The cockroach is believed to spread a range of disease-producing organisms to humans including salmonella, staphylococcus and streptococcus. Cockroaches prefer warm, humid conditions with a ready food source.



Identifying a cockroach


The characteristics of a cockroach include:

  • oval-shaped body

  • six legs

  • long antennae

  • flat and low-lying body

  • fast-moving

  • winged.

Cockroaches may spread a range of diseases

It is believed that the cockroach may be a reservoir for a range of bacteria including salmonella, staphylococcus and streptococcus. The cockroach can also harbour viruses such as the polio virus.Like the household fly, the cockroach will eat virtually anything ranging from food spills on a kitchen floor to faecal matter. Ingested bacteria can survive in the cockroach's digestive system, sometimes for months or even years, and are passed in its droppings. Cockroaches will vomit and defaecate on food and it is thought that disease may be transmitted to humans when humans eat food contaminated by cockroaches.Recent research suggests that the cockroach may also be associated with human allergies.


Common hiding spots for cockroaches

Cockroaches prefer to live in kitchens and other food preparation areas, so they can feed off food spills and have access to water. Hiding spots for the household cockroach include:

  • cracks in walls

  • confined spaces, such as behind the refrigerator, in a pantry or underneath a stack of magazines, newspapers or cardboard boxes

  • any furniture items that are generally left undisturbed

  • kitchen cupboards

  • below sinks

  • around water heaters

  • in drains and grease traps

  • gardens.


Treating your house for cockroaches

Some general suggestions to eliminate cockroaches yourself include:


  • Thoroughly clean the house at least weekly.

  • Pay special attention to the kitchen and other food preparation areas.

  • Clean regularly underneath the fridge, stove, toaster and other movable appliances.

  • Empty the kitchen's rubbish bin regularly.

  • Do not leave out pet food or food scraps in pet bowls.

  • Clean up any food spills promptly.

  • Make sure there are no sources of water such as a dripping tap, as cockroaches need a steady water supply to survive.

  • Store food in sealed containers.

  • Repair any holes, cracks or gaps in the walls, skirting boards and inside cupboards.

  • Don't stack newspapers, magazines or cardboard boxes anywhere in the house.

  • Keep compost bins screened and away from the house.

  • Use appropriate insecticide and follow the manufacturer's instructions.

  • Cockroach baits contain poison that a cockroach carries back to the nest, which may help kill the rest of the nest.

  • Use physical traps, such as greased margarine tubs containing a smear of honey as the lure – cockroaches will climb in for the food, but be unable to get out because of the grease (or oil) on the tub.


Source: Better Health Channel


Professional pest control

A qualified and licensed pest control operator can determine the type, source and extent of the infestation and use registered insecticides to control the cockroaches. Good hygiene practices, such as frequent house cleaning, should reduce the risk of further infestations.