A national trade body has produced a guide for environmental health professionals, outlining the habits and lifecycles of cockroaches, which can harbour around ducts and pipes as the heating goes on in the autumn.
The online guide has been produced by British Pest Control Association (BPCA), with advice on proofing businesses against cockroaches.
The pests contaminate utensils and preparation surfaces as they forage and may even gain access to the food we consume.
They can also be vectors of disease, capable of carrying the organisms which cause food poisoning in humans and many other bacteria.
Cockroach control is a difficult task, so preventative measures are an important step in keeping premises pest-free.
Dee Ward-Thompson is Head of Technical at BPCA. She said: “Cockroaches will feed on almost anything, including refuse, faecal matter and food for human consumption. They also require access to water and will be generally found in inaccessible harbourages, close to water and food such as ducting systems, drains, under units, at the back of white goods where the motor is situated and between cracks in tiles and skirting boards.
“Cockroaches are rarely able to survive out of doors in the British climate but thrive around the heating ducts and boiler rooms of large centrally heated buildings such as hospitals, bakeries, hotels and restaurant kitchens, and blocks of flats. They cluster around pipes, stoves, and sinks, especially in warm areas, and will often remain hidden during the day.”
The BPCA recommends proofing businesses from cockroaches, rather than trying to deal with an infestation. Tips to prevent cockroaches include:
- Clean all surfaces thoroughly to remove any food residue
- Keep bins covered, clean and emptied regularly
- Regularly clean areas such as the top and bottom of the fridge where it is warm and food residue may collect
- Seal gaps around where utility lines enter the building or enter into a cavity
Ward-Thompson added: “Control of cockroaches is seldom easy because of the difficulty of getting to the insect and administering the correct control technique.
“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: Pest Advice for controlling Cockroaches (bpca.org.uk)