Evidence of cockroaches

Cockroaches give off an unpleasant smell and you may see them around drains and light switches. They hide at the backs of fridges and microwaves.


It is difficult to make a home cockroach-proof but to aid prevention keep food preparation and storage areas clean and seal up any cracks and crevices in the kitchen and behind skirting boards with mastic.


Treat cockroaches using insecticide as directed. Be careful not to spray any surfaces used for food preparation. Treatment needs to be carried out on a regular basis, at one month and three month intervals respectively for German and Oriental Cockroaches. Make sure you clean thoroughly after treatment.

More about cockroaches

The cockroach species commonly found in the UK are the Oriental Cockroach and the German Cockroach. Both are nocturnal and stay out of sight during the day. They can be found under kitchen cabinets, around drains, behind fridges, microwaves and dishwashers and even behind posters on the wall and in fridge door seals. Cockroaches contaminate food and can cause food poisoning and infection and can also trigger allergic reactions in some people. They feed on most food, faeces and other cockroaches and create an unpleasant smell in the home.

The Oriental Cockroach

Males are about 25mm long, females about 32mm long. They are shiny and very dark brown, nearly black, although the young are reddish brown. They struggle to climb smooth surfaces and can tolerate the cold which is why they are often found outside buildings in drains, gardens, sewers and on external brickwork.

The German Cockroach

Adults are between 13 and 16mm long, are light brown with two dark almost parallel stripes, with the young having a similar appearance. They may have wings or wing buds. They prefer warm, humid areas and are good climbers, even on smooth surfaces, and can quickly establish themselves in the home.


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