One must watch out for cockroaches as they are potential vectors (carriers) of diseases such as dysentery, gastroenteritis, typhoid and poliomyelitis. One can obtain these diseases whether the cockroach infestation is small or large, as the food which we eat may be tainted with the characteristic smell of the cockroach by producing faeces, salivary abdominal gland secretions or by the dead insects themselves. The fact that cockroaches are gregarious is not good news for us humans. This means that they are social insects and are found in large numbers due to rapid breeding habits, therefore infestations can reach an escalating number within a few weeks.

Cockroaches are generally found in commercial premises that are associated with the production or storage of food products; however domestic cases are definitely not foreign either. These insects are nocturnal so they spend their days hiding in cracks and crevices, where they gather in great numbers.

Infestations may be introduced into buildings or homes as egg capsules or as adults through incoming packaging or second hand appliances/furniture. Their oval and flat bodies allow them to squeeze into the tiniest of cracks and crevices, therefore making it difficult to seal off their hiding places or harbourage sites. Cockroaches are notorious as pests as they can literally live off anything, this includes fermenting substances, soiled septic dressings, hair, leather, faeces and food for human consumption. There are three cockroach species to watch out for: the German cockroach, which is the smallest of the cockroaches (10-15mm long). The Oriental cockroach, which is medium sized (20-24mm long) and lastly, the American cockroach, which is the largest (30-45mm).

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