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Cockroach control

Cockroaches are the oldest surviving insects on the planet. The United States alone is home to about 70 different types of cockroaches. Some of the common roach species we find in the US include the German cockroach (Croton bug), American cockroach (palmetto bug), oriental cockroach (water bug) and brown-banded cockroach (furniture cockroach).

For as long as they’ve been around, cockroaches have been notoriously difficult to get rid of. Studies have even found that a cockroach can live without its head for weeks. Aside from being a nuisance and frightening customers, roaches carry disease-causing microorganisms on their bodies that can contaminate surfaces and food products.

Cockroaches are also a significant concern due to the fact they produce several very potent allergens that have been linked to the development of asthma. In fact, 26% of the US population is said to be allergic to cockroaches. Fortunately, research has proven that good cockroach prevention and control can reduce the level of those allergens in infested buildings.

Call Rentokil at 1-855-633-6260 to schedule a free inspection of your property or contact us online.

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Rentokil will partner with your business to address cockroach issues. Get more details here on our expert solutions.

Signs of a cockroach problem

It is often easier to spot signs of a problem in your business rather than a live cockroach. As nocturnal creatures, cockroaches usually hide out of sight during the day and become more active in their search for food at night.

There are some simple ways you can identify a possible cockroach infestation, which could require professional treatment.

  • Roach droppings - cockroaches leave behind black droppings less than 1mm wide and of varying lengths.
  • Smear marks - check for marks on horizontal surfaces and at wall-floor junctions where cockroaches are active. If water is abundant, cockroaches will produce brown and irregularly shaped smear marks.
  • Shed skin - look for this evidence in locations you suspect they are sheltering. Cockroaches shed ‘cast nymphal’ skins 5-8 times as they mature into adults.
  • Damage - look for unusual signs of damage, not just on food packaging. Cockroaches will attack organic goods including leather and books.
  • Unusual odor - an established cockroach infestation produces a lingering and unpleasant musty smell that taints items with which they come in contact.
  • Live cockroaches in bathrooms or kitchen areas - German cockroaches need warmth and humidity and can be found around bathrooms and kitchen areas. They are also good climbers, scaling smooth surfaces like glass & polished metal with ease with the sticky pads on their feet. You might see them scatter when you turn on the light in an otherwise dark room.

Cockroach infestation

Discovering a roach infestation requires immediate action to ensure a fast solution to the problem and minimize the associated health risks. Cockroaches are attracted to food sources on your property and will eat anything from foods, paper, packaging, plastics and fabrics to animal matter (e.g. hamster and rabbit droppings).

Below are a few of the businesses that are most at risk of a cockroach infestation:

  • Restaurants are extremely attractive to roaches due to the large number of food sources available in kitchens, including left-out trash, uncleaned spills, and dirty dishes.

  • Multi-family housing facilities provide cockroaches with endless food supplies and warmth. And with so many humans inhabiting a building, infestations can quickly spread between units and floors.

  • Food processing facilities inherently have abundant moisture and food sources, making them an ideal environment for cockroach populations.


Cockroach diseases

Get more details about problems associated with cockroaches.

What do cockroaches look like?

Cockroaches can look similar to other bugs. Find out how to tell the difference.

Cockroach prevention

Sanitation is a critical component for managing many common pest concerns, but it is especially important for cockroach control. Grease and other typical forms of buildup in the kitchens of restaurants can also dramatically reduce the amount of time that a residual spray application is effective. Good sanitation will help to eliminate food, water, and shelter — the three basic necessities for cockroaches. It also stresses the cockroaches and can alter their normal behavior, making them easier targets for control efforts.

For example, when stressed and starved, the German cockroach (Blattella germanica) will search more actively for food. In that case, the stressed cockroach will not only be more susceptible to the actions of the insecticide, but its increased foraging will make it more likely to bump into a bait placement or residual insecticide.

In addition to practicing good sanitation, here are a few more steps you can take to prevent cockroaches:

  • Eliminate food sources - Store dry foods in tightly sealed containers or in sealed plastic bags and do not leave food sitting out on counters. Do not leave liquids in sinks or buckets.
  • Clear all waste food and liquid spillage - Clean up food debris from food preparation areas, under sinks and appliances. Keep all garbage or compost in sealed bins and empty them on a daily basis.
  • Rinse cans, bottles and plastics - This should be done prior to putting them in recycling bins.
  • De-clutter - Remove old 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 harborage.
  • Varnish or paint wood shelves - This seals them against damage. They should also be wiped clean regularly.
  • Seal entry points - To deny access to cockroaches. Key risks are gaps around pipes, drains and common walls with neighboring properties. Even tiny cracks around skirting boards and behind electrical sockets should be sealed to reduce potential hiding areas.

Cockroach removal with Rentokil

For over 90 years, Rentokil has been providing reliable cockroach control services to our customers. When you contact Rentokil about a potential roach problem, a Technician will visit your property and conduct an exhaustive inspection of the premises.

Our experts are trained to find the most common cockroach hiding spots and signs of cockroach activity. If cockroaches are present on your property, your Technician will identify the cockroach species and recommend the most appropriate treatment plan. A number of factors will play into the treatment plan, including:

  • Cockroach species
  • Property type (example: a restaurant versus a hospital)
  • Infestation severity

Depending on these factors, your cockroach treatment plan may include a variety of baiting and non-chemical solutions that are designed to eliminate infestations.

After an initial treatment is applied, your Technician will schedule a follow-up service depending on the severity of the cockroach problem.

Have you seen a cockroach in your business? Our Technicians are locally based and will be familiar with the cockroach species that most commonly infest properties in your area. Females can produce up to 30,000 cockroach eggs a year, making them highly persistent pests that require professional expertise to effectively and permanently eliminate.

If you have questions, please call 1-855-633-6260 to speak with a Rentokil representative.

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