The two main species of cockroach in Britain are the Oriental cockroach which is dark brown in colour and about 30mm long, and the German cockroach which is light yellowish brown, and about 12mm long. The bodies of both species are divided into three sections. They have long antennae protruding from the head.

Where do they live?

Generally found indoors, such as in cellars, basements, kitchens, bakeries, and heating ducts etc. The Oriental cockroach can survive outdoors in Britain during the summer months.

What do they eat?

All Cockroaches will feed on a wide range of substances, particularly refuse and human food. Cockroaches can survive for several months without food but will not live for more than a few weeks without water.

Pest status:

Cockroaches will often remain hidden during the day using cracks and crevices as harbourage. This means that in most cases they will not be visible during the hours of daylight. Most species can climb with ease, especially the German cockroach which can climb smooth vertical surfaces.


Hygiene - Before carrying out a treatment against cockroaches, a thorough cleansing of the area to be treated should take place, paying particular attention to removing food sources and hiding places.

Sticky Traps - The use of sticky traps is not recommended for controlling cockroaches, and should only be used for monitoring the extent of the infestation.

Insecticidal Control - Carrying out a successful treatment against cockroaches will depend on what insecticides are chosen, and how thorough the application is.

Many of the insects and their egg cases are hidden in cracks and crevices, so particular attention should be paid to these areas when applying insecticides. To control an infestation, the insecticide used should last until the egg cases have hatched.

This may mean further applications may be necessary.

Insecticide Baits - Baits can give continuous control of cockroaches over an extended period.

Professional Help - Wirral Council provides this service. Once a positive identification has been carried out the insect identification fee is refunded. Alternatively, commercial Pest Control Companies are listed in Yellow Pages and Thompson's Local Directory. 

When using pesticides always follow the instructions on the label