Can cockroaches come up your drains?
The answer to that question is definitely YES, especially if there are cockroaches breeding in your drains.
As I have mentioned before in our blog posts, cockroaches are definitely the pest I hate the most. I'll freely admit that being in the pest control business has done nothing to lessen my loathing and that I do - still - screech like a madwoman and run the other way when I see them. Especially the big ones. The ones that come up the drain. And fly...AT you! My husband will unconcernedly whack them with a shoe, but I can't get away fast enough! But apparently, we are hardwired to find them repulsive, so that's ok then...
Cockroaches spread disease!
Not only are they my worst, but cockroaches are also one of the most hazardous pests. They can spread up to 33 different kinds of bacteria, six kinds of parasitic worms and at least seven other kinds of human pathogens. And as if that wasn't enough, it's now believed that cockroaches are among the top causes of asthma and other allergic reactions in humans. (We wrote a blog all about how sick they can make you-you can take a read here).
There are about 4000 species of cockroach, and approximately 10 per cent of these live in South Africa. Of these, four species are commonly found around our homes; the American, German, Asian and Oriental cockroach. They are mainly nocturnal and will run away when exposed to light, with the exception of the Oriental cockroach which is attracted to light. If you want to know more about why cockroaches scuttle when you turn on the light, read our Fact or Fiction post.
If you are experiencing cockroaches coming up your drain, then in all likelihood they are American cockroaches. American cockroaches are far more likely to be found in drains than their smaller relatives, the German cockroach, which is more likely to be found behind your fridge or oven. You can read more about different types of cockroaches here.
How to keep cockroaches under control:
The kitchen the most appropriate place to start, as most cockroach infestations occur in kitchens or places where food is stored. Like all pests, cockroaches enter our homes n search of three things: food, water and harbourage (nesting sites). So the first step is always to try and eliminate these, before whipping out your can of Doom. (Well, you can still whip out the Doom, but you'll only be fixing a symptom, rather than the root cause of your cockroach problem.)
Here are something to consider before you start:
- Cut down on cockroaches food and water supply by store food in airtight containers or in sealed plastic bags
- Clean up all food and water spillages immediately
- Clean used crockery and cutlery immediately
- Remove pet food, water and litter trays overnight
- Clean up food debris (like crumbs) from under fridges, behind the stove or under the toaster
- Keep rubbish or compost in sealed bins
- Make sure that food scraps are not washed down the drain. These accumulate and provide an easy food source for cockroaches
- Regularly flush out your drains to keep the pipes free-flowing and grease-free.
- Regularly clean sink and bathroom outlet drains to avoid any blockages and eliminate food sources for cockroaches
- Leave the plug in sinks and baths that are not used very frequently to prevent cockroaches from crawling up
Treating your drains:
If you are having an issue with cockroaches in your drains at home, it's worth knowing that your local council is obligated to treat the municipal drains outside your property, but not those within the walls of your residence. Rentokil, however, offers a specialised drain treatment service so that you don't have to get your hands dirty.
As a single female cockroach can produce up to 300 offspring in her lifetime under optimal conditions, and as cockroaches are notoriously resilient, it's important to take action as soon as you see even one cockroach coming up the drain!
While a number of over-the-counter products are available to deal with mild infestations, it remains extremely difficult to reach all the places cockroaches may be hiding. This means that infestations are likely to reoccur when surviving eggs hatch after one or two months. If that's the case, we recommend summoning the help of a professional pest control technician. Our cockroach experts at Rentokil use innovative and environmentally friendly products to eliminate your cockroach problem fast and effectively - without jeopardising the safety of your family or pets.
Contact Rentokil for an obligation free quote on 0861 117 852.
For more insights like these straight to your inbox Subscribe to our Blog.