Cockroaches have been pests in man's dwellings for centuries and are always difficult to eradicate, largely because of their secretive and nocturnal habits.  They may be found wherever there is a supply of food, water and warmth ie kitchens, housing, bakeries and food factories. They can carry disease organisms particularly those causing food poisoning.


Cockroaches are large insects which range in size from 10-23mm in length, they have long whip-like antennae and two pairs of wings. The two most commonly found species are:

  • The Oriental Cockroach

  • The German Cockroach

They can be distinguished by their size and colour, the Oriental Cockroach being larger and darker brown in colour. The Oriental Cockroach unlike the German variety is unable to climb smooth vertical surface.

Cockroaches can be found in premises where food is stored or handled. They are nocturnal insects and will spend most of the day hiding in cracks and around drains and service ducting. Infestations may be introduced into premises in laundry and food deliveries.  Cockroaches carry food poisoning germs on their bodies and are responsible for the spread of dysentery and gastro-enteritis. They will feed on almost anything including faecal matter and food for human consumption. Contamination will occur when the insect comes into contact with food or work surfaces or through faecal contamination of foodstuffs.


Life Cycle

The female cockroach produces up to eight purse-like egg cases at monthly intervals. The egg cases are thick walled and are 6-12mm in length and may contain up to 30 eggs. The young or nymphs of the German Cockroach emerge from their eggs in 2-4 weeks and those of the Oriental Cockroach in 6-12 weeks. The nymphs are similar in appearance to the adult but smaller. As the nymph develops it grows and moults. This usually occurs 5-10 times during its development which may take up to two years to complete until the insect reaches maturity. The life cycle is complete in a further four months for Oriental Cockroaches and nine months for the German Cockroach.



Ensure that your premises are clean and that there are no food sources and hiding places for cockroaches.

You may need professional help in treating a cockroach infestation particularly if you run a commercial food premises in which case you would need to contact a pest control firm (see yellow pages). If you have an infestation in your own home our pest control officer can treat it for you (there may be a charge). He or she would use an insecticide spray around the boundary of the room, at the junction between walls and floor, behind equipment, in vents and ducting. The treated area should be left undisturbed for as long as possible. It would be necessary for us to re-treat your premises to kill any new nymphs as they emerge from their eggs.