Alert: tourists in Spain could face a ‘plague of super-cockroaches’ this summer

The beasties increase their reproduction speed in high temperatures and climate change is only exacerbating the problem

Liv Kelly
Written by
Liv Kelly
Contributing Writer
Cockroach infestation
Photograph: Shutterstock

Oh, so you thought the bedbug epidemic of summer 2023 was horrendous? Well buckle up, as we’ve got some toe-curling news. 

Experts at Spanish environmental organisation Anecpla (National Association of Environmental Health Companies) have raised an alert that there could be swathes of genetically-hardened cockroaches scuttling around the country this summer. 

According to the company’s general director Jorge Galvan, the increase in temperatures caused by climate changes are prime conditions for beasties like cockroaches and bedbugs to multiply – in fact, any temperature above 28C means they reproduce more quickly. 

‘The heat arrives in the middle of the spring and does not end well into autumn, so cockroach populations have only expanded,’ he told the Mirror. The biggest concern about the spread is that cockroaches transfer harmful bacteria and diseases which can be transmitted to people. 

The EU also has pretty strict rules about pest-killing chemicals, and lots of cockroaches have mutated to become immune to biocide products that were being used to control them – but stronger products are still used when necessary. ‘When there is no other possible solution for the adequate control of a pest such as, in this case, cockroaches, [the use of stronger chemical products] is essential,’ said Galvan. 

So what else can be done? Well, people are encouraged to maintain cleanliness, not leave food out, keep things tidy and make sure rubbish is cleared away or stored with tight lids. Restaurants, bars and hotels have been warned to seal cracks or holes in walls, and to report any sightings of cockroaches immediately. 

Nasty. Hopefully businesses have already begun taking those precautions so it doesn’t get too out of control. 

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