Experts at a national trade body are urging facilities managers to look out for signs that cockroaches have entered their premises.
British Pest Control Association (BPCA), is encouraging FMs to build-in checks for cockroaches when cleaning around stoves, sinks and heating ducts this spring.
The trade body is also signposting to its online guide with video for advice on preventing the insect intruders.
Cockroaches can act as vectors of disease and are capable of carrying the organisms which cause food poisoning in humans and many other bacteria.
They will contaminate utensils and preparation surfaces as they forage and may taint food with an obnoxious smell.
Dee Ward-Thompson, BPCA Head of Technical, said: “Cockroaches pose a direct health risk to humans.
“They will feed on almost anything, including refuse, faecal matter and food for consumption.
“They also require access to water and will be generally found in inaccessible harbourages, close to water and food.
“Cockroaches are rarely able to survive out of doors in the British climate but thrive around the heating ducts, pipes, stoves, and sinks, especially in humid areas, and will often remain hidden during the day.”
As cockroaches are nocturnal, BPCA recommends looking out for these four tell-tale signs that cockroaches may be present:
– Egg (ootheca) cases
– Obnoxious odour (large infestations)
– Sighting of the insect
Dealing with a cockroach infestation is no easy task, so BPCA recommends taking steps to deter the insects, including cleaning all surfaces thoroughly, keeping bins covered and emptied regularly and sealing gaps around doors, windows and utility lines.
Ward-Thompson added: “Control of cockroaches is seldom easy because of the difficulty of getting to the insect.
“For any cockroach infestation, we would always recommend contacting a professional pest control company, preferably a member of the BPCA.
“They are trained in cockroach control and will have access to a range of professional use products which are not available to the public.”
For more advice about proofing your home or business against cockroaches, the new online guide is available at: bpca.org.uk/cockroach
BPCA members are trained, qualified and regularly assessed to the British Standard in Pest Management BS EN 16636. To find a BPCA member near you visit: bpca.org.uk/find.