German Cockroach

The German cockroach, Blattella germanica, is one of the most problematic kitchen pests.

It is the most common cockroach found in homes, apartments, restaurants, supermarkets and other buildings where food is stored, prepared or served. They eat foods of all kinds and they prefer warm and moist locations.

The German Cockroach can spread disease, as they typically inhabit unclean areas and then walk over food preparation surfaces, thereby contaminating food intended for human consumption.

German Cockroach
Biology
  • Adult cockroach, Blattella germanica body length is 10 to 16 mm long, brown to dark brown in colour with two distinct parallel longitudinal black bands on pronotum; pronotal stripes simple, slightly more broadly separated by their widths.
  • German cockroach sheds its skin (moults) a number of times during its life.When moulting, the German cockroach remains in its harbourage and does not feed until its new skin has hardened. German roaches are often resistant to pesticides.
  • One adult female can lay up to 400 eggs in a lifetime.

Monitoring

Russell IPM manufactures and supplies a range of high capacity low line sticky cockroach traps. The cockroach traps are based on food attractants.

Sticky traps are safe, effective and easy to handle.  Application of sticky cockroach traps ensures food safety by reducing the application conventional insecticide substantially. The sticky traps, No. 10, No. 20, No. 30 can be used to detect low-level of populations.

The existence of a potential problem can be confirmed before a population explosion occurs.  The sticky cockroach traps can also be used to locate problem areas or harbourage’s. This can greatly enhance control efforts, allowing the pest control officer to intensify treatments in certain areas.

Food attractant based trap can be integrated chemical treatment to improve efficiency.

Nature of Damage

  • The German cockroach, Blattella germanica is a major pest of both residential and commercial structures such as restaurants, supermarkets and school kitchens
  • They are omnivorous and will eat just about anything
  • The German cockroach spoils food and food products with their faeces and defensive secretions. Its body also carries diseases and pathogenic organisms which may cause severe allergic reactions.
  • German cockroaches generally travel short distances to feed. They will choose suitable harbourages near a food source and stay there. Roaches are generally active at night and remain hidden during the day.

Food Hygiene and Safety

  • Cockroach populations are very active in human living spaces, where they have access to adequate amounts of water, food and harbourage. At home, the kitchen is the most favoured habitat for German cockroaches, followed by food storage areas
  • The German cockroach is a carrier of pathogenic and non-pathogenic bacteria, yeasts and moulds. Some of the moulds associated with the German cockroaches are reported as mycotoxin producers.
  • Concerns about the safety of foods are raised as cockroaches carry most of the major food poisoning organisms in their gut and they are likely to contaminate food and drinks.
  • Once an infestation has been identified at a food premises, it is most important to control the infestation as quickly as possible to remove risk to health and foodstuffs.

 

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