News & Articles

Cockroach Infestations On The Rise

Posted on December 20, 2019

More Calgary residential and commercial properties need cockroach extermination services.

A recent news article is a wake-up call for Calgary residents and businesses. With cockroach infestations on the rise, you’ll want to check your property to make sure they haven’t made their way inside.

In fact, cockroach infestations are up across the province and exterminators from Edmonton, and Grande Prairie echoes Martin’s Pest Control’s observation of increased numbers. Cockroach swarms are popping up in restaurants, grocery stores, businesses, apartment complexes, and homes.

Why Are The Numbers Of Cockroaches Increasing?

There are a few reasons numbers might be climbing.

  • More global trading is bringing pests into the country along with cargo.
  • They travel in the trucks to warehouses, and the critters continue hitching rides to businesses when goods are delivered.
  • Cockroaches like to travel and can be brought in with furniture, clothing in suitcases, in cardboard boxes encasing tourist purchases, and even in the lining of shoes.
  • Cockroaches hide in food packaging and pop boxes.
  • Cold temperatures will kill cockroaches, but since temperatures have moderated in recent years, it often doesn’t get cold enough to kill cockroach populations.
  • The breeding rates and the difficulty in killing cockroaches before they spread means more buildings and residential areas are finding wide-scale cockroach infestation.
  • The recycling movement, while admirable, can spread cockroaches to new areas when cockroaches or their eggs attach themselves to second-hand articles.
Know The Enemy

The German brown cockroach is the most common in Alberta. During the day, they like to hide in dark, moist areas. Common areas are 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 will often congregate in swarms. Cockroaches are detected at night when they are active.

You can catch them by surprise by quickly turning on lights or using a flashlight. But they are quick. A cockroach can move at three miles per hour. That is about as fast as the walk between your house and the local convenience store.

Cockroaches will also lay egg sacs with approximately 50 eggs that hatch in one month. They are mature at about three months, reproduce again, and then die at six months.

Once established, they are difficult to control. If you cut off a cockroaches head, they can still live for a week and only die because they can’t drink water. They can hold their breath for thirty minutes underwater. They can live without food for over a month but need water in a week to survive. 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. Cockroaches eat cardboard, bindings of books, the starch in ceiling boards, their cast-off carcass, their dead cockroach brethren, blood fresh and dried, excrement. They have even been reported to dine on finger and toenails of babies, sick and older adults.

They love it when you don’t clean up your dishes and put off vacuuming food crumbs. You get a hint they are around because they defecate where they eat, leaving their waste, which looks like coffee grains or little cylinders. The waste has a pheromone that is a calling card for other cockroaches to come to dinner.

Why Should I Care?

Cockroaches are bad for business and can infect humans with a variety of health concerns. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that cockroaches can carry 33 types of harmful bacteria, six kinds of parasitic worms, and seven other pathogens.

There are many reasons to deal with infestations of cockroaches quickly:

  • They 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 can exacerbate asthma.
  • To keep work and home spaces safe for family, employees, and 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.
Call An Exterminator

By the time you set up your trap and catch some, they may have multiplied beyond control. 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.

If others are calling exterminators, you might want to get an assessment and pool resources to eliminate them from the entire complex. By law, landlords are responsible for ensuring that their tenants live and work in a safe environment.

The Best Way To Prevent Cockroaches

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 bins.
  • 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.

If you are not sure if you have a cockroach problem, the knowledgeable staff at Martin’s Pest Control is open to inspect your property. Using our experience and knowledge as a leading pest company, we will scope out hiding cockroaches and outline the steps needed to keep your property cockroach free.