Cockroaches have many negative consequences for human health as they have been known to passively transport microbes including pathogens that are potentially dangerous to humans. Allergens found in cockroach faeces, saliva and body parts can lead to allergic reactions or trigger asthma symptoms, especially in children.


What Are Cockroaches?

Cockroaches have been in existence for millions of years. They have evolved to become the most adaptable pests in the world. Cockroaches belong to the order Dictyoptera, which contains about 4,000 species. Species that became adapted to living in human habitations are termed “domestic” or “domiciliary” species. Out of a few thousand species, only about 5 are troublesome in buildings.

In Singapore, the 5 common domiciliary species are:

  • Periplaneta Americana (American cockroach)
  • Periplaneta australasiae (Australian cockroach)
  • Blattella germanica (German cockroach)
  • Blatta orientalis (Oriental cockroach)
  • Periplaneta brunnea (Brown cockroach)

A cockroach can live for almost for one month without eating any food and can survive for two weeks without water. The female cockroach will mate only once but stay pregnant throughout their life. This explains why cockroaches multiply very fast. The number of eggs in each ootherca varies from 16 in the American cockroach to 30-40 in the German cockroach. Cockroaches are mechanical vectors of a number of food-borne diseases.

Typical Signs You Have Cockroaches

Known to be nocturnal, cockroaches tend to hide away in crevices during the day. They may also be found lurking near drains and sinks, among other places that provide the ideal conditions to survive. Because of their night time habit it can make it difficult to know whether you’ve been invaded by an infestation of these pests. Having a cockroach infestation on your hands is more than just an insect problem that could make your skin crawl. They can easily taint food and countertops just by walking across them. They can also cause structural damage and leave behind an unpleasant smell. Here are a few signs to watch for.


Cockroach droppings are a sure sign that you have an infestation. These pests will eat pretty much anything and leave behind something that resembles coffee grounds or pepper. These droppings are less than 1mm wide and can be difficult to spot if you don’t know what you’re looking for.


In addition to droppings, cockroaches tend to leave streaks behind. You can often find these markings on walls; they are dark, irregular smears, you can find in areas where they are most active.


Cockroach infested areas have a very particular scent caused by the pheromones left behind in their droppings. This musty smell can attract other cockroaches and the bigger the infestation, the worse the smell. It is a damp, unpleasant odour that can sink into just about any surface.


A surefire sign of a cockroach infestation is finding their egg capsules. These capsules are called ootheca, and just one of them can hold up to 30 nymphs.


Cockroaches go through several lifecycle stages to reach adulthood. As they grow, they shed and moult anywhere between 5-8 times before they become adults. Seeing shed cockroach skins is always a sign of a cockroach infestation. However, the skins may be from a previous infestation that is no longer active. Often, cockroaches will eat the shed skins since they supply nutrients.


Cockroaches will eat just about anything, and that can cause some damage. If you have an infestation, you will likely find chew marks in food packaging, but you will also discover the damage in other materials, such as leather.


While they tend to keep out of sight, if you enter a dark bathroom or kitchen and turn on a light, you may be unlucky enough to see these pests scurry away to their hiding spots. If you spot a live cockroach, it’s likely that there are plenty more that you haven’t.

Solutions To Cockroaches

Cockroach control should only ever be carried out by professionals, as it can be complicated, and the pests are notoriously difficult to get rid of thanks to their breeding process and hiding places. To begin with, the extent of the infestation should be monitored, and timely assessments should be carried out.


Spraying of residual insecticides to create a chemical barrier for the cockroach to pick up when they crawl over the treated surface areas. This treatment should also be targeted at cracks and crevices to control the adults and nymphs.


Baits are formulated with insecticides incorporated into cockroach food. They are very effective when applied in the correct places. Bait application is extremely useful in sensitive area such as food preparation outlets, kitchen cabinets, closets etc. These baits are odourless and are environmental friendly.


Good housekeeping practices is important to help protect your home and work environment against a cockroach infestation. Items like unused paper cartons or boxes should be discarded as these provide an excellent harbourages for the cockroach. Any food debris must be clean immediately and all garbage, trash must be disposed at the end of each day.


Let Us Help You

PESTSHIELD have the experience and skills to deal with a cockroach infestation. We will be able to quickly decide on the appropriate course of action in order to deal effectively with the infestation in your home or business premises.


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