The Rentokil Blog UK

Giant Cockroaches Invade Naples

Naples battling with cockroachesI’ve blogged regularly about invasive species which cause havoc with local ecosystems but the latest pest invaders to hit the headlines are cockroaches in Naples. Every city in the world is, at some level, infested with cockroaches but what makes this story interesting is the size of the roaches. These are no ordinary one centimeter german cockroaches but seven centimeter monster cockroaches. Imagine sighting a couple of hundred of those scuttling in the ancient streets of Naples on your way home from a Taverna.

The Italian city is fighting to contain the disease-spreading roaches which are thought to have arrived by boat from the Eolie islands which lie north of Sicily.

With the right conditions it’s frighteningly easy for a city to be overrun with cockroaches. An abundant food supply, such as rubbish left out overnight, combined with warm weather enable cockroaches to breed rapidly. A single cockroach egg capsule can produce up to 42 cockroaches and a pair of cockroaches may be able to produce 20,000 offspring in one year. The maths is alarming. Frequent monitoring of breeding grounds such as sewage systems is essential for nipping infestations in the bud.

Cockroaches seen during daylight can indicate a major infestation, as they were most likely to be pushed out by overcrowding in their hideouts. As a rule of thumb, single cockroaches seen by day often translate into many more hiding. Cockroaches are nocturnal and normally creep out of their hiding places two hours after the lights are switched off. Switch the lights on and they will scatter.

Cockroaches not only look nasty – they are also a major health threat. Cockroaches live and breed in highly unhygienic places, such as drains and sewers, and feed off feces and human mucus (another reason not spit in the street). Cockroaches transmit food poisoning and contaminate food. They are carriers for dangerous diseases such as dysentery, diphtheria, typhoid, hepatitis, food poisoning and gastroenteritis. Their feces and moulted skins contain allergens which can cause asthma and allergies.

The best means of avoiding a cockroach infestation is to discourage them from entering your home or premises. Avoiding leaving out food and seal all gaps around doors, windows, plumbing and wiring.

As for the monster roaches, I’ll take my chances with my spanish slug infestation any day.

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One Comment

  1. Matt
    Posted July 13, 2012 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    “Scarafaggio rosso” Red cockroach. Periplanetta americana or the American cockroach to the English speaking world. What was I saying about the danger of common names in my last post…?

    7cm is a bit of stretch too, and the ootheca (egg case) has 16 eggs in it on average. “Some areas of Naples are experiencing slightly more cockroaches than usual due to folk piling up rubbish in the streets and is being warmer and wetter than usual”. A quiet day for news me thinks?

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