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In their early days on Earth cockroaches populated all four corners of Pangaea, from its icy poles to blistering deserts; they weren’t fussy. Out of 4,600 species of cockroaches only 30 are considered pests and, of these 30, only 4 species are prevalent in homes and businesses across the globe.

The ones to watch:

  • American cockroaches (Periplaneta Americana)
  • Oriental cockroaches (Blatta Orientalis)
  • German cockroaches (Blatella Germanica)
  • Brown banded cockroaches (Supella Longipalpa)


Cockroaches reproduce at a very high rate, spreading numerous diseases such as diarrhoea, gastroenteritis and typhoid fever as they go. When their saliva, faeces and shedded body parts are kicked up from the ground, they can worsen symptoms of asthma and allergies.


Cockroaches have 3 distinct stages in their life cycle - egg, nymph and adult. Typically, male and female German cockroaches live less than 200 days; male American cockroaches live up to 362 days and females live up to 700 days; male Oriental cockroaches live to 160 days, female Oriental cockroaches live about 180 days; Adult Brown banded cockroaches live anywhere between 130 and 315 days.


Cockroaches are not social insects, they’re omnivorous and they hunt alone. This makes it difficult to stop them foraging in your ‘empty’ cupboard.

They may not turn their noses up at much, but they do have favourites: animal proteins, starches and sweets, greasy food, cheese and other mouldy perishables. 

When food sources are scarce, they’ve been known to consume anything from books to human remains. But what if there is literally no food available anywhere for miles? Well, not much. They can survive a week without water and up to a month without food. Cockroaches are such survivalists that they have been known to resort to chewing one another’s legs and wings for nutrition!


Being both a solitary and nocturnal insect, cockroaches are hard to spot. You will often locate their nest site prior to spotting them.


Cockroaches emit a pungent, musty and oily odour, which grows worse the larger the size of infestation. This is especially noticeable with German cockroaches.

Shed skin

‘Cast Nymphal’ is shed as they near adulthood. This evidence is often found near to their shelter.


If water is scarce, the average cockroach dropping will be approximately 2mm in length, brown and black.


Spotting one is a certain indicator of intrusion and due to their high rate of reproduction, it is imperative that they are dealt with promptly.


Bait placement

Make sure the surrounding area of your trap/bait is cleaned and sanitised because the cockroach must choose the toxic bait over whatever else is on offer.

Avoid over-spraying

Do not spray at regular times since roaches can develop insecticide resistance. Try to target specific areas such as nest sites and previous sighting points instead of spraying in a general area.

Eliminate food sources

Keep food in sealed containers and wash down the outsides. Hoover crumbs off the floor and sanitise surfaces. Remember outdoor food sources including barbeques, pet foods, spilled food and drink etc.

Eliminate water sources

Fix leaking and sweating pipes and reduce the moisture in your house to kill and put pressure on cockroach populations.

Keep cool

Keep your house relatively cool. Open a window or two to prevent attracting cockroaches, who prefer warm, damp conditions.

Clean kitchen appliances

Many insects are likely living off the years’ worth of grease collected in and under your kitchen appliances.

Seal up entry points

Cockroaches enter through and live in very small, dark holes and crevices so closing them off with a good sealant will work.

Soapy water

For such incredibly resilient creatures, it is surprising to note that a flood of soapy water can be their Achilles heel.



  • For a heavy duty, long-lasting lacquer that can be applied to any surface, whether indoors or outdoors, Dethlac Insecticidal Lacquer will do the job, whilst eliminating other crawling insects such as ants and woodlice all in just one application.


  • Zero In Ultra Power Household Germ & Insect Killer gets results. One compression of the pump-action spray will reach target pests in hard to reach crevices. The Killer also releases an anti-bacterial additive, designed to prevent the spread of insect germs on household surfaces.
  • Zero In Total Insect Killer is a 2-in-1 method of control, killing crawling insects and the germs they leave behind. It is a long-lasting, ready to use formula designed for indoor use.


  • Highly effective treatment of areas up to 15m2 is provided by our Zero In Ant & Insect Killer Powder. The puffer pack allows application in the tightest of crevices out in your garden or indoors.
  • Defenders Ant Killer Powder treats over 25m2 and features a puffer for application in cracks and crevices, indoors and out.


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A-Z of Pests

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