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How to get rid of Cockroaches

Have you gone into the kitchen late in the night and turned on the light to be greeted by a few cockroaches scurrying away? Freaked out? What’s the best treatment to kill cockroaches?

Why are they a problem

Cockroaches can easily spread disease in the household, contaminating the environment by leaving behind both bacteria and droppings. Common types of bacteria that may be spread by cockroaches are salmonella and toxoplasmosis. And they look yucky.

How to prepare and how to treat cockroaches 

Homeowner

  • Empty bins regularly and ensure they have lids
  • Clear away food sources – do dishes daily, cover food or put it away, wipe benches clean (especially under kettle & toaster)
  • Clean pet bowls regularly
  • Seal cracks and crevice where cockroaches like to harbour (No-gaps is great!)

Conquer Termites

  • Apply gel bait to wet area cupboards – bathroom, kitchen, laundry
  • Apply a dust treatment under large appliances such as the dishwasher, fridge, washing machine etc
  • Dust in cracks and crevices where cockroaches like to harbour
  • Spray skirting boards with low-odour residual chemical that only targets insects and is completely safe for pets and humans

As cockroaches living in and around buildings require food, water and shelter sites, reducing the availability of resources is likely to lead to reductions in population size. The following practices will make buildings less suited to infestation:

1 Clean-up after food-handling should be immediate, thorough and regularly carried out. Dishes and utensils should not be left unwashed overnight. Pets’ feeding bowls should not be left unwashed for periods. Clean-up of offices, clubs, bars and so on should, where possible, proceed immediately the day’s activities are finished, so that food contaminated surfaces are not available overnight.

2 Water availability should be reduced where possible. Unnecessary containers with water, accumulations of water from cleaning activities, leaky taps or pipes should all be checked.

3 Foods should be stored in tight cockroach-proof containers. Cereals, flours, meats and all other food materials should be kept in a refrigerator or in containers that can be tightly closed.

4 Food storage involves:

  • inspection of incoming stock;
  • regular stock rotation;
  • sound food-storage practices, whereby food is stored above ground level and, where appropriate, away from contact with walls.

5 Garbage should be stored in tightly closed containers.

6 Where feasible, cracks and crevices that may harbour cockroaches should be filled in. Entry points (eg around pipes) through floors or walls should be blocked off to lessen the possibility of re-infestation or harbourage.

7 Equipment in food-handling areas should, where possible, be located above floor level, to facilitate easy and thorough cleaning and thus avoid the build-up of wastes underneath.

8 Reasonably regular clean-up of ‘longer term’ build-up of waste foods (eg grease accumulation around stoves and vents, or spilt food materials at backs of shelves) should be carried out. Vacuuming of shelves and cupboards will reduce the build-up of food particles in cracks and crevices. Usually, a thorough survey of the building will reveal the extent to which practices and procedures need to be modified. Where very poor sanitation and hygiene practices exist, chemical treatments will be limited in their effectiveness.

 

Cockroaches undergo an incomplete (or gradual) metamorphosis with the juvenile stages being similar in appearance to the adult form, apart from the presence of wings. Female cockroaches produce an egg case (ootheca) after mating and they either deposit this sometime before or immediately prior to the baby (nymph) cockroaches emerging.

According to the species involved, there are several juvenile stages lasting from six to twelve months. Adults can live from three to twelve months. Juveniles and adults are found living together in aggregations with up to 75% of the aggregation consisting of juveniles.

All stages have similar mouth-parts and feed upon identical foods. This makes it easier for us when we apply a baiting treatment.

One thing that cockroaches can do well is breed. Five female German cockroaches can produce a staggering 300 million offspring after twelve months! There would be 225 million juveniles and 75 million adults. You might already know this because of previous exploits into commercial kitchens or neglected households.

American

  • Reddish brown in colour – upper thorax (pronotum) having pale border
  • About 35 to 40 mm in length when adult
  • Flies in warmer climates
  • Favours moist areas – sewers, drains
  • Prefers these outdoor areas but will enter buildings
  • Nocturnal habit

Australian

  • Dark reddish brown in colour – upper thorax (pronotum) and front margins of forewings with pale borders
  • About 35 mm in length when adult
  • Nocturnal
  • Favours tropical and subtropical climates
  • Prefers outdoor areas
  • Will utilise wall voids, sub-floor areas
  • Shelters in organic materials

German

  • Amber in colour with two longitudinal stripes on thorax
  • 12 to 15 mm in length when adult
  • Has wings but does not fly
  • Widespread throughout Australia
  • Nocturnal habit
  • Rapid breeder
  • Favours moist, warm, internal areas such as kitchens