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Saskatoon exterminator says cockroaches live 'everywhere you go'

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Saskatoon residents may not think of bug infestations as a common problem, but over the past few years there’s one creepy crawler that is making its presence known.

“We see cockroaches everywhere,” says Sayful Ahmed, owner of Bye Bye Cockroach.

This extermination company has been dealing with an increasing number of calls to apartments, houses and businesses from residents concerned about an infestation.

“In the last two to three years, it’s increased drastically. Like everywhere you go,” he says.

Ahmed posts videos of the bugs on his business’ Facebook page.

The most commonly seen cockroach in western Canada is the German cockroach. They can tolerate temperatures as low as -10 but tend to stay indoors, he says.

“They are small but tough ones. They can survive any kind of weather conditions,” he says.

An entomologist from the University of Manitoba (U of M) says having cockroaches in Canada is nothing new, but where he is located in Winnipeg, they’re also seeing numbers increase.

“Left uncontrolled, these insects are capable of producing quite high numbers of offspring. Once established there is the potential for spread and increase,” said Jordan Bannerman, entomology instructor at the U of M.

They are mostly found in kitchens and bathrooms, according to Bannerman, who says having them in your home doesn’t always indicate a lack of cleanliness.

An image from one of Ahmed's customer's homes. (Source: Facebook / Bye Bye Cockroach)

He admits they do pose a health issue because of how they move from place to place, touching food and leaving fecal matter behind.

“They can spread bacteria from one place to another which is a problem with food contamination,” he says.

Some of the theories on why there are more cockroaches now include increased movement of people between cities around the world — they could be taking some small travellers with them in bags or on clothing. The same goes for the groceries we buy, which come from many countries.

Ahmed has found a possible link to ten customers who ordered products online recently. Once they got information from the resident, it was hard to deny the connection.

“All ten of the customers had an Amazon package the week before. We are guessing they all came from Amazon packaging,” he said.

Boxes provide an ideal place for cockroach eggs to live. Each egg sack can produce upwards of 20 cockroaches according to Bannerman.

“Pretty much anything that we’re moving around could harbour egg cases. I’m not singling out cardboard in any way, but cardboard or shipping materials are absolutely a potential pathway for spread.”

Bye Bye Cockroach uses a non-chemical bait treatment, and local property manager Jordan Marcoux tells CTV News that while he’s found this method to be completely successful at eradicating the bugs — tenants have to be diligent as well.

“We can’t control the cleanliness all the time so that can be a challenge and once they pop up in one unit, they travel,” said Marcoux, who works with Boyes Group Realty.

The experts we spoke to say, if you suspect you have roaches, setting a sticky trap first to assess the situation is a good idea, then calling an exterminator to deal with the problem.

This could help you avoid any horror stories ù like the one Ahmed recalls as the worst infestation he’s seen in Saskatoon.

“When we walked into one apartment, we couldn’t see the floor, it had that many cockroaches. It was like a zombie movie. It was quite an experience.” 

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