Cockroaches can infest any building. They are common in apartment buildings and in restaurants. Because they are nocturnal and not normally seen during the day, large populations can develop before they are noticed.
Cockroach infestations pose two dangers. The first is the danger of spreading disease and causing food poisoning when they defecate on our food. The second is the danger of causing allergy attacks in sensitive people. Cockroach allergies are common.
The most common cockroach is the German cockroach. The other cockroach sometimes found in Victoria is the Brown-banded cockroach. Rarely have Australian cockroaches or American Cockroaches been found in Victoria. The German cockroach is described in the table below.
Characteristics of German Cockroaches:
light-brown - two dark stripes behind the head - 10 to 16 mm (3/8 - 5/8 inches) - number of eggs: 30 to 48 - number of egg cases: 4 to 8 - number of days for eggs to hatch: 17 to 28 - number of days from egg to adult: 64 to 300 - reproduction characteristics: egg case carried by female until eggs hatch - preferred habitat: kitchen and bathroom
Prevention requires restricting food, water and places to hide. Good housekeeping practices are a must. Eliminate dampness. Plug and caulk cracks and crevices where cockroaches could hide. Check incoming food packages for cockroaches and promptly dispose of infested materials.
We use attractant traps to help us detect cockroaches and plan our control work. Once we have assessed the situation, an appropriate treatment using pesticidal baits, dusts and/or sprays is performed to eliminate the cockroaches. We usually need to make a number of treatments before the cockroaches are all gone.