Cockroaches in Ireland
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What Cockroaches Do We Get in Ireland?
The main type of pest cockroach found in Ireland is the German Cockroach, although there are occurrences of Oriental Cockroaches and American Cockroaches.
German cockroaches are small with adults measuring 1.5 cm in length. Adults have 2 dark longitudinal bands on their back near the head. Immature cockroaches, or nymphs, are smaller than adults. The cockroaches are primarily indoor pests. They have strict moisture requirements so we usually find them in the kitchen and bathroom areas. Adults live about 6 months, and during this time the female produces from 4 to 8 egg cases (each containing around 30 nymphs).
Cockroaches have become more frequent in recent years due to people travelling abroad and bringing back small nymphs or egg cases in their luggage. German cockroaches are the most prolific pest species and without rapid control measures, they can rapidly infest an entire complex.
Why Cockroach control is necessary?
Controlling a cockroach infestation is not simply a matter of aesthetics. Large indoor cockroach populations are one of the leading causes of allergies, asthma and other bronchial disorders in humans. Additionally, cockroaches are capable of carrying disease organisms and bacteria on their bodies and in their faecal material.
Cockroach prevention advice
Long term prevention of cockroach infestation is the best means of ensuring a cockroach free environment. This is more easily accomplished by means of exclusion (preventing cockroach entry) and sanitation (elimination of cockroach resources). Not only will these measures prevent a future infestation, but they will also help to reduce an existing cockroach problem.
- Cockroaches migrate easily through apartment blocks via plumbing and electrical connections. Sealing gaps around plumbing, wall outlets and switch plates will prevent cockroach migration from infested areas to other parts of the building.
- Be aware that exotic groceries and other packaged food products are sometimes stored in infested locations during their transit. Effort should be made to visually check all grocery items for cockroach evidence before putting them away in presses.
Sanitation measures to reduce cockroach activity
Depriving cockroaches of food resources
German cockroaches can survive for approximately 2 weeks with no food or water and for 42 days if only water is available. Therefore, it is important to note that cockroaches can survive on tiny amounts of food such as crumbs, grease or food residue.
- Empty indoor bin containers frequently, and keep them clean both inside and out. Kitchen bins should have well-sealed lids. Keep plastic bin bags closed with twist ties and remove them from the dwelling immediately and place them in outdoor wheelie bins. This will prevent cockroach infestation from spreading to the garbage area.
- Frequent emptying of sink strainers and running of clean water will prevent food build up in the sink drain.
- Washing dishes immediately after a meal will prevent cockroaches from consuming food residue on dishes.
- Kitchen appliances should be kept clean and free of food particles and grease. Additionally, the areas underneath and behind these appliances should be kept grease and crumb-free.
- If pets are present, dry food should be kept in sealed containers. Food and water should not be left out all the time.
- Feed pets at particular times and clean up after every meal.
- All foods products should be resealed after opening, stored in plastic snap-lid containers or kept in the refrigerator.
- Regular sweeping/vacuuming of floors and furniture where people eat (i.e. kitchen table or in the living room in front of T.V.) help to eliminate cockroach food sources.
- Regular cleaning of food storage areas and shelves not only eliminates spillages or scattered food but disrupts cockroach populations that may be using the area as a harbourage.
Elimination of Harbourage Resources
The third critical element for cockroach survival is harbourage. By nature, cockroaches avoid open, well-lit areas with frequent air movement. They prefer dark, warm cracks and crevices. Excess clutter provides numerous locations suitable for cockroach habitation. The elimination of these harbourages (clutter) is important in controlling infestations.
- Adult cockroaches can fit into cracks only 1.6 mm wide (about 1/16 of an inch). Any small gap or hole that leads to a wall void is a prime cockroach harbouring area. Cracks and crevices of this kind should be sealed (e.g. using caulk available in any hardware shop).
- Removing clutter (boxes, bags, clothing, toys, food, books, papers etc.) eliminates cockroach harbourages and breeding areas. It is essential to keep all areas of the home, especially the kitchen and bathroom, uncluttered and free of useless debris.
Cockroach Control - How to Get Rid of Cockroaches
Some insecticides purchased in hardware shops may be used to help to reduce the extent of an infestation. Nevertheless, only restricted professional products used by highly qualified operators will achieve complete eradication.
Over the counter remedies can be limited in effectiveness when dealing with cockroaches. Even when adult cockroaches are killed, remaining egg cases may hatch and result in further infestation as illustrated in the picture.
Another issue is when cockroaches travel up and down a building, for instance from an apartment to the next (see picture top Right). It is essential to identify the source of the infestation in order to achieve complete eradication of the cockroach infestation.
Owl staff are used to contact residents from the adjacent apartments (left, right, above and below) to check if they also get cockroaches in their kitchen or bathroom. This can help to establish a full picture of the extent of an infestation throughout a particular building and determine a control strategy that will achieve complete eradication of these pests at a minimum cost.
Irish people are not used to cockroaches and they usually take action as soon as they see one or two moving around. This is a great advantage in order to tackle a problem in its early developments. In many cases, a single treatment is sufficient to end the cockroach activity. But if the infestation is heavy there may be remaining egg case about to hatch and this which could result in new activity after a few weeks. This may result in one or two additional inspections/treatments.
Owl Pest Control Technicians have extensive knowledge and experience in dealing with Cockroaches from any area around apartments, hotels, commercial kitchens, restaurants, houses, offices, hospitals, e.g.:
- Cockroaches in kitchen areas
- Roaches around sinks and behind presses
- Dishwasher and appliances – microwave, oven, toasters, and behind fridges
- Cockroaches hiding in cracks, skirting boards, bathroom and hot press
- Cockroach infestation in Service ducts, behind plasterboard, walls and ceilings of houses and apartments