Householders warned to be extra vigilant as cockroach infestations rise by 134% nationwide 11 months ago

Householders warned to be extra vigilant as cockroach infestations rise by 134% nationwide

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Householders and businesses are being warned to take the necessary steps to ensure that cockroaches, rodents and pests don't crash the coming Christmas festivities.

According to the pest control provider Rentokil, recent data collected has demonstrated a 134% increase in the number of cockroach infestations nationwide, while rat infestations have increased by 20% over the past year too.

In order to keep at bay this spurt in the number of cockroaches, a sound pest prevention programme has been suggested in particular for various reputable businesses, such as bars, restaurants and shops. Meanwhile, in the case of rodents, a combination of cold weather and a scarcity of food will likely draw them into Irish homes.

There are a couple of simple steps that can be taken to prevent cockroaches from infesting your property or premises:

  • Eliminate food sources: The most effective way to deter cockroaches is to deny them food, water and shelter. To get rid of them, get rid of what sustains them.
  • Clean: Clear all waste food and liquid spillage, cleaning up food debris from food preparation areas, under sinks and appliances. Remove pet food, drink and litter trays before nightfall.
  • De-clutter: Cockroaches release an aggregation pheromone in their droppings telling others they have found a safe harborage. Remove old stacks of newspapers and magazines, unused cardboard boxes and all other forms of clutter from the floor or bottom of cupboards where these pests have easy access.

Dr. Colm Moore, the Area Technical Manager at Rentokil says, "Cockroaches pose a clear risk to public health and we all have a responsibility to be vigilant to signs of an infestation. The common signs that can help you identify a possible cockroach infestation are: unusual smell; cockroach droppings; smear marks and shed skins.

“Christmas is a time of warmth [in] abundance and this is true for both your family and pests. With cold weather and lots of leftover food, there are plenty of ways that pests can ruin Christmas for you and your loved ones. Ensure that leftover Christmas food is stored properly in the fridge, so you don’t attract rodents. Leaving leftover food out in the open is an invitation to hungry mice and rats."

Although tips such as the above can make a difference, it’s almost inevitable that some rodents may find their way inside a building and with that in mind, Rentokil says that it’s best to initiate pest control measures at the earliest stage possible.

Rentokil has created a webpage called ‘What is the Difference Between a Rat and a Mouse’ to help home and business owners identify which pest is invading their property and an interactive map, named ‘The Rise of The Rats’, to visualise this rapid reproduction rate.

A female brown rat, for example, typically births six litters a year consisting of 12 rat pups, although 5-10 pups is more common. Rats reach sexual maturity after four to five weeks, meaning that a population can swell from two rats to around 1,250 in one year, with the potential to grow exponentially.

Known for their fierce survival instincts, brown rats prefer to build their burrows in urban sewers and the dwellings of humans, eating one-fifth of foodstuffs planted every year, but contaminating far more.