Rise of 'Superoaches': Climate Change Fueling Cockroach Surge

Written by Kathrine Frich

Jun.15 - 2024 2:39 PM CET

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock
Rising temperatures due to climate change are exponentially accelerating the lifecycle

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Climate Change and Genetic Mutations

The presence of cockroaches has surged dramatically due to climate change and genetic mutations, leading to the emergence of what experts are calling 'superoaches'. According to the National Association of Environmental Health Companies (ANECPLA), these superoaches are now resistant to pesticides and other control methods.

Jorge Galván, the general director of ANECPLA, explains, "On one hand, rising temperatures due to climate change are exponentially accelerating the lifecycle of insects like cockroaches. On the other hand, we're seeing evidence of cockroaches undergoing random genetic mutations in recent years, making them resistant to the biocidal products that have been used for their control."

Resistance Challenges and Impact

Experts warn that increasingly warmer temperatures and resistance to insecticides pose a significant challenge for eradication efforts. "With temperatures warming from early spring well into autumn, cockroach populations have only expanded," Galván emphasizes. "Combined with the development of resistance to insecticides, controlling cockroach infestations is becoming increasingly difficult."

While physical and biological measures can sometimes deter cockroaches, chemical products are often necessary despite European legislative restrictions on biocide use. "Effective biocides are crucial when no other solution exists for proper cockroach control," notes ANECPLA's director, highlighting the complexities faced in countries like Spain due to heat.

Health Risks and Prevention Tips

Cockroaches can act as vectors for numerous bacteria and viruses, including salmonellosis and dysentery, posing serious health risks. In Spain, common species include the German cockroach, Oriental cockroach, and the American cockroach, also known as the 'superoach' due to its size and resilience.

"Immediate cockroach control measures are essential upon detection, as cockroaches reproduce at alarming rates," Galván warns. Recommendations to prevent cockroach infestations include maintaining cleanliness, sealing food and waste properly, and repairing any water leaks or cracks that could serve as entry points.

For persistent infestations, seeking professional pest control services is advised to assess the situation and implement appropriate measures tailored to each case.