Cockroaches are set to be a nuisance in homes across the UK but how do you get rid of them and prevent them in the first place?

An expert has issued advice ahead of the rising temperatures in the summer season.

Can you get cockroaches in the UK?

Although there are over 4000 species of cockroaches globally, you will typically find two in the UK.

Chester and District Standard: How you can prevent and get rid of cockroaches. ( Getty Images)How you can prevent and get rid of cockroaches. ( Getty Images) (Image: Getty Images)

The two most common cockroaches found here are the Oriental cockroach and the German Cockroach, according to EWS Group.

You may also come across the American cockroach and the Brown Banded cockroach but these are less common.

Do cockroaches bite humans and are they harmful?

Cockroaches do not bite humans and won’t cause any physical harm.

However, they can spread diseases and it is expensive to get rid of them.

An unwanted infestation could set you back up to £260. 

Chris Hutton, storage expert and owner of Adams Selfstore, has, explained how to spot a cockroach infestation, how to prevent one, and how to get rid of one

How to spot cockroach infestation


It may seem obvious, but seeing cockroaches during the day is a potential sign of a full-blown infestation as they are actually nocturnal creatures.

It is quite easy to get them mixed up with other insects, though.

Cockroaches are typically reddish-brown or tan in colour, with a flat, oval-shaped body and long antennae.


The droppings that cockroaches will inevitably leave behind are also great indicators that they have penetrated your home on a large scale.

The remnants will resemble small, dark pellets or coffee grounds, and you are likely to find these in areas where cockroaches frequent, such as kitchens, bathrooms, or hidden corners.

Musty Odour

Your eyesight is not the only sense that gives away the presence of cockroaches as they emit a distinct, musty odour.

If your home has a persistent, unpleasant smell that you can't identify, it might be linked to a cockroach infestation.

Egg Casings

It may be time to start really worrying about a cockroach infestation when you discover egg casings in your property.

They are brown, oval-shaped capsules that can be found in secluded areas and each casing may contain multiple eggs.

How to prevent cockroaches in your home

Maintain Cleanliness

Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to a cockroach problem, and regularly cleaning kitchen surfaces, sweeping floors, and storing food in airtight containers can help to eliminate potential attractants.

Cockroaches thrive in environments with food and water sources, and ensuring these are not available to them will significantly help keep them at bay.

Seal Entry Points

Inspecting your home for cracks, gaps, and openings around doors and windows is one of the first steps to preventing a cockroach infestation.

Seal these entry points with caulk or weather stripping to prevent cockroaches from entering your property.

Proper Waste Management

Disposing of your rubbish regularly and ensuring that your bins have tightly sealed lids is something that most people do as standard regardless of the threat of cockroaches, but it is a key way to avoid any unwanted insects infiltrating your home.

Cockroaches are attracted to food remnants in bins, so maintaining proper waste management is crucial.

Fix Water Leaks

Cockroaches need water to survive, so fixing any plumbing leaks promptly is essential to stopping them from infiltrating your home.

Be vigilant in areas prone to moisture, such as under sinks and around appliances.

Chester and District Standard: The expert has shared how to spot a cockroach infestation. ( Getty Images)The expert has shared how to spot a cockroach infestation. ( Getty Images) (Image: Getty Images)

How to get rid of a cockroach infestation

Baking soda and sugar

Baking soda has many uses in the kitchen and around the home, but getting rid of a cockroach infestation may be the most obscure of them all. 

Start by mixing equal parts baking soda and sugar in a shallow dish. The sugar attracts the cockroaches, while the baking soda disrupts their digestive system, ultimately leading to their demise. 

Place the dish near suspected entry points or areas where you've seen cockroach activity, like behind the fridge or under the sink.

Empty and reset the trap regularly as long as you see activity.

Boric Acid 

Boric acid is a naturally occurring mineral with insecticidal properties.

While it's important to exercise caution when using it due to its mild toxicity, it can be effective against cockroaches when used properly. 

Start by lightly dusting areas where you've seen cockroaches with the boric acid, and be sure to focus on cracks, crevices, and behind appliances.

You can also create a boric acid "dough" by mixing equal parts boric acid, flour, and sugar with a little water. 

Roll the dough into small balls and place them in strategic locations. Remember, to wear gloves to protect yourself from the powder, and that boric acid takes time to work, so be patient.

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Essential Oils

Cockroaches have a strong sense of smell, and there are certain scents they find particularly unpleasant. One such scent is the aroma of essential oils, such as peppermint, clove, or citrus. 

Mix the essential oil and water in the spray bottle and shake well - aiming for a light dilution, around 10-15 drops of essential oil per 250ml of water.

Spray the solution around areas where you've seen cockroaches, but avoid direct contact with food preparation surfaces. Reapply the spray every few days for continued effectiveness.