Watch Out for Cockroaches

In 2009, the manager of a restaurant in Manchester was fined £2,500 and its owner £12,500 pounds after a customer made a complaint to the authorities. When an inspector visited the next day, he found “live cockroaches running around the bar area, over shelving and on drinking glasses.” They were also, “found around the washing up sink, under the coffee machine and over electrical equipment…[and] in a foil food container.” The inspector also reported, “a number of dead cockroaches, … indicative of a well-developed infestation.”

In 2014, a restaurant owner operating in Central London was fined £6,000 after health inspectors found the place infested by mice and cockroaches. The Westminster City Council branded the establishment a “serious threat” to public health.

The fines and negative publicity that resulted from the businesses being closed, and the subsequent legal penalties, mean both establishments are now operated by different restaurateurs.

Can you afford a cockroach infestation?

These cases are not isolated. 2016 – a Daventry restaurant had to pay £8,538 in fines and costs. 2013 – a different Manchester restaurant was fined £40,000 when a diner found a live cockroach in their poppadum. 2017 – a severe infestation of mice and cockroaches at another restaurant in London led to another £40,000 fine.

Problems with Cockroaches

Obviously, none of us want to tuck into our takeaway or restaurant starter and then find a cockroach. For one thing, it’s never listed on the menu and, more worryingly, it is a very clear sign that the business is not taking its public health obligations seriously.

While a cockroach doesn’t present a threat in terms of bites, they can carry a variety of diseases, most of which are associated with food poisoning. Diseases carried by them include – salmonella, staphylococcus, streptococcus, E. Coli, and even the virus that causes polio.

If you experience symptoms associated with food poisoning, for example, nausea, diarrhoea, lack of energy or chills, then you should consult a medical professional. However, these symptoms can also relate to a wide variety of other diseases and so the vector may not be a cockroach.

Where do cockroaches live?

They have been on Earth since the time of the dinosaurs and so by now they have pretty much adapted to every vaguely hospitable environment – from the Artic tundra to tropical rainforests. They can hide in any nook or cranny, making them hard to spot and perfectly adapted to urban living.

They will eat almost anything, which allows them to be even more resilient. They are the very definition of the opportunistic scavenger and don’t just focus on food waste and rubbish. They have even been known to eat through plastic packaging. From faecal matter to fingernails, via food waste and household dust to books and cigarette butts, they will eat anything they can access.

Most cockroach types also hate the light and will tend to hide in dark areas. They are also attracted to magnetic fields and, like migratory birds, will use the Earth’s magnetism to steer. In fact, they contain particles that become magnetised when they are in a magnetic field. This helps to explain why they are attracted, excuse the pun, to the fields that are created to plug sockets and electrical products.

How to deal with cockroaches

The first step is to make sure your property is clean and all potential food sources are stored correctly. Since they love to hide in tiny spaces, it is also important to make sure areas behind furniture and appliances, especially fridges and cookers, are clean and take care to remove any oil and grease deposits that are found. Removing potential food sources means that these opportunistic feeders will look elsewhere.

Secondly, treatment should be carried out as quickly as possible and a professional pest controller is your best option. They have the expertise to identify the source of the infestation and the appropriate equipment to deal with it safely and efficiently.

London Network for Pest Solutions has the expertise to deal with your cockroach problem quickly, safely, and discreetly. If you have a problem, call us on 020 8430 4133 or email here.

To download our leaflet on cockroaches, click here.