There are two main species of Cockroach within Sefton – the German (Blattella germanica) and Oriental (Blatta orientalis), although at least one American Cockroach has been imported into the Borough.

  • Oriental cockroaches (18-30mm) – can cope with cooler, damp conditions and are more common scuttling about in basements or drains. If conditions are tolerable they can survive outside in areas such as rubbish tips. They are not as agile as German cockroaches, but can climb a surface such as rough brickwork.
  • German cockroaches (11-16mm) – need warmth and humidity to survive, so are likely to be found in and around bathrooms, laundry rooms and kitchen areas. They are also good climbers, scaling smooth surfaces like glass and polished metal with ease; due to sticky pads on their feet.
  • American cockroaches (38-40mm) – although not native to the UK they have been known to be brought in via freight or luggage. Major difference of the American cockroach to Oriental and German cockroach is the ability to fly.

It may be easier to spot the signs of cockroach activity than the insects themselves. They are mostly nocturnal, hiding in cracks and crevices during the day to come out to feed at night. Cockroaches are attracted to all types of food in your property, and will eat virtually anything from food, paper to plastic packaging and animal waste (such as hamster and rabbit droppings).

Catering premises can be susceptible to cockroach activity due to the heat and moisture associated with many pieces of equipment in use in industrial/commercial kitchens.

Their feeding and nesting habits mean they can accumulate a range of pathogenic organisms which they transmit to food and surfaces where they feed and crawl. These include:-

  • Salmonellosis
  • Typhoid Fever
  • Cholera
  • Dysentery
  • Campylobacteriosis
  • Listeriosis

The presence of cockroaches in a food premises will damage your business and reputation as well as breech food safety legislation which will ultimately come to the attention of the Environmental Health Officers who enforce the law.

Advice and guidance is available from Food Safety Officers at Food Safety Team

There are a few signs which indicate cockroach activity

  1. An established cockroach infestation produces a lingering and unpleasant odour that taints items they contact.
  2. If little water is available cockroaches will produce brown/black cylindrical droppings, approx. 2mm long.

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