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Canberra Seeing More Cockroaches Thanks To Wet Conditions

The flash flooding that struck Canberra in February of 2018 has lead to homeowners across the capital receiving unwelcome guests. Very unwelcome ones.

Pest control operators across the Australian Capital Territory are reporting a sudden increase of callouts to deal with German cockroaches, which comes across as strange for two particular reasons: one, in other areas, everything’s business as usual, and, two: German cockroaches aren’t native to Canberra, they’re usually an issue of pest control in Sydney, but now they’re plaguing the capital.

ACT Pest Control operator Carl Ibrahim explained, noted that the capital was getting more callouts for the smaller, indoor-dwelling German cockroaches, but that callouts for other pests, even the native Canberra variant of the common roach, had remained more or less at average.

He says that they’re usually the problem of pest control in Sydney, but they make their way across the country and into other cities, including the capital, via fruit boxes.

German cockroaches are different from their garden variety cousins, not only in size, but also in behaviour, as they prefer the moist and dark hidey holes in the inside of Aussie homes, with food crumbs as the biggest attractor.

Ibrahim says that dealing with them is also different. He explains, saying that, unlike their garden variety cousins, German cockroaches can’t be dealt with using repellent, but instead needed a different approach. In order to deal with German cockroaches, pest control in Sydney and across the world utilize a gel which they have the cockroaches spread amidst their numbers, which then kills them off.

An insect physiologist from the Australian National University’s Research School of Biology, Dr. Paul Cooper, says that the recent humid conditions increased the activity level of the cockroaches, which meant that people were noticing their more. He notes that nighttime’s increased humidity leads to increased activity, as well, and the slightly higher humidity commonly seen in Sydney is why the city is the country’s cockroach capital.

Dr. Cooper, however, noted that the Blatella germanica population did not increase, merely that the high storms have forced them into the open. He has some good news, however, saying that the incoming winter temperatures will slow them down, and even trim their numbers by a little.

Mr. Ibrahim advises Aussies to get their properties inspected regularly so that they’ll know of pests as soon as possible.

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