Cockroaches present a significant health risk and can carry a number of diseases including food poisoning, dysentery, typhoid and polio.
There are two main types of cockroach found in the UK. The most common is the German Cockroach which is usually yellow/brown in colour and 10-15mm in length. Oriental cockroaches are larger fully grown and darker in colour.
Cockroaches normally live indoors - though they can be found in drains - and like warm, damp conditions (high humidity) with a ready supply of food. They will eat almost anything and breed rapidly by laying egg cases that can hatch up to 30 nymphs each.
Cockroaches are nocturnal, so are active at night or when it is dark. Signs of cockroach infestation may include a smell, small spindle shaped droppings (similar to mouse droppings, but usually smaller) and dead cockroach bodies.
Eradicating cockroaches is difficult because their eggs (oothecae) are resistant to poisons and may lay dormant for months before hatching.
Treatment is usually carried out by laying down insecticidal gel that is a slow working poison and left in place for up to several weeks. Repeat treatments may be necessary depending on the size and scale of the infestation.
Click on the link to the British Pest Control Association website for further information.