Cockroaches are amongst the most common pests encountered inside buildings. They are a particular nuisance where food is prepared and sanitation is poor. They contaminate food and kitchen utensils, leaving behind an unpleasant odour. Due to their tendency to move from filth to food, they deposit microorganisms that cause food poisoning amongst other illnesses. Some people may also be allergic to cockroaches as their excrement and cast-off skins result in asthma or wheezing, watery eyes and skin rashes. Cockroaches are often found in unsanitary conditions but clean homes and restaurants may also develop infestations.

Some of the commonly found cockroaches are the following:

The German cockroach (Blatella Germanica)

This cockroach is about 14mm in length and is light brown with two dark stripes on the pronotum that is the "head" portion. This cockroach lays about 37 eggs and takes around 55-68 days for it to grow from an egg to adult. The female cockroach carries the egg case around with her until 24hours before the eggs hatch. She then drops the egg case in a secluded place.

German Cockroach Picture

American Cockroach (Periplaneta Americana)

This cockroach is about 38mm in length and is a reddish brown colour. It has a light brown band on the edge of the head and is a very large cockroach. The American cockroach is also able to fly. The female lays around 14 eggs and it stakes 285-616 days for it to grow from egg to adult. The female cockroach will carry the egg case for upto six days before depositing it in a sheltered area.

American Cockroach Picture

Oriental Cockroach (Blatta Orientalis)

This cockroach is about 32mm long and is a dark red-brown to black colour. It lays around 14 eggs and takes between 300-800 days to grow from egg to adult. The female deposits the egg case in debris or in food in a sheltered place.

Oriental Cockroach Picture


The best treatment is prevention with cockroaches. Thoroughly clean and sanitize areas where food is worked with as well as dustbins. Cockroaches will be attracted to any spillages so be sure to clean them quickly. Unfortunately, over the counter solutions have limited efficacy in dealing with cockroaches. We offer a spray and a gelling solution for cockroaches. For these very effective methods of roach control please contact Alcocks and you will be advised of the best method to use.

Look out for our article on cockroaches done by Candy Bouwer.