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Cockroaches on your property can pose significant health problems, as they spread illnesses such as salmonella, typhoid and gastroenteritis (to name just a few). Their droppings can also cause eczema and asthma. A quick response at the very first signs of a cockroach infestation is often essential to control cockroaches and to prevent the spread of this pest to neighbours, or adjacent properties.

How to spot the signs of a cockroach infestation

If you have a suspicion that cockroaches are wreaking havoc in your house or workplace, look out for the  following signs, which indicate a cockroach problem:

  • Cockroach droppings - cockroaches leave behind them a dust of black droppings less than 1mm wide and of varying lengths, resembling coffee crumbs.

  • Smear marks - check for marks on horizontal surfaces and at wall-floor junctions where cockroaches are active. If water is readily available, cockroaches will produce brown and irregular shaped smear marks.

  • Egg cases and cast skins - look for these in locations you suspect cockroaches may be sheltering. Cockroaches shed 'cast nymphal' skins 5-8 times as they mature to adults.

  • Damage - look for unusual signs of damage, not just on food packaging. Cockroaches are omnivorous and will eat just about anything; from organic goods, to leather, books, cardboard and paper. Did you know that cockroaches even eat their own kind.

  • Odour - an established cockroach infestation produces an unpleasant, musty smell. The reason for this is that cockroaches produce pheromones, acting as a signal for cockroaches to find each other.

  • Seeing live cockroaches - German cockroaches need warmth and humidity and may be found around bathrooms, laundry rooms and kitchen areas. Because of their sticky footpads, cockroaches are good climbers; easily  moving across smooth surfaces like glass and polished metal. You might see them at night time when turning on the kitchen light.

  • Cockroaches in the basement - Oriental cockroaches can cope with cooler, damp environments and can be found in basements or drains. If conditions are favourable, they can survive outdoors in areas such as rubbish tips. Although not as agile as German cockroaches, they can climb surfaces areas such as rough brickwork.

Did you know?

Cockroaches are active at night, if you see them during the day it usually means there is a heavy infestation!

Prevention tips on how to get rid of cockroaches

The most effective way of preventing cockroaches is to deny them them access to food, water and shelter. Other housekeeping tips you can employ to get rid of cockroaches are:


  • Store food in tight containers or in sealed plastic bags and do not leave food sitting on counters. Do not leave water or liquids in sinks or buckets.
  • Clean up all food waste and spillages immediately, and be sure to clean food debris from beneath fridges or kitchen appliances. Also ensure that used crockery and cutlery are cleaned immediately. German Cockroaches tend to favour kitchens and can be attracted to crumbs and food residues.
  • Empty bins daily and keep refuse or compost in sealed bins or waste containers.
  • Remove pet food, water and litter trays overnight.
  • Take care of soiled nappies or dirty clothing.
  • Remove stacks of newspapers and magazines, unused cardboard boxes and all other forms of clutter from the floor or bottom of cupboards. Cockroaches release an aggregation pheromone in their droppings telling others they have found a safe harbourage.
  • Seal wooden shelves or finishes by varnishing or painting them, and be sure to regularly wipe them clean.
  • Deny cockroaches access by sealing entry points. The main risks are gaps around pipes, drains and common walls with neighbouring properties when dealing with German, Oriental and American cockroaches. Small cracks around skirting boards and behind electrical sockets should also be plugged to reduce potential hide-out areas.


Cockroaches are very resilient and while DIY products and housekeeping practices can deal with the immediate problem, treatment by a qualified pest control technician is often necessary to get rid of cockroaches in the long-term.

Steps to take for Professional cockroach control services

Our Rentokil technicians are skilled, experienced professionals who are knowledgeable about the habits of different cockroach species. 

Our pest experts will develop an effective cockroach control program for your property, by following the following steps:

  • 1 - As a first step in the process, our cockroach control service begins with a thorough survey of your property. We look for typical signs of cockroaches, identify any potential shelter sites and the invading species.

  • 2 - We make use of safe, targeted treatments to minimise the risk of insecticides by applying non-toxic cockroach control products, which are highly targeted at the crevices where cockroaches hide. Products used may include a spray, gel baits or dusting powders to help get rid of cockroaches in the home or at your workplace.

  • 3 - Our discreet treatments are carried out at times convenient to you to minimise disruption to your business or home life.

  • 4 - We provide professional prevention advice on how to proof your premises and prevent a re-infestation.

  • 5 - If required, our technician will arrange follow up visits to re-treat the identified hiding spots at an interval that coincides with the hatching time of the cockroach egg cases (oothecae). Our work is not complete until your cockroach problem is fully resolved.

If you need advice on how to get rid of cockroaches, contact us to discuss our range of cockroach control service solutions that will successfully treat the problem.

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