymphal (young cockroach) skin. Cockroaches will thrive in dirty, unclean environments however clean, hygienic premises will not preclude cockroaches from being present as any scrap of food , dirty dishes or rubbish will attract them

THE DANGERS OF COCKROACHES

The main problem associated with cockroaches is in their ability to spread diseases. Their movement throughout sewers, drains, garbage and the like, brings them into contact with disease organisms such as salmonella which may cause gastroenteritis, dysentery, tuberculosis, hepatitis and typhoid fever. They can also carry viruses and eggs of worm parasites and because of this and their cohabitation with humans, the health threat caused by cockroaches can be a very real and present one and so diligent control is necessary.

TYPES OF COCKROACHES IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA

In Western Australia, there are a variety of cockroaches present however we are mainly concerned with four common types:

  • German Cockroach
  • American Cockroach
  • Native Australian Black Cockroach
  • Brown Banded Cockroach

 

German Cockroach

German Cockroach

German Cockroach

  • Approximately 12mm long
  • Beige to light brown in colour
  • 2 dark strips on the back of it’s head
  • Has wings but does not fly
  • Seeks warm conditions with access to food and moisture
  • Commonly found in kitchens and food handling / preparation areas an do not thrive in locations away from human activity
  • They are prolific breeders and because of this, a small infestation can turn into a major infestation in a month or two
  • Typical habitats are sinks, dishwashers and other moist areas and crevices around kitchen and bathroom cupboards as well, they enjoy area under cooking appliances and the undersides of drawers and benchtops.

 

American Cockroach

American Cockroach

American Cockroach

Largest of the pest species of cockroaches we find in Western Australia, the American Cockroach is one that is quite adaptable and can live quite comfortable in both cool and warm areas as well, they can survive 2 -3 months without food or water. Other characteristics:

  • Reddish brown in colour with yellow bands behind the head
  • Grows to a length between 30 – 50mm
  • Has wings and will readily fly
  • Is attracted to light
  • In cool climates it like warm, moist, dark conditions. In warmer locations it prefers outdoors
  • Can be seen congregating around hot water pipes, fridge motors and heating appliances

 

Australian Black Cockroach

Australian Black Cockroach

Native Australian Black Cockroach

A native species, this cockroach is primarily an outdoors one that feeds predominantly on decaying plant material however it may come inside during summer to shelter from the heat. Other characteristics:

  • grows to about 35mm in length
  • wingless
  • black body with yellowish margins on t thorax and wing base
  • smaller than the American cockroach

 

Brown Banded Cockroach

Brown Banded Cockroach

Brown Banded Cockroach

This smallish cockroach is quite common and prefers indoor habitats. It’s suited to dry locations and is comfortable at living in appliances and items of technology commonly found in a household situation. Other features

  • pale brown in colour with pale bands across it’s thorax and abdomen
  • can fly if disturbed
  • unlike other species, is quite adept at living in dry locations
  • egg cases are glued to surfaces

 

CONTROL OF COCKROACHES

Inspection – a thorough inspection of the premises is undertaken by Perth Pest Control technicians to locate any form of cockroach activity. Sighting of cockroaches as well as evidence of their activity such as faecal droppings, skin shedding etc will give us information as to the degree of infestation present.

Treatment – Perth Pest Control have at our disposal, a range of dedicated surface sprays, gels and dusts to eliminate cockroaches. These sprays are quite long lasting and quite harmless to mammals (humans and pets), but are lethal to cockroaches. Where sprays are not practical, such as around electrical wiring, we would then use a permethrin dust to eliminate all cockroaches.

As mentioned earlier, cockroaches do present a danger to you and your family or your business and employees so if you have any queries, or would like further information on the elimination of cockroaches, please contact us.

FAQ – Cockroaches
I’ve seen some large black cockroaches inside my house, does this mean I’ll have a cockroach colony hidden somewhere?

The large ones you see tend to be outdoor cockroaches. These ones can fly and may have entered your home by crawling or flying inside. It’s unlikely a nest of this particular variety will be present inside your house.

I’m seeing some small brown cockroaches and some large black ones inside . . . is there a big difference between the two?

The small German cockroaches pose the most immediate threat. Black ones tend to be an outdoor variety whereas the smaller ones prefer indoor locations with warmth and shelter and can breed prolifically and you’ll see them around sinks, dishwashers, in cupboards and drawers and if seen in numbers, it’s time to consider a proper cockroach treatment.

I’m starting to see a number of cockroaches appearing in my restaurant. Will your treatment kill them all and do I have to empty out my food preparation areas for you to do a treatment?

Yes, a proper treatment knowing which species of cockroach is present will eradicate them. Cockroaches like warmth and darkness so it’s important kitchen areas are kept clean and no food scraps are present on floors, benches etc. Our treatment for cockroaches uses a registered gel that is safe to use in food areas so you may not have to empty out your kitchen however if there is a large infestation, we may have to resort to a surface spray which will entail removing implements etc from your food prep areas as well, we will dust all motors with a special cockroach insecticide.

How can I reduce the possibility of cockroaches entering my home?

Keep in mind cockroaches enjoy warm dark areas and of course food scraps. Make sure you clean up thoroughly after meals and remove all food scraps. Clean oven tops and other areas where grease and oil may accumulate and fill any small cracks, crevices etc where cockroaches may hide and store all products in sealed plastic containers.