Recently another residential building hit the news about a cockroach infestation.
Calgary Housing Management (CHM) oversees the complex and stated that control technicians have been treating the complex once a week, trying to exterminate the roaches. According to the news reports, they have been trying to address this problem for over one year. The problem is that once cockroaches become established, it is very hard to control the problem.
There have been several reports of cockroach problems all over the province, and people wonder why sightings are increasing. These types of infestations used to be rare. In warmer areas, it is a regular occurrence.
There could be several factors behind the increase of cockroaches being found in Calgary and Canada.
One factor is that Global warming is creating new vacation spots for the cockroaches with warmer, moist weather trends. Another is an increase in global trade and travel, which are allowing the cockroaches to hitch a ride in containers, or with goods, produce, and boxes.
Often people will wait too long to reach out to a pest control company. Just killing the cockroaches you see won’t resolve the problem. Cockroaches avoid the light. They collect and breed in swarms in dark corners behind walls, in furniture, in laundry rooms, and basements. They tend to gather near water, so if you have a leaky pipe, they will also loiter there.
Some of the over the counter products used to catch and kill cockroaches are sticky traps, desiccants (diatomaceous earth or silica aerogel), or boric acid. There are also liquid or aerosol insecticidal sprays (e.g., pyrethrum, permethrin, etc.).
Using hardware store products like roach motels and over the counter pesticide spray may help. Still, by the time you set up your trap and catch some, they may have multiplied beyond control. It is better to get a professional exterminator like Martin’s Pest Control to deal with a cockroach infestation.
Professional pest treatment technicians use commercial pesticides, commercial vacuums, specialized chemical formulas, extermination dust, smoke, aerosol sprays, bait and traps, and repellants to eliminate cockroach populations. Pest control and extermination technicians are trained in proper application methods and know treatment schedules. They can also monitor the effectiveness of the treatment to update owners or tenants as to eradication measures.
If other tenants or neighbours are calling exterminators, you might want to get an assessment and pool resources to eliminate them from the entire area. If detected in another suite in an apartment complex or a commercial bay, it is highly likely you will find them shortly in your own space.
By law, landlords are responsible for ensuring that their tenants live and work in a safe environment. Sometimes they leave the problem to long by just throwing a few traps around.
There are many reasons owners, landlords, managers, and tenants need to deal with infestations of cockroaches quickly:
- Roaches are bad for business. Customers associate cockroaches with poor maintenance and unclean premises, even if there are other reasons cockroaches showed up at your door.
- They contaminate foodstuffs and merchandise and leave unpleasant odours in their wake.
- They spread disease, and they can exacerbate asthma.
- To keep work and home spaces safe for family, employees & customers
- Health inspectors can shut down your business because cockroaches pose a health risk.
- To help eradicate cockroaches from the Calgary area and Alberta
- They are just plain creepy.
The most common cockroach in Alberta is the German cockroach, which lay egg sacs with approximately 50 eggs that hatch in one month. They are mature at about three months, reproduce again, and die at six months.
So from one cockroach, you could have 2,500 climbing about the house in three months. Allowing them to breed for an additional two months before they die. Once established, cockroaches are difficult to control.
- In fact, if you cut off cockroaches’ heads, they can still live for a week and only die because they can’t drink water.
- They can hold their breath for 30 minutes underwater.
- They can live without food for over a month
- They are also fast, which makes them challenging to catch.
A cockroach can move at three miles per hour. That is about as quickly as the walk between your house and the local convenience store.
During the day, they like to hide in dark, moist areas like bathrooms, around plumbing fixtures, under cabinets, behind baseboards, in cracks and crevices near their food supply, under flooring and under or inside appliances.
They like company and congregate in swarms. A study in the U.S.A. found cockroaches like to keep to one area. So if you chase them out, they might move into garages or to the next-door neighbour’s place.
Cockroaches stay up late and are more active at night. You can catch them by surprise by quickly turning on lights or using a flashlight.
The trifecta of living conditions for them is heat, moisture, and food.
Oddly enough, one of their favourite hiding spots is where you store your plastic bags. They eat cardboard, bindings of books, the starch in ceiling boards, and their cast-off carcass. Furthermore, they will eat their dead brethren, fresh blood, and dried excrement. Reports even have them dining on finger and toenails of babies, sick and older adults.
You are inviting them as houseguests if you leave out dirty dishes and don’t sweep up food crumbs. They leave waste trails leading back to where they swarm. The waste has a pheromone that other cockroaches can smell and they take it as an invitation to party.
There are some tips to help make your environment undesirable to cockroaches.
- Establish a regular maintenance schedule for a deep clean.
- Encourage employees and family members to clean up food spills immediately.
- Keep areas clean and inspect behind furniture and appliances as part of the cleaning routine. Exterminators say that most restaurants do keep visible areas clean. Cockroaches set up shop in areas that trap grease and food, like behind and under cooking equipment.
- Empty the garbage regularly. Keep outside garbage bins away from the wall and tightly seal containers.
- Caulk around baseboards, electrical switches and outlets, and in cupboard cracks.
- Remedy small plumbing leaks, so you don’t give cockroaches an easy water source.
- Make it harder for them to find water, food, and hide.
- Use cold or heat treatments for small appliances if they become infested.
Cockroaches in Calgary are never fun to deal with. If you think you might have a problem, reach out to the team at Martin’s Pest Control. We will create a pest control plan tailored to your property and eradicate the problem.