Pests that run around your kitchen and bedroom
You have probably heard it before and you will be hearing these phrases as long as you are in the business of cockroach pest control. What is it about cockroaches that make us so restless and nervous? Is it because of their ugly appearance or their chaotic quick movements? Is it because we consider them as disease carriers or their ability to show their heads when least expected? Maybe it is a combination of all these things but no matter what your opinion on cockroaches is, it is a fact that you do not want to see them anywhere close. Probably the only people who do not object being close to cockroaches are pest controllers looking for some work but even they do not want to see them close once the job has been done. Cockroaches are known as being a pest that is very difficult to get rid of. This was probably true half of century ago but today, when we have easy access to many different kinds of insecticides, there is no excuse for not being able to get rid of cockroaches in both households and commercial properties. Of course, you will always see cockroaches when you start with the treatment on the location but this should be an exception and not the normal case. In this brochure, we will go through the What, Why, Where and How of an effective cockroach control method.
Have an expert answer your question about cockroaches
Biology and identification
Cockroaches are one of the insects from the order Blattodea. This order counts over 4,000 species all over the world and around 400 species are native to Australia. These native species have variations in appearance, habitat and diet. All species from this order have originated from the tropical areas of Africa 3oo million years ago and they can range in size from just a few millimetres to a size of Giant Burrowing Cockroach ((Macropanesthia rhinoceros) which can be found in Northern Queensland and can grow up to 70 mm. Unfortunately for us, Blattodea order has a number of insects that are regarded as pests, but no matter what size they are, they all have a similar body which consists of:
- Oval shaped and dorso-ventrally compressed body
- Two pairs of membranous wings and forewings which are sclerotized more than the hind wings
- Thorax which is protected by a big plate called pronotum which extends over the head.
- Very strong mouthparts for chewing
- Compound eyes
- Long antennae
- Leaf-shaped cerci at the tip of the abdomen
Cockroaches are insects from the order of Blattodea which has more than 4500 species. Only around 30 species from that order can be associated with human habitat. Several species from that order are also considered as pests.
- German Cockroaches (Blattella germanica), can grow up to 1.5 cm in length when fully grown. They are easily identified by their long antennae which are used to detect chemical compounds, moisture, air currents and sound waves. They prefer moist and warm areas and can often be found in kitchens and bathrooms. They are brown in colour and have two dark streaks which run from their head to the base of their wings. The biggest difference between German Cockroaches and other cockroach species is that female German cockroaches carry their ootheca with them during germination while other females deposit their ootheca.
- American Cockroaches (Periplaneta americana) are very large roaches which can grow up to 4 centimetres in length. They can be found in basements, boiler rooms and all other places that are dark, moist and warm. They are difficult to notice as they run away at the first sign of light. Both males and females have wings and some flight capabilities but luckily for us, they rarely fly.
- Brown-Banded Cockroaches (Supella longipalpa) can reach 1.5 centimetres in size when fully grown. Males and females both have wings but only the males can fly. These cockroaches have two bands of light colour on the base of their wings and these bands are the reason behind why their name is brown-banded. These cockroaches like dry places and can be hence found in bedrooms, especially in and under cabinets, closets and in electrical equipment.
- Brown Cockroaches (Periplaneta brunnea) can grow up to 3 to 4 centimetres in length. They have wings and are dark red in colour. Brown cockroaches have different cerci from American cockroaches. They have a pair of short and blunt cerci while American cockroaches have much longer and sharper cerci.
- Australian Cockroaches (Periplaneta australasiae) can grow about 3 to 4 centimetres in size, have wings and are dark brown coloured. They are very similar to American Cockroaches but can be distinguished by a yellow margin on their thorax and yellow streaks at their wing base. They typically eat plants but can also eat all other organic substances, even decaying ones.
- Smooth Cockroaches (Symploce pallens) are rather small with adults around 12 to 15 millimeters in size and have brown-yellow colour. Adults have long wings which often extend to their abdominal tip. Fully grown females have much shorter wings which range only one third of their abdomen.
Cockroaches have a gradual metamorphosis in which juvenile stages have very similar appearance to the fully grown form with only difference being in the wings. Females produce ootheca(egg cases) after mating and they deposit them before the nymph emerges. There are a number of different juvenile stages which can last from 6 to 12 months. Adults can live between 3 and 12 months. Both juveniles and adults live together in communities which consist from up to 75% of juveniles. Cockroaches in all stages have very similar mouthparts and their diet is identical. This makes our job easier when we start with control measures. One thing in which cockroaches outperform other species is breeding. As little as 5 females of the German cockroach can produce as much as 300 million offspring in as little as 12 months!
Why do we consider cockroaches as pests and why do homeowners want to clear their premises of them? Well, most importantly, the presence of cockroaches is a violation of health regulations and can result in rigorous fines for commercial businesses. Even worse, cockroaches are considered to be disease carriers and can carry a number of dangerous diseases such as tuberculosis, hepatitis, typhoid, salmonellosis and others.
While there is no real proof that cockroaches are disease carriers like in the case of flies and rats, they are certainly not hygienic after crawling in drains and sewers. Even worse, people can develop allergies to both cockroaches and their faeces. Research has shown that there is a connection between cockroach allergens and asthma but they are also known to cause dermatitis and rhinitis. These allergens are very dangerous to children as it has been found that exposure to these allergens early in life can be responsible for the development of asthma. Disease carriers or not, one thing is certain – cockroaches cause disgust and are associated with poor hygiene standards.
Where can we find them?
Where can you find cockroaches? Well, a better question would be “Where can you find them?” Cockroaches can be found everywhere but most often they can be found in warm and humid locations such as tropical regions or your kitchen. When talking about Australia´s cockroach species, German Cockroaches can be found all over Australia except southern parts like Tasmania because they prefer warm and wet areas similar to tropical areas from where they originated. When talking about households, they are typically found in warm and moist areas with food such as your dishwasher. When such areas become overcrowded, they start moving to other environments. In one case, a house was infested with German cockroaches so badly that they were found inside the TV, the chimney, even under the linoleum on the floor. Larger cockroach species such as American, Australian and Smoky-brown cockroaches are very common in the warmer parts of Australia. They do not need a large amount of water so they can be found in roof voids, drains, sewers and grease traps. Oriental cockroaches are found in cooler parts of the country but are very rare in general. Brown banded cockroaches like temperatures over 27 degrees Celsius and do not need much moisture so they can be found in locations without a source of water.
Which of the following statements would you say are true?
- Cockroaches are almost impossible to eradicate.
- We used to get rid of cockroaches but now all the good poisons are banned and we can use only the weak ones.
- Pest controllers would get rid of them if they wanted to but they always leave a few behind so they could be called again and again.
We really hope that you did not agree with anything from above. In reality, cockroaches are not very hard to control but you need to have both the patience and the right tools to get the job done. Cockroach control must be done in a systematic and diligent way and by a professional with hands-on experience in the field. Here is a list of tools that are needed:
- Strong and reliable torch
- Notebook or paper for keeping track of data
- Gloves, disposable ones which will prevent soiling your hands
- Overalls for protecting your clothes
- Compressed air sprayer
- Electric powder blower for voids
- Powder duster
- Gel gun
- Mirror which will help you see around corners
- Clean rags
- Screwdrivers, spanners and similar tools for access gaining
The supermarket is filled with all kinds of effective insecticide products and you can be certain that all these products will kill cockroaches. However, some are more effective or cheaper than others and it is up to you to make the decision on which product you will use. If you fail, the failure is probably caused by you and not by the insecticide which you used. A standard list of insecticides includes:
- Insecticidal dust
- Insect growth regulator
- Two residual insecticides
- Aerosol with applicator nozzle
- Two cockroach gels which have different action modes
First thing’s first, you need to undertake a detailed and thorough site survey in order to look for evidence of activity such as live or dead cockroaches, nymphal skins, eggs, faeces. Sometimes, when there is many of them, you can even smell them. Site surveys must be done in a systematic way from one side to another. You should not use aerosols as a flushing agent because it will disperse them and make your control efforts much harder. Try looking at warm and moist locations with food sources such as dishwashers, back of refrigerators, microwaves and similar machines. Also look for hygiene issues as they often contribute to cockroach problems. Use your notebook to write down all the details.
When you finish your inspection and you are certain that there is a cockroach problem, use your insecticide. Make sure there is no one near while you work so put your warning signs before starting your work. In case of a severe infestation, apply liquid insecticide with an added insect growth regulator for better results. Also, treat all voids and cavities with dust insecticide. Many pest controllers use only cockroach gels as their treatment method. While they are very effective for controlling, they are not fast acting and it will need a few days before any results can be seen.
As a first treatment, liquid residual insecticides combined with dust will give much better first results. Use a crevice nozzle to apply the spray with low pressure into all harbourages. Do not spray carpet edges as this is not very effective and will stain the surfaces. Be sure to apply all insecticides as written on their labels. Do not use dust insecticides in areas which will become wet. Use them only in roof voids and sub floors where there is no danger of contamination for stored materials.
Cockroach gels are a somewhat new product on the scene. They are cost effective and provide great results when used as written on the instructions. They have to be applied using a gel gun. Most pest controllers use only gels and avoid other insecticides. While there is nothing wrong with this approach, results will be much slower. Other pest controllers use gels to treat places where liquids and dusts could make problems such as electrical equipment. This is considered the most economical and cost effective approach.
After you finish your work, wait and evaluate. Try looking for cockroaches that are coming out of harbourages. Maybe you will need to use some more insecticide to finish them off. Always watch out for places that you might have overlooked. Try making an additional walk over the premises. Make sure you place glue traps in the most difficult areas. After you return, inspect the glue traps and if there are many cockroaches on them, it is probably a sign that you will need to repeat another treatment. If you have noticed some hygiene and proofing issues, make sure you share them with your client. Inform them on the importance of hygiene and how it can affect the occurrence of pests.
After the initial treatment has been completed, you will need to go on site again in order to ensure that the treatment procedure has been successful. You should make at least one visit after ten days from the initial treatment. Check the glue traps for any activity. If there are cockroaches, you will need to repeat the treatment. Never leave a location if you think there are still live cockroaches there. Most food facilities such as restaurants and hotels require a monthly or even weekly service visits. Households are much more flexible and with your experience, you will be able to determine the needed service intervals much more precisely.
Call now to solve your cockroaches problem- pest control cockroaches
- Controlling cockroaches is very simple.
- Try seeking help and advice from pest controllers with more experience
- Use a strong torch during your inspection
- Always use equipment of highest quality
- Follow label instructions when using insecticides
- Use suitable insecticide formulations on all harbourages
- Use glue traps for monitoring your results
Masters Pest Control Sydney
Pest control is what we do best. We are professionally trained, insured and licensed in all areas of residential and commercial fumigation. When you need a honest, friendly and reliable pest exterminator expert, ask for Robert from Masters Pest Control Sydney. We guarantee pest removal with one treatment and warranty on all pest removal. Unique industry pet and family friendly ants, cockroach, rats, spider and termite solutions. Servicing Sydney wide and all surrounding suburbs. We are a proud family owned business providing our pest elimination service across Sydney.
Our focus is on providing safe and natural pest management and eradication, perfectly suited for people who care about their families and loved ones. We get rid of the pests that spread diseases such as rats and cockroaches and we are specialists at termite eradication and remedial work. We can help you get rid of so many pests: ants, bed bugs, rats, spiders and termites
We provide remove the following pests termites, rats, spiders, cockroaches, bed bugs and much more. Contact us today!