Key Features of Cockroaches

Cockroaches are distinguished by their very long whip like antennae, flat oval bodies and rapid, jerky gait, the adult German cockroach is 10 to 15mm long. The adult Oriental cockroach is 20 to 24mm long.

They are rarely able to survive out of doors in the British climate, but thrive around the heating ducts and boiler rooms of large centrally heated buildings e.g. hospital, bakeries, hotels and restaurants.
They often cluster around pipes, stoves and sinks, especially in humid areas.


The German cockroach carries its egg case, a small brown purse-like capsule, until 30 or more nymphs hatch from it. The Oriental cockroach deposits its 13mm long egg capsule on packaging, sacking or in suitable dark crevices before the 16 or 18 nymphs hatch out. Cockroaches grow by stages from “mini cockroach” nymphs to maturity in six to 12 months for the Oriental cockroach, but in the case of the German cockroach in only 6-12 weeks.

Both German and Oriental cockroaches eat any sort of food and emerge from their inaccessible harbourages to forage; contaminating food, utensils and food preparation surfaces as they go. They taint food with an obnoxious smell and may be carriers of various diseases.

All the nymphal stages and the adults feed on the same type of food, making the establishment of an infestation extremely easy.