German Cockroaches infestation in Dhaka City, which is a public health crisis caused by rising numbers, foreign travel, and imported goods. See how residents are fighting this problem and what measures are necessary to stop it.
In June of the previous year, Dhaka City was shaken by a tragic event in the Bashundhara Residential Area. Two children, 15-year-old Shayyan Mobarat Zahin and 9-year-old Shahil Mobarat Zayyan, lost their lives due to pesticide poisoning. According to family members, the tragedy occurred after pest control personnel had sprayed pesticides in their apartment. This incident underscored the escalating pest invasion, particularly the relentless infiltration of cockroaches, in the city, prompting residents to rely on pest control services for a remedy.
Pest control service providers in Dhaka City reported that over 80% of apartments in the city now grapple with cockroach infestations. The proliferation of German cockroaches, in particular, poses a severe threat to the well-being of the city’s inhabitants.
While cockroaches have been a longstanding issue in the city, the past decade has witnessed a decline in the population of inch-sized American cockroaches, which were once prevalent in flats, restaurants, markets, and hospitals. Simultaneously, the number of small German cockroaches, often referred to as Chinese cockroaches, has surged, creating a pervasive problem. These diminutive, brown-colored cockroaches can infiltrate every corner of a residence and quickly become a vexing infestation.
Liton Miah, who has been involved in pest control services since 2003, asserted that his company, Rajdhani Pest Control, receives more than five daily calls for cockroach control. Over the past two decades, he has provided pest control services to over 5,000 households, hospitals, restaurants, and hotels in Dhaka, estimating that roughly 80% of city homes now contend with small-sized German cockroaches.
Zia Uddin, the owner of Noha Pest Control Service, echoed this sentiment, having worked on more than 500 flats in the Dhaka City area over the past nine years. He highlighted the significant increase in the German cockroach population during this period. Pest control service providers concur that there has been a transition from American cockroach infestations to German cockroaches, which now dominate homes, restaurants, hotels, and hospitals in Dhaka City.
The infiltration of German cockroaches is attributed to increased foreign travel and the importation of goods into Bangladesh. These cockroaches can arrive from various countries, not just Germany. They often hitch rides in travelers’ luggage, and sometimes luggage is stored in unclean areas like airport or aircraft storage rooms, leading to the insects’ spread. Additionally, traders importing items like onions, ginger, and garlic inadvertently introduce these pests. Warehouses for imported goods and grocery shops serve as breeding grounds, as cockroach pupae, larvae, or eggs can attach themselves to these food items before making their way into people’s homes.
German cockroaches are hazardous pests that demand stringent sanitation measures in homes, restaurants, and hospitals. A study conducted by the National Institute of Preventive and Social Medicine and Sir Salimullah Medical College found that all cockroaches captured in Dhaka City were identified as Blattellagermanica or German cockroaches, and they carried bacteria, fungi, and parasites. Cockroaches are potential carriers of pathogenic microorganisms, including drug-resistant bacteria, posing a significant threat to public health. A 2023 study at Rajshahi Medical College Hospital revealed that cockroaches can transport germs, contributing to antibiotic resistance, a global health concern.
To combat cockroach infestations, residents can take two approaches: maintaining a clean kitchen and seeking pest control services. Cockroaches are more likely to infest unclean kitchens, making cleanliness a key preventive measure. Pest control service providers emphasize that a clean kitchen can significantly reduce the risk of cockroach infestations. For those unable to hire pest control services, keeping the kitchen clean is essential, as these services can be costly, ranging from Tk2,500 to Tk3,500.
Cockroaches are attracted to oily and rotten foods left in the kitchen, so proper food storage and disposal are crucial. Residents should also seal any openings in their homes to prevent insect entry. When purchasing items like onions, ginger, and garlic, vigilance is necessary to avoid introducing cockroach eggs or larvae into the home.
In summary, the escalating presence of German cockroaches in Dhaka City poses a severe threat to public health, necessitating a combination of cleanliness and, when needed, pest control services to combat their infestations. Efforts to curtail their spread include improved sanitation practices and vigilance during international travel and the purchase of imported goods.