Pest Control  Pest Library Cockroaches


The cockroaches are an ancient group of insects dating back at least, some 320 million years ago. Cockroaches are somewhat generalized insects without special adaptations for instance the sucking mouthparts they have are unlike the mouthparts among the most primitive of living neopteran insects.

Cockroaches on your property can pose significant health problems, as cockroaches spread illnesses such as salmonella, typhoid, and gastroenteritis to name a few. Their droppings can also cause eczema and asthma. Having this insect in your business, especially if you are handling food can result in a negative perception of your business and lead to a higher rate of employee absenteeism.

Cockroaches also contaminate and damage stock which can result in financial loss.

If you are in the food industry or manage bars and restaurants, you need to be aware of the risk from cockroaches to your stored food products. Because cockroaches are only active at night time, they usually remain undetected in homes for quite some time. If you have a suspicion that cockroaches are wreaking havoc in your house, you should know the typical signs to look for, which indicate a cockroach infestation.

How to reduce infestation

  • Indoor trash containers should be emptied frequently
  • Washing dishes immediately after a meal will prevent cockroaches from consuming food.
  • Boric acid has been used frequently for indoor cockroach control. The gel simply adheres to and absorbs the protective waxes on the cockroach cuticle resulting in cockroach death from dehydration
  • Apply pesticide according to label directions, sufficiently close to where cockroaches are hiding.

Quality assurance tip

Always ask your pest control provider to provide an integrated pest management (IPM) plan for your property.

Health and safety tip

Eliminate food sources, keep your kitchen very clean and do not allow grease, crumbs, or clutter to accumulate anywhere. Garbage is attractive to roaches. Keep garbage, compost, and recyclables in tightly sealed containers.

Environmental tip

Leave bay leaves, cucumber slices or garlic in the affected area as deterrents to cockroaches – Non chemical practices in cockroach control

Regulatory tip

Commercial pest control is regulated by Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry & Fisheries (MAAIF) and all pest controllers must have a license issued by MAAIF. Even though public health pest control is not regulated yet, MAAIF license may suffice

Fun facts

  • A cockroach can live for a week without its head. Due to their open circulatory system, and the fact that they breathe through little holes in each of their body segments, they are not dependent on the mouth or head to breathe. The roach only dies because of thirst because, without a mouth, it can’t drink.
  • A cockroach can hold its breath for 40 minutes, and can even survive being submerged underwater for half an hour. They hold their breath often to help regulate water loss.
  • Cockroaches can run up to three miles in an hour, which means they can spread germs and bacteria throughout a home very quickly.
  • Cockroaches are believed to have originated more than 280 million years ago, in the Carboniferous era.
  • Because they are cold-blooded insects, cockroaches can live without food for one month, but will only survive one week without water
  • The world’s largest roach (which lives in South America) is six inches long with a one-foot wingspan. Average cockroaches can vary in size from ½”- 2″ long.