Cockroaches Tour the Science Museum

Cockroaches are some of the hardiest insects on this planet. They are also some of the oldest - having been scurrying about since the early Cretaceous period and out living the dinosaurs. Out of the 4,300 species of cockroach less than 30 are considered as pests and only a few are well known for infesting human environments (German, American, Oriental and Brown Banded cockroaches). Preferring the warm and cosy conditions in our heated buildings.

Cockroaches are known to transmit some very unpleasant diseases which can result in some serious illnesses such as Salmonella, Gastro-enteritis, Dysentery and Tuberculosis. As omnivors they will literally eat just about anything from our food, pet food, books, clothing and paper to rotting matter and faecal waste. As cockroaches forage and feed they passively transfer bacteria to places and objects that are also used by people.

A cockroach infestation produces an obnoxious odour that is both lingering and unpleasant. They leave chemical and pheromone trails for other cockroaches to follow to food, water and safe harbourage. Adding to this odour cockroaches produce more methane in relation to their size than any other creature. They can produce 35g of this gas a year - which is more than 43 times their average body weight*.

Colm Moore, Rentokil Technical Manager, comments: "Cockroaches along with other insects such as centipedes and beetles, are all major producers of methane. Cockroaches, however, are the only one which is considered a pest in the UK, as they are carriers of harmful bacteria, particularly Salmonella."


While most people would not wish to share their homes with cockroaches, what do these insects (that out lived the dinosaurs) think about us? From their vantage points, hidden under sinks, in kitchens and food storage areas, what are their thoughts on the human race?

Now you can scurry down to the Science Museum and put yourself in their shells. Rentokil are proud to be an official sponsor of 'A Cockroach Tour of the Science Museum', created by the Danish arts group Superflex, which gives a quirky and inquisitive take on the human race. Giving a cockroach view of the world and promoting awareness of climate change.

For details on the Cockroach Tour please visit the Museum and for more information on resolving a cockroach infestation please call Rentokil on 0800 218 2210.

*'Methane production in terrestrial arthropods' by Johannes H .P. Hackstein and Claudius K. Stumm.