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Cockroaches are one of the most well-known and feared pests, finding them in your home or business is not only distressing but incredibly disturbing! Cockroaches have a complex life cycle and are known carriers of diseases that can be hazardous to humans, these factors can make dealing with cockroaches an uphill battle. If you have spotted cockroaches in your home or business today you need expert, professional, and rapid help something we, at Defender Pest Control can provide.

The main problem with cockroaches in your home or business is the risk they pose to our health. Having them in your business can have detrimental effects, cockroaches are generally associated with poor hygiene standards- an infestation can damage your reputation and may end in you closing your doors for good!

Illnesses cockroaches can spread:


There has been a rumour spreading for many years that cockroaches could survive a nuclear explosion and would be the last surviving species should the world end- this however is a myth! Despite their incredible ability to adapt, their impressive life cycle and their drive to survive, cockroaches can be effectively treated and prevented. It can be difficult for untrained individuals to treat a cockroach infestation but there are some prevention measures you can put in place to stop cockroaches invading your home and business.

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About Cockroaches

There are over 4,600 species across the world, but thankfully there are only two main types that we come across in the UK- The German Cockroach and The Oriental Cockroach. Cockroaches are omnivores meaning they will eat anything; they may attack sleeping humans, but only larger members of the species can pierce human skin! Cockroaches are considered to be between 350-400 million years old, they prefer warmer climates which is why they often inhabit our homes and businesses- it is uncommon to see them outside. Cockroaches have a complex life cycle they go through something called an incomplete metamorphosis, which takes place in 3 stages: egg, nymph (immature), and adult.

Cockroaches are able to breed rapidly, which means that once an infestation is spotted it is important to act fast and call one of our Defender Pest Control experts for an immediate response and solution!

German Cockroaches: They can live anywhere between 100-200 days and a female will produce an egg. They will carry this egg until the nymphs are ready to hatch. The average gestation period for German cockroaches is 28 days and they will typically have around 30 or more nymphs per egg. It usually takes around 6-12 weeks for them to go through all stages of maturing to become an adult cockroach.

Oriental Cockroaches: They will deposit their 13mm long egg capsules in dark crevices a long time before they are ready to hatch, this incubation period usually takes around two months. There is typically 16-18 nymphs per egg capsule and they take around 6-12 months to go through all stages of maturity.

Cockroaches can be mistaken for beetles and vice versa however, it is important to note that cockroaches have a long whip-like antenna and have flat oval bodies. They move around incredibly fast- 1.5 metres per second to be precise!

The German Cockroach- They have a light yellowy brown appearance and are around 10-15mm long. They have distinctive dark stripes on their thorax. They prefer to live and breed indoors and can often be found in kitchens and bathrooms.

The Oriental Cockroach: They are a shiny black, brown, or mahogany colour and measure around 20-24mm long. They like cool, dark, and damp areas and enjoy feeding on rubbish and decaying food.

Interesting facts-

‘Cockroaches can survive for months without food but cannot live for more than a few days without water!’ – remove any sources of readily available water and this may limit your chances of an infestation.

‘Cockroaches can live for around a week without their heads as they do not use their mouths to breath- they have tiny holes on their bodies that supply and transport oxygen!’

Signs of Cockroach Infestation

Cockroaches are nocturnal creatures so they can often be difficult to spot, however there are some tell-tale signs that you may be dealing with a cockroach infestation without actually seeing one!

  • A distinctive smell: Cockroach infestations have a distinctive smell- a sweet, musty smell that sometimes can be likened to the smell of almonds. If you notice a strong odour that lingers it may be worth having a look around to see if you have a cockroach infestation.
  • Shed skins: Cockroaches shed their skin 5-8 times during their life cycle as they mature into adulthood, it can be possible to spot these skins near to where they are sheltering.
  • Droppings/ smear marks: In areas where water is not readily available cockroaches may leave black or brown 2mm cylinder droppings around. Alternatively brown irregularly shaped smears may be seen in areas where water is more readily available.
  • Damage: Cockroaches may cause damage to food storage items such as packages, they may chew at packets which is a common sign of an infestation.

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