There are 3 main pest species commonly found in the UK, these are:
1. The Oriental cockroach
2. The German cockroach
3. The American cockroach
All are most likely to be found in premises involved in food production but can turn up almost anywhere food and suitable harborages exist.
Cockroaches are not native to the UK. All of the species now found here originated in tropical climes but are now common in the UK due to importation of foodstuffs and the increase of international travel.
They are omnivorous and will feed on both filth and foodstuffs.
Cockroaches have been noted feeding on paper, vomit, human and animal faeces, sputum, nail clippings and other dead cockroaches.
Their ability to move from sewers to human populated areas makes them a major threat to human health from pathogens such as those causing food poisoning and wound infections.
Given the correct environmental conditions, cockroach populations can expand rapidly.
A female cockroach is capable of producing 300-350 young over her lifetime.
The young develop in an egg case called oothecae. These egg cases can protect the eggs inside from insecticides and can lie dormant for many months waiting for the correct conditions before hatching.
Cockroach treatments can be extremely complex operations involving several techniques and insecticidal formulations.
Over the counter remedies should not be used as the successful eradication of cockroaches depends upon many factors and is best carried out by a professional pest controller.
In many instances the application of over the counter products can worsen the problem.
Black Garden Ant
Garden ant nests begin with a queen who will build a small starter nest in soft soil. She tends the first brood until they form the first cohort of workers.
The nest then grows rapidly with the queen continuing to lay eggs which are tended by the workers.
These ants feed on nectar, seeds and small insects. They come into contact with humans most commonly whilst foraging for food spillages.
During the late summer winged male and female ants are produced which leave the nest at the same time and mate in flight. Such individuals are often referred to as flying ants but are in fact a different form of the Black Garden ant species.
After mating, the young queens will look for a suitable hibernation place to see out the winter, emerging in spring to start her own colony.
The nests of these ants are most commonly found outdoors but can also occur in the soil under buildings. When a nest is located under a building, the colony can remain active throughout the year.
Treatments of ant infestations rely on exact knowledge of the particular species in question as incorrect treatments will make matters worse by dispersing colonies with multiple queens.
Ants are colonial insects which live in complex, highly organized social groups. These groups can contain many thousands of individuals or workers, each with a specific job within the nest. These jobs range from tending to the queen or queens and the larvae to building and expanding the nest and foraging for food.
Some of the ant species found in the UK are introduced species from tropical regions.
These ants are not common and can only survive indoors in heated buildings
The most common found include
1. Pharaohs Ant
2. Rogers Ant
These ants can be a nuisance in food production facilities and in particular, hospitals.
Treatments of tropical ant infestations rely on exact knowledge of the particular species in question as incorrect treatments will make matters worse by dispersing colonies with multiple queens.
In all cases of ant infestation, professional help should be sought.