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Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Cockroaches have gleaned their street cred from aeons of unfettered adaptation and breeding. Once stowaway heroes, now the prolific pest in your kitchen, if nothing else these insects of the order Blattodea are interesting. Having evolved in tandem with man, the nocturnal scavengers are highly resourceful and difficult to get rid of at best, but here are a few South African cockroach facts you may not have known…


Types of Cockroaches

While there are over 4600 different cockroach species, only about 30 of those species are known as common household pests. The most common of these species are anything between 15mm and 30mm in size, with colours ranging from light to dark reddish brown and even grey and white, often with distinctive markings. Of course there are some less common species which measure up to 97mm long; luckily these are only found in South America.


South African Cockroaches

Google South African cockroach and (amongst photographs of politicians) you are faced with a few of the most common species; the American Cockroach, the German Cockroach and the Brown Banded Cockroach.


The Lifespan and Lifecycle of a Cockroach

Depending on the species the average cockroach can live up to a year, long enough to multiply exponentially and upset the delicate ecology of your home. The female German Cockroach has been known to deposit up to 40 eggs at a time, but if you’re lucky you have been blessed with an American Cockroach or a Brown Banded Cockroach infestation; they only deposit up to 18 eggs at time. These eggs are laid and secured in an egg capsule known as an Ootheca which is carried on the posterior end of the female until the eggs are ready to emerge as nymphs.

All cockroaches however move through 3 distinct life stages, from egg, to nymph, to adult. Although these stages may be confusing due to the fact that they moult several times during the nymph stage until their wings and organs are fully developed into adulthood.


Don’t Share Your Kitchen with Cockroaches

Yet to be crowned guest of the year, cockroaches are widely known to carry a number of human pathogens. By contaminating your crockery and utensils you can easily contract E. coli or Salmonella, in addition their droppings and sheddings are known to trigger allergic reactions and aggravate asthma.

The World Health Organisation has cited their most disgusting and dangerous habit as that of regurgitating fluid and possibly undigested food from their mouth as well as dropping faeces right where they have just fed. Add to this their ability to move freely from one place to another and your potential to contract a nasty something-or-other is greatly increased.

Ultimately your best defence against cockroaches is keeping your kitchen spotless, crumb free and without a leaking tap, good housekeeping practices put in place, along with an effective maintenance process followed to ensure there are no existing cracks or crevices such as broken tiles or gaps allowing cockroaches to harbour, failing which, Flick Pest Control will exterminate your unwelcome freeloaders. Don’t hesitate to give us a call, we are always ready to help.