The German cockroach is found widely throughout Europe and in Britain. Cockroaches are large insects which range in size from 10-23mm in length. They have long antennae and two sets of wings and are tan to light brown in colour. Although it has wings, it is unable to sustain flight.

Cockroaches are nocturnal by nature and spend the day hiding in cracks around areas like sinks, drains, cookers and the backs of service ducts. They may be seen if you come home in the dark and put the lights on. They also emit an unpleasant almond like smell – only noticeable if the infestation is large. Cockroaches may be introduced into premises in laundry and food deliveries.

German cockroaches breed continuously with many overlapping generations present at any time. Under ideal conditions, population growth can be rapid.

Health Risks

Cockroaches can carry dysentery, gastro-enteritis and food poisoning organisms. Germs can spread from the body of the cockroach or from the droppings they leave behind. Cockroaches will feed on almost anything, including faecal matter. Contamination occurs when the cockroach comes into contact with foodstuffs.


Good hygiene is the key to keeping cockroaches out of your home. It denies a food source and makes them easier to spot. All cracks, crevices and other building problems that could provide a dark enclosure for cockroaches should be repaired as quickly as possible. Pipe work should not be boxed in, as it provides an excellent hiding place.


Cockroaches are best treated professionally. The Council’s Pest Control Officer will visit your premises and inspect areas of concern. If required treatment will be applied via a water based spray (reducing concern for asthma related problems). Treatment will take approximately 30 minutes to one hour, dependent upon infestation. The treated area should be left undisturbed for as long as possible. It may be necessary to re-treat premises to kill any new nymphs as they emerge from their eggs.

We strongly advise you contact the Council to carry out the work of eradication.