Cockroach populations set to explode ahead of summer
HOMEOWNERS and businesses are being urged to call in the exterminator ahead of summer if they want to avoid the predicted plague of cockroaches set to hit Australia.
Pest control workers have seen a 30 per cent increase in requests to exterminate the hideous insects since the beginning of spring.
According to The Pest Company, which is based in Queensland - home to the country's largest cockroach population - cockroaches are not only a nuisance, they also present a serious health risk.
Not only do they spread disease by contaminating food and eating utensils with bacteria that can cause food poisoning, they can also trigger allergies and asthma.
"We are getting a lot more (of an) increase in commercial properties having difficult times with cockroaches," The Pest Company's Luke Taylor told 7 News.
Unusual weather patterns have spawned a plague of cockroaches and termites on the Gold Coast. A dry winter, followed by recent humidity, has created perfect breeding conditions. https://t.co/tIEQ9K5sus @Carly_Madsen #7NEWS pic.twitter.com/Re6w3BEBFx— 7NEWS Gold Coast (@7NewsGoldCoast) November 26, 2019
The combination of a dryer than usual winter followed by a humid summer predicted by meteorologists will create the perfect breeding ground for the maligned insect, with millions of cockroaches expected to invade homes and businesses in the coming weeks.
Cockroaches are attracted to moist areas such as kitchens and bathrooms, so experts have advised homeowners to ensure they wipe down surfaces properly and fix any leaky pipes.
The bushfire crisis and drought have also driven the unwanted creatures indoors in their quest for moisture.
Queensland is the worst affected state, with cockroaches at peak season between September to June. Sydney is their next favourite home, with the insects breeding rampantly between January and March.
The main types of cockroaches found in Australian homes and offices include the German cockroach, the Australian cockroach and the American cockroach.
Female German cockroaches are the most common and lay around 50 eggs every six weeks which usually hatch after about a month.
They can also be found hibernating between wall cracks, roof voids and in electrical appliances.
Cockroaches love to remain hidden so experts recommend home and business owners check
all wall cavities and roof voids, which are ideal breeding spots.
"Just because you don't see them inside your home doesn't mean they are not inside," The Pest Company said on its site.
"We don't know many homeowners that can see through walls, but we know many cockroaches that love to live in these areas. Even if you gain access into the roof void you will not be able to see all areas, especially with so many houses being insulated these days.
"Not all cockroach problems are the same - some residential and commercial properties have many crevices where cockroaches love to hide, caulking up these areas can help limit hiding spots in kitchens and bathrooms, this is an important part of the Integrated Pest Management especially in commercial situations where the preparation of food is a daily event."