Near pandemic cockroach outbreak in South Africa

The very wet and humid past summer brought about a near-pandemic outbreak of cockroaches in all communities in South Africa

Cockroaches are usually ubiquitous but calls to the CropLife SA emergency line pointed to a massive surge in German cockroaches all over the country. It is not only climate that spurs on their numbers, but also unhygienic conditions that prevail in South Africa.

Unfortunately, the surge in cockroach infestation triggered a large-scale unlawful use of pesticides that are not registered for indoor use, with possible disastrous effects. Cockroach control starts with a serious effort to sanitise human habitation of refuse and left-over foodstuffs. A dirty kitchen that is littered with left-over food and freely available pet food needs serious intervention to deny these unsavoury critters from invading a home and setting up a colony.

Refuse bags must be secured in plastic wheelie bins or drums out of access of cockroaches. Floor surfaces, potential breeding spots and hide-outs in kitchens, pantries and bathrooms must be thoroughly washed and disinfected with a diluted solution of sodium hypochlorite (domestic bleach).

Places that attract and harbour cockroaches include electrical appliances such as fridges and washing machines, cupboards under kitchen and bathroom basins, drainpipe cavities in walls, food cupboards, outdoor drains and dark enclosed areas such as garages. Cockroaches enjoy the heat and humidity underneath electrical appliances and basins, and that is where they often set up breeding colonies.

Source: CropLife SA

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