There are over 3,000 species of cockroaches worldwide, but only 6 have attained the status of pest. These have adapted to cohabit with man. The others remain living amongst leaf litter, under logs and in dark areas like caves.
- Female cockroaches can produce eggs with or without mating (parthenogenesis is the process of producing young without mating).
- Females encase eggs in purse-shaped egg cases which they glue onto a surface.
- Young cockroaches or nymphs emerge from the egg-case and go through 5 to 12 moults before they achieve adult status. 2 to 3 weeks after achieving adult status, they are able to reproduce.
- The most common of the species, the German cockroach, produces 20,000 offspring within a year.
- Cockroaches are omnivorous, making all uncovered foodstuffs susceptible to cockroach infestation and contamination.
- Cockroaches are nocturnal, though during infestations it is common to see them during the day.
- Statistics say that for every one cockroach sighted, 10 more are hidden.
- Common hiding places are cracks and crevices, dishwashers, electrical motors and switches, oven and any other warm, moist areas where food is available.
- Whilst most cockroaches can fly, most tend to crawl, scuttling away very fast when threatened.
- Even the cleanest of environments can provide hidden refuges for cockroaches in search of breeding and feeding sites.
- Cockroaches have many and varied feeding sites, ranging from sewers, drains and garbage bins, to kitchens and unprotected foodstuffs, cockroaches spread diseases such as dysentery, typhoid, hepatitis, tuberculosis and salmonella poisoning.
Control and Elimination
There are different types of cockroaches common to most domestic and commercial premises, it is essential to identify the species before determining the best form of pest management. Each type of cockroach has different breeding preferences, and the choice to use sprays, dusts or baits will be determined by the species identified.