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This is why Spain could be hit with 'major cockroach infestations' this summer
Environment

This is why Spain could be hit with 'major cockroach infestations' this summer

One of the greatest risks posed by the insects is the spread of harmful bacteria and viruses capable of transmitting diseases to humans, experts warn

SUR

Malaga

Wednesday, 29 May 2024, 19:04

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Spain can expect "major cockroach infestations" this summer, according to experts.

The general director of National Association of Environmental Health Companies (Anecpla) Jorge Galván pointed out two reasons for the infestations: "On the one hand, the increase in temperatures as a result of climate change is causing insects such as bedbugs and cockroaches to accelerate their life cycle exponentially. On the other hand, there is the evidence that cockroaches have been suffering a series of random genetic mutations in recent years that are making them resistant to the biocidal products that, until now, have been used to control them."

Anecpla said it has been scientifically proven that, from 28C upwards, cockroaches, like many other insects, multiply their reproduction speed. "The heat arrives in the middle of spring and does not end until well into autumn, so cockroach populations have only increased," Galván added.

In addition to these problems, there are ever more stringent restrictions from Europe on the use of biocides. "Of course, environmental health professionals evaluate the cost-benefit depending on the situation and whenever possible we give preference to physical and biological measures over chemical ones. But when there is no other possible solution for the adequate control of a pest such as, in this case, cockroaches, their use is essential. And this type of restriction, coming from Nordic countries where, due to their climate, the problem is not even remotely similar, greatly complicates their management," Galván said.

Anecpla offers a series of recommendations to avoid cockroach infestations:

- Maintain cleanliness and avoid leaving food leftovers and waste.

- Avoid any water leaks and other areas of moisture.

- Sealing cracks, holes and crevices.

- Maintain order in the storage of products.

- Use litter bins with tight-fitting lids.

- Periodic maintenance by environmental health professionals.

One of the greatest risks posed by cockroaches is the spread of harmful bacteria and viruses capable of transmitting diseases to humans. This is a particularly important problem in the food industry, as these insects act as reservoirs of bacteria and viruses which they spread due to their unsanitary habits and the places they inhabit.

Most common cockroach species in Spain

Blattella germanica (blond, German or coffee cockroach), Blatta orientalis (black cockroach) and Periplaneta americana (American cockroach, known as the "super cockroach" because of its size) are the most common cockroach species in Spain. "Control of this insect must be immediate from the moment it is detected," Galván said. "Cockroaches reproduce at breakneck speed.

Their main danger is that they transmit diseases such as salmonellosis and dysentery, among others. As soon as temperatures start to rise, eliminating this pest is a matter of the first order, especially for those responsible for the hotel and catering sector, who have a lot at stake in terms of the image of their business," Galván added.

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