|French name||Blatte orientale|
|English name||Oriental cockroach|
|Latin Name||Blatta orientalis|
The oriental cockroach (Blatta orientalis) has a bad reputation. Even though it doesn’t sting, it is synonymous with filth, lack of hygiene and disease. It’s impossible not to cringe in dread and horror upon seeing one!
Proliferation of cockroaches in hot countries
Cockroaches proliferate not only in prestigious homes and residential areas, but also in food shops, restaurants, hotels, and even in hospitals.
Originally from North Africa or southern Russia, oriental cockroaches are found all over the world, notably in Honduras and the Caribbean. These insects live in tropical lands, in hot and humid areas such as on the Island of Útila. The hotter it is, the more females reproduce quickly! All they need is to find a food source in order to grow, and then, contamination is rapid.
The female produces 8 ootheca (rigid egg pods, or capsules) in its lifetime. One ootheca contains about 15 eggs. This means that a single female cockroach will lay 120 eggs over its life span of approximately 5 months. Therefore, if there are several females in your home, imagine how many little cockroaches will soon be defiling your home. And if a cockroach sneaks into your suitcase at the hotel, it’s a guaranteed infestation when you return home from your vacation.
In order to prevent this, some companies have become specialized in “luggage inspection” or in the treatment against insects in your villa, hotel or other vacation rental. The cockroaches are eradicated along with their ootheca and eggs.
Other species of cockroaches are found in Honduras, such as:
- The American cockroach
- The German cockroach
- The brown-banded cockroach
Where do cockroaches hide?
This cockroach prefers dark and humid places:
- Basements, especially if there is a pantry there
- Pipework in the bathroom and kitchen
- Underneath sinks where it is always damp
- Cupboards, where they’ll find plenty of food
- Inside the motor of household appliances
- Restaurants (of course), hotels and food shops
Local inhabitants and tourists are inconvenienced by these insects as they come out of hiding in the early evening, on restaurant terraces or even in the streets to scavenge for food in trash bins. They can come running fearlessly before your feet and because they’re very fast runners, it’s difficult to crush them.
The oriental cockroach feeds on organic matter, food waste, trash, etc. It can transmit germs, parasites, viruses, and bacteria (for example, Escherichia coli, salmonellosis, streptococcus, etc.) by contaminating food. This contamination can cause diarrhea, intestinal problems and gastroenteritis. In a hot country, it’s best to drink bottled water, to thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables and to fully cook food in order to kill any bacteria.
Tips to avoid being infested by cockroaches:
- Store food in air tight, closed containers
- Regularly empty out the trash and keep garbage in closed containers
- Don’t leave food crumbs on the floor or food on the table
- Wash dirty dishes every day, as cockroaches are attracted by decomposing food
- Apply caulking on openings, cracks or holes where insects might crawl into
- Clean the areas behind furniture and household appliances
- Replace any leaky faucet – cockroaches love humidity and moisture
To meet high demand from individuals owning villas in Honduras, tourists, businesses, hotels and restaurants, our company has specialized in the treatment against insects. Our experts come to treat your home before your arrival so that you can have a pleasant stay.
Inspection of tourists’ luggage
Did you know that similarly to bed bugs, cockroaches are great travellers and take refuge in suitcases and bags? For this reason, our experts have elaborated a rigorous process to inspect luggage, bags, clothing, etc., to prevent cockroaches from accompanying you back to your home.
Description and reproduction of cockroaches
This species measures about 25 mm in length and its color goes from light or dark brown to shiny black.
It has a flat and elongated body.
The female is wingless, whereas the male has short wings covering about 75% of its body.
Despite having wings, the male is unable to fly.
Cockroaches do not go unnoticed, and can be seen running on the floor in the kitchen, bathroom, restaurants, streets, etc.
Heterometabolic development occurs in three stages:
- The egg
- The nymph
- And finally, the adult stage
After mating, the female cockroach produces an ootheca which it will keep until it finds a dark, sheltered space. Up to five days may go by before the female finds a suitable spot to deposit its ootheca.
A female may produce over 8 ootheca in its lifetime, each capsule containing more than 15 eggs. This means over 120 eggs per female during its life fspan!
So it’s easy to understand why a cockroach infestation can occur rapidly in a home, even worse in a restaurant or a food shop.
The speed at which they grow depends on the temperature. At around 30°C, the nymphs will hatch from the eggs within 42 days.
In these conditions, nymphs will take 5 to 8 months to grow and will moult 7 to 10 times before reach their adult stage.
If temperatures are cooler and conditions less favourable to the nymph’s development, the process may take twice as long.
Treatment must be applied by a pest management expert to achieve efficient and durable elimination of cockroaches. Even one female cockroach left behind means the work must be repeated!
For this reason, professionals have established integrated control strategies that take in consideration the cockroaches’ life cycle, their population number, their habits and particular characteristics.
Two main strategies to reduce an infestation
- Natural method. This consists in catching the cockroaches in bait boxes or sticky traps, or the use of steaming with a non toxic gas. These methods are not always efficient in the long term.
- Chemical method. Insecticides are applied by injection or aerosol spray. All the products used are approved and the application methods are safe and controlled.
What you should know about cockroaches
If temperatures dip below 4°C for several hours, the cockroach dies. Reproduction is optimal when temperatures reach 25°C, which is the case on the Island of Útila.
Never crush a cockroach, for their dorsal gland gives off a very unpleasant odour and its eggs may scatter on the ground.
Cockroaches only come out at night, which means that if you see them during the day, you’re dealing with a very heavy infestation and a large population. In such a case, do not hesitate to immediately contact an exterminator who is an expert in pest control.