Did you know that cockroaches are an ancient group, dating back at least as far as the Carboniferous period, some 320 million years ago. They may be ancient but in reality, they are a very modern pest!
What are cockroaches?
Cockroaches come from the order Blattodea and are common and hardy insects that can tolerate a wide range of environments from Arctic cold to tropical heat. They are considered to be amongst the hardiest insects on earth: some species are capable of remaining active for a month without food and are able to survive on limited resources whilst some can go without air for 40 minutes.
Cockroaches live for up to a year, and the female may produce up to eight egg cases in a lifetime which can produce as many as 300 to 400 offspring. Homes, catering premises and hospitals are all places where cockroaches can be found. They carry diseases like salmonella, typhoid and dysentery and are also linked to allergies and skin disorders like asthma and eczema. Their presence in homes and hospitals can prove particularly harmful to young children and the elderly.
How do I know if I have cockroaches in my home or premises?
Cockroaches are nocturnal insects and prefer dark moist places to breed so can be found behind fridges, sinks and cookers as well as under drains so you may not necessarily see one during the day, but you may do depending on the level of infestation. Because they can flatten their bodies to fit into narrow areas, cockroaches may also be found hiding beneath rubber mats, behind wallpaper and within wall cracks. The faeces of cockroaches looks a little like black pepper granules for smaller roaches whilst larger ones expel cylindrical droppings. Sometimes a strong musty or oily odour can indicate an infestation.
What should I do?
Call in the experts immediately. Cockroaches are notoriously difficult to get rid of and you will need the professionals to eradicate them completely. They are difficult to treat, their hiding places are often difficult to reach with insecticides and because of the efficiency of the breeding process a large number of eggs are produced, so you will need a comprehensive programme of eradication.
Did you know?
Cockroaches are typically nocturnal, and can cover up to 3 miles in an hour, which means they can spread germs and bacteria very quickly. Their droppings look similar to black pepper granules. Cockroaches can hold their breath for up to 40 minutes and live for a week without their head; due to their open circulatory system and the fact that they breathe through little holes in their body segments.
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