Call to check for cockroaches as winter approaches


Heating ducts and pipes can be prime spots for cockroaches as winter approaches and the heating goes on a national trade body has warned. British Pest Control Association (BPCA) has issued a guide for hospitals with advice on preventing the humidity-loving insects getting into premises.

Dee Ward-Thompson, BPCA Technical Manager, says: “The two most common species of cockroaches are the German and Oriental cockroach. They will both feed on almost anything, including refuse, faecal matter and food for human consumption. They also require access to water and will be generally found in inaccessible harbourages, close to water and food.

“Cockroaches are rarely able to survive out of doors in the British climate but thrive in areas where the temperature is more forgiving. For Oriental cockroaches, this may be around the heating ducts and boiler rooms of large, centrally heated buildings such as hospitals, bakeries, hotels and restaurant kitchens, and blocks of flats. When Oriental cockroaches are present, they can sometimes be tracked back to the sewers.

“German cockroaches are smaller than the Oriental cockroach and they cluster around pipes, stoves, the back of refrigerator motors and sinks, especially in humid areas, and will often remain hidden during the day.”

Cockroach control is a difficult task, particularly because of the difficulty of actually getting to the insects, so preventative measures are an important step in keeping premises pest-free. The BPCA recommends proactive pest management approaches. Proofing premises from cockroaches, rather than trying to deal with an infestation is always more effective. Tips to prevent cockroaches include:

• Clean all surfaces thoroughly to remove any food residue

• Keep bins covered, clean and emptied regularly

• Regularly clean areas such as the top and bottom of the fridge, where it is warm and food residue may collect

• Make sure you inspect any new products or equipment as this is how the German cockroach sometimes enters a building

• Sewer covers should be kept in good repair

• Proactively monitor for cockroaches by using sticky traps with a food lure – pest management companies provide this service.

The new online guide is available here.

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