Heating ducts and pipes can be prime spots for cockroaches and the British Pest Control Association (BPCA) has issued a guide with advice on how to prevent the warmth-loving insects getting into buildings.
The pests can also be found near stoves and sinks where they contaminate utensils and preparation surfaces as they forage and may even make their way into food items.
And they can be vectors of disease, capable of carrying the organisms which cause food poisoning in humans, as well as carriers of many other bacteria.
Cockroach control is a difficult task, so the BPCA has said that preventative measures are an important step in keeping premises pest-free.
Dee Ward-Thompson, head of technical, said: “Cockroaches will feed on almost anything, including refuseand food for human consumption.
"They also require access to water and will be generally found in inaccessible harbourages, close to water and food, such as ducting systems, drains, under units, at the back of white goods where the motor is situated and between cracks in tiles and skirting boards.
“Cockroaches are rarely able to survive out of doors in the British climate but thrive around the heating ducts and boiler rooms of large centrally-heated buildings such as hospitals, bakeries, hotel and restaurant kitchens, and blocks of flats.
“They cluster around pipes, stoves, and sinks, especially in warm areas, and will often remain hidden during the day.”
BPCA recommends taking steps including cleaning all surfaces thoroughly to remove any food residue; keeping bins covered and emptied regularly; cleaning warm areas such as the top and bottom of the fridge and seal gaps around where utility lines enter the building or enter into a cavity.
Dee added: “For any cockroach infestation, we would always recommend contacting a professional pest control company, preferably a member of the BPCA.”
Details on preventionand how to find a contractor can be found on the BPCA website at bpca.org.uk.