Urban Myth: There are no Cockroaches in the UK

Most people associate cockroaches with dodgy holiday apartments in warmer climates. But does that mean we don’t get them in the UK? Nope, sorry. There are cockroaches in the UK and you could find them in your home or business.

What are the Most Common Cockroaches in the UK?

There are four types of cockroach that are commonly found in the UK:

German Cockroaches

These are the most common type of cockroach in the UK. They are roughly 13-16mm in length and they have a long brown body with two dark stripes behind their head. German cockroaches lay more eggs than other types.

You’ll find them in wet and humid environments like bathrooms and basements and they love to eat food scraps and other types of organic waste.

American Cockroaches

These are not so common and they’re not keen on the cold, so they mostly live in the south of the UK. They are around 53mm in length and have a reddish-brown body with wings. You know how they say everything is bigger in America? American cockroaches are the biggest species found in the UK.

This species lives for around two years and they love warmer environments with easy access to a food source.

Oriental Cockroaches

This species is between 25 and 32mm long. The female of the species is larger. They have black or dark brown bodies and a large round head. Both female and male oriental cockroaches can fly.

They aren’t fussy about what they eat, but they especially love rotting organic material.

Brown Banded Cockroaches

These are the smallest of the cockroaches in the UK. Males are dark brown and females are a reddish-brown colour. Only the males can fly, but both males and females can jump. Brown banded cockroaches only live for between 3 and 11 months, but they breed a lot within that time. You’ll find them in warm, humid places and they love to eat food scraps.

Where Do You Find Cockroaches in the UK?

In England

Predictably, the densely populated and warmer south of England has more cockroaches. Most of the cockroach infestation hotspots are around the greater London area.

In Wales

Cockroaches are common in south Wales, however populations can fluctuate because of the changeable climate.

In Scotland

German and Oriental cockroaches thrive in Scotland, especially the latter as they can tolerate colder temperatures.

In Northern Ireland

This is the place in the UK where you’re least likely to experience a cockroach infestation. If you do get one, it’s likely to be the German or Oriental cockroach.

Is it a Cockroach or Something Else?

While you do find cockroaches in the UK, you’ll also find plenty of bugs that look just like them including:

Wood lice

Bed bugs

Death-watch beetle

Carpet beetle

Two spot carpet beetle

Brown carpet beetle

Not sure that what you’ve spotted scuttling around your home is a cockroach? That’s where professional knowledge comes in. Professional pest control technicians will be able to tell you straight away if it’s a species of cockroach that’s causing problems in your home or business.

Why Have I Got Cockroaches in My Home?

It’s not because your home is dirty. Cockroaches really aren’t fussy about where they infest, as long as there’s:


Quiet places to hide out

Enough moisture

A food source

You’ll often find cockroaches in lofts, kitchens, storage areas, and inside of walls.

Preventing a Cockroach Infestation

Now you know that there are cockroaches in the UK, you can take some steps to prevent an infestation in your home.

· Keep your home or business premises clean, tidy, and clutter free.

· Make sure you empty bins regularly and clear up crumbs and food debris.

· Seal up any potential entry points like gaps around pipes or cracks in walls.

· Fix any leaks. Most species of cockroach in the UK love humid environments.

Need Help With Cockroaches?

Once a cockroach infestation is established, it can be really difficult to get rid of. While it’s a myth that cockroaches can survive a nuclear blast, they might survive your attempts to get rid of them. The best way to rid your home or business of an infestation is to call in professional pest control.

Contego’s expert technicians have the know-how and the products to identify and treat even the most established infestation, fast and effectively.

Don’t leave the health of your family or your business to chance, call Contego.

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