UK holidaymakers warned as climate change triggers super-sized cockroach infestations in Spain

Stock image of Spanish beach
-Credit: (Image: AFP via Getty Images)


Holidaymakers planning a Spanish getaway are being issued a stark warning about a potential cockroach invasion, bolstered by climate change.

Spanish environmentalists have sounded the alarm over an expected influx of super-resilient roaches set to cause distress and disgust for tourists. The National Association of Environmental Health Companies (Anecpla) is urging hospitality venues to act swiftly at the first sign of infestation.

The anticipated rise in cockroach numbers is attributed to climbing temperatures and longer summers. "A summer of significant cockroach infestations is approaching," Anecpla's general director Jorge Galvan has announced.

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He links the proliferation directly to global warming: "The increase in temperatures as a result of climate change is causing insects like bedbugs or cockroaches, in this case, exponentially accelerate their life cycle," reports the Mirror.

Anecpla has highlighted research indicating that cockroach breeding rates soar at temperatures above 28C. Moreover, stricter EU regulations on certain pesticides are hampering efforts to control these pests.

"The heat arrives in the middle of spring and does not end until well into autumn, so cockroach populations have only expanded," explained Jorge.

The Anecpla chief has issued a warning about the increasing resistance of cockroaches to biocide products due to random genetic mutations that have appeared in recent years, which were previously effective for pest control.

"Of course, environmental health professionals evaluate the cost-benefit that exists depending on the situation and we give preference whenever possible to physical and biological measures over chemical ones," he explained. "But when there is no other possible solution for the adequate control of a pest such as, in this case, cockroaches, its use is essential."

Cockroaches pose a significant health risk by spreading harmful bacteria and viruses that can transmit diseases to humans, a concern especially prevalent in the food industry.

Tourists are advised to report any infestations they encounter to their accommodation providers. Preventative measures include maintaining cleanliness, not leaving food exposed, orderly storage, and using bins with secure lids.

It's crucial for hotels and eateries to adhere to these practices and also seal any potential entry points like cracks or holes in walls, alongside routine checks by environmental health experts.

Last year, holidaymakers across parts of the UK and Europe were appalled by a spike in bed bug incidents.

Bed bugs are considered the most disruptive pest infestations in the UK. These nocturnal creatures invade bedrooms, feeding on human blood in a vampire-like fashion, causing skin redness, itchiness and psychological distress.

Last year saw a significant surge in the bed bug population, particularly in European capitals like Paris. Swarms of these pests took over hotel rooms and were even seen emerging from the cushioned seats of public trains.

The bed bug season typically starts at the end of spring each year and concludes in early November, aligning with the peak summer travel period.

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