Several articles have recently been uploaded on the internet, stating that cockroaches are becoming stronger than strong. These articles claim that cockroaches may survive, even after you empty a bottle of Pif Paf directly on one of them. Is this a big problem we are about to face?
Here, at B?P, have the honour to know the most reputable company on the island for this subject: Comtec. So we immediately called them, spoke to Joanie Mifsud, and ask for an immediate intervention.
Joanie is the general Manager for Comtec. She is a kind and positive person, who has accepted our request wholeheartedly.
So let’s set things straight:
B?P How many types of cockroaches do we have in Malta?
- Good question: It is very important to note that there are over a thousand species of cockroaches around the world. In Malta, the most common would be the German cockroach and the American cockroach:
The German cockroach is the smaller cockroach, usually, these come in your home together inside your shopping bags or cartons, soft drinks, fruit and vegetables amongst others.
The German Cockroach would be the smaller light brown version we are used to seeing visiting us at night, mostly on the kitchen top or anywhere around your kitchen, which is usually the place where we rid of our shopping most.
There is the perception that these grow and become the scarier big ugly known cockroach we all hate, but this is fortunately not true. The dark brown two-inch-long cockroaches would be the American cockroach.
The American cockroach prefers a humid, dark environment, therefore our drainage systems and sewers are the best location for cockroaches to deposit their eggs.
B?P So beneath the streets, and beneath our homes, is where these big guys have their communities?
- Yes. Cockroaches deposit their eggs mostly in sewers, and wherever is dark and humid, so it could also be at your home, behind furniture, ovens etc..
B?P How many eggs do the American cockroaches produce and how many cockroaches are found in one egg?
- The average number of cockroach in one egg is about forty. Cockroaches are constantly laying eggs: they may lay between fourteen to sixteen eggs in a period of six months to a year: Do the math! If you find one cockroach which is carrying an egg, you may as well end up finding 40 anytime soon. Immediate action is always recommended, the anticipation of this issue is even more important.
B?P Oh, from one cockroach to forty and all immune to insect killers. That sounds very dramatic
- The resistance to chemicals the media is talking about is not completely correct. Yes, research does approve of an element of resistance increase, but this applies to the German Cockroach. Comtec does treat German Cockroach and our chemicals so far have always done the job. Needless to say, Comtec has to remain updated and needs to improve its product every time.
B?P So when it comes to the big American Cockroach, which half of the island, if not the world is afraid of, How do we stand with these guys?
- The American cockroach can be handled easily, Our chemical applications work successfully every time.
B?P So we can easily say that these articles are giving false information, right?
- Generally, such articles refer to the German Cockroach however this is almost never stated, therefor, yes the articles are saying half the truth.
B?P Let’s talk about the chemicals now. What is the difference between calling Comtec and applying the Insect killer bottle off the supermarket shelf? Would you like to give us a little information about your product?
- Sure, Let me take the opportunity to emphasise this: All chemicals in the market, even if they are odourless, they are not safe, for kids and for pets. It is unfair to be told that applying odourless chemical is safe. This is, unfortunately, being done as a sales procedure, which is unreasonable. This is a lie that can also cause fatalities.
Comtec’s approach to this matter is genuinely honest about the product and the way a service should be handled. We help our clients, prior to applying the chemical, through telephone correspondence, messaging through social media and guidance during the visit itself.
B?P Is there one type of chemical, or more?
- Yes, there are different types of insecticides, which can help different home situations not just different insects, and this is why we highly recommend our customers to get in touch prior to making a decision or buy the product there and then, as this may result in a negative situation which may also harm children and pets.
B?P How do chemicals affect children?
- If you are in a treated area, as long as the child, baby, toddler, makes no direct contact with the insecticide, Chemicals in general, will not harm them. Therefore, if you have a baby, who does not yet crawl, the chemical will not affect your baby. However, it is very important to have all his items removed prior to the exercise taking place.
If your baby is playing on the floor, or have already started initial crawling stages, this is when your baby should be kept away from the treated areas. Once the chemical dries up, it will be safe again for the toddler. Immediate precautions should be taken if toys or dummies fall on the floor.
B?P How do the chemicals affect pets :
- Cats and dogs can absorb the insecticide through their paw, or through grooming and this can, unfortunately, lead to death. It is very important to seclude your pet in a room which will not be treated. Pets may return to their normal habitat after 48 hours of chemical application.
B?P How does the chemical kill crawling insects?
- Once the insecticide is applied, it starts drying out, Once dry it forms crystals: These crystals are microscopic: Nobody can see the crystals. Once the insect walks and the crystal get attached to the insect’s body, it penetrates the electro skeleton of the cockroach.
B?P therefore, the chemicals stop insects from coming to your property and kills them if they do?
- No: The chemicals do not stop insects from coming in, but it kills them once they come in contact with our insecticide, so one must be sure that all the holes and possible entry points are blocked. Here are a few examples of where one needs to look to make sure are covered.
- Door gaps underneath and on the side
- Around outdoor outlets such as vents and shafts, sink taps and overflows: It is funny how people forget to cover the overflow of their sinks and bathtubs
- Dishwashing connections.
- Protect underneath the kitchen with Comtec chemicals.
- Install nets on windows and doors, especially if you like leaving the doors and windows open at night for fresh air. That would be the mighty invitation for these guys to come in and make themselves at home. Literally!
B?P Does the presence of cockroach mean you have a dirty house?
- No, however, cleanliness makes an important part of the process together with the right treatment
- Pet food should be kept concealed
- Cat and dog litter should be cleaned regularly
- Organic bins are to be closed or kept outdoors at least at night
- Leftover food should be kept in the fridge
- Frozen food which needs to be towed, if it’s going to be towed overnight, it should be put in the refrigerator.
- The sink should always be cleaned from food debris. One has to keep in mind that the drains carry a lot of debris which attracts cockroaches. Therefore your kitchen sink must be treated with special attention.
B?P What is the difference between buying Comtec’s chemicals and applying it in DIY rather than calling Comtec and let you guys do the job?
- Comtec employes fifteen technicians. All technicians are professionally trained to use an insecticide with a higher chemical concentration rate and in tight, living environments
Chemicals which are bought off the shelf are already mixed in order to avoid potential hazard when applying and contain less chemical concentration for the safety of the people applying it and the members living in an environment where the chemical is applied. Therefore a technician can not only deliver a better job but will also use a stronger product. During the home or office visits, our technicians also advise where the problems might be originating from, and discuss extra measures to improve the situation.
B?P When are the best times to get in touch with you guys and put our minds at rest that our homes and business are cockroach free?
- Ideally prior to summer months: as a preventative basis, by April – May treatments should take off. If there is no continuous issue, once a year may suffice. However, if the problem is much bigger, we recommend a strict three-month frequency.
Cockroaches, just every living organism are becoming stronger every day, however, with thorough research and well over fifty years of knowledge and experience in the field, Comtec, will surely assist you, and provide you with an improved lifestyle and peace of mind.