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12/09/2019

Cockroaches – Not on the menu

Often times it can take a few poor reviews to do a restaurant in. While things like poor service, mediocre food and bland ambiance can be improved upon, other criticisms a restaurant might not be able to bounce back from are the reports and sightings of cockroaches. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. If someone sits down in your restaurant for the first time, the last thing you need is a cockroach to run across the table. Unfortunately, today, this can quickly go viral on social media and be detrimental to your good name you’ve worked so hard to build.

First and Foremost – It’s a Health Concern!

There are three types of Cockroaches commonly found today. They are the German Cockroach, American Cockroach and Oriental Cockroach. Of the three, the German Cockroach (Blattella germanica) is the most common species found in restaurants, hotels, food service industries as well as institutional establishments (nursing homes) and pose the greatest concern for food safety and public health. Several bacteria-related illnesses that cockroaches are linked to include gastroenteritis, food poisoning, enteric fever, typhoid fever, diarrhea, giardia, listeriosis, Cholera, E. coli, and dysentery. Cockroach excrement and shed skins usually cause allergic reactions in many people as pathogens they carry are rubbed off onto food and the surfaces upon which food is prepared.

Where Do I Find Them?

They can be found anywhere in a facility but prefer warm and humid areas close to any food and water source and will naturally gravitate to equipment that generates heat (motor housing of appliances) .German cockroaches are thigmotactic, meaning they prefer confined spaces making small cracks and crevices the preferred harborage areas.

 

Newly dropped ootheca containing 18-50 eggs (average about 32)

 

The German cockroach reproduces faster than any other cockroach, growing from egg to a reproductive adult in roughly 50 – 60 days. A small percentage of the nymphs may hatch while the ootheca (protective casing) is still attached to the female, although the majority emerge some 24 hours after it has dropped from the female's body. The newly hatched 3-mm-long black nymphs then progress through six or seven instars before becoming sexually mature.

 

What’s That Smell?

Did you know that these small insects have a scent? The Oriental, German and American cockroaches have a distinct smell that is very unpleasant. In order to communicate with each other, cockroaches use chemicals called cuticular hydrocarbons. These chemicals, which can be found on their bodies and legs, send messages about food, harborage areas and mates. Even after you may have even eliminated a roach infestation, an odor might linger. This is because those same chemicals can be found in roach feces and shed roach skins. This cockroach behavior is the reason why cockroaches often collect in one place at the same time.

How Did We Get Them?

We’ve held them down and spread their legs, but they NEVER seem to tell us how they got there!

 

We can only surmise…..There are a multitude of ways that Cockroaches may be introduced to your facility. Infestations are often introduced via paper products or paper packaging, such as cardboard boxes, or through secondhand appliances, rental furniture and deliveries. Delivery trucks can become infested when they pick up infested products at a distribution warehouse or even a food manufacturing facility.

Staff employees may even attract them by leaving dirty dishes and food in locker areas or break rooms as well as bringing them in from outside sources. They may visit gyms, second jobs that have infestations, or bring things from home that may have been exposed to these persistent pests.

 

What Do I Do Now?

Often we have been contacted from business owners and homeowners alike who have tried to eradicate the infestation themselves, or “in house”. However, many DIY products for cockroaches do not actually eliminate the infestation. Insect bombs and foggers actually release a repellent that gives the indication that the roaches are gone. Once the repellent is released, the insects move deeper in the walls and travel elsewhere where the fogger didn’t penetrate.

To effectively eliminate a cockroach infestation in any facility you need to work closely with your licensed pest professional. Ask questions – get involved! Working together with a proactive approach to structural, sanitation and storage improvements is key to any long term solution.

 

Jankowski Pest Control understands the food service and restaurant industry and have spent 26 years in the industry raising the bar in pest management standards. Give us a call – we’re here to help!

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