Lots of mosquitoes, cockroaches and rats: this is what summer will be like in Catalonia
Adepap recommends taking preventive measures and relying on specialised professionals to combat pests
BarcelonaThis summer will undoubtedly be a mosquito season. The frequent rainfall in Catalonia during spring, alongside high temperatures, will lead to a high number of insects. On the other hand, the heat will also mean cockroaches, rats and other rodents. The Catalan Association of Environmental Health Companies (Adepap) emphasises that in most cases (especially mosquitoes and rodents) these are species that transmit viruses and diseases, and therefore recommends taking preventive measures and relying on specialised professionals to combat pests and carry out disinfections.
The president of Adepap, Quim Sendra, explains that the meteorological conditions of the last two months have favoured the reproduction of all types of mosquitoes and, therefore, "it is necessary to foresee that they will have a strong presence in all regions". The activity of tiger mosquitoes especially is expected to increase. The mosquitoes cause great discomfort due to the large number of bites and the body's reaction to these bites, which is also stronger. "Accumulations of stagnant water should be avoided to prevent the proliferation of all types of mosquitoes," Sendra reminds. As for prevention by the population, mosquito nets can be installed in homes (windows, doors and other openings), long sleeves and trousers worn and insect repellents used in a controlled manner. Likewise, Adepap recalls there is no scientific evidence that mosquito bites are transmitters of covid-19, contrary to what happens with other viral diseases such as dengue, zika and chikungunya.
Mosquitoes, however, will not be the only ones that will have a prominent presence this summer in Catalonia. Sewer cockroach infestations are also expected to appear with intensity, both brown cockroaches (the most common) and oriental cockroaches. German cockroaches, which are lighter in color and more common inside homes and in the catering industry, will also be frequently seen in the coming months. Cockroaches can cause cross-contamination of surfaces and foodstuffs due to the habitats they frequent, as well as increase the risk of causing diseases and generating allergies. The president of Adepap advises against the use of household insecticides to combat cockroaches, "since they can transfer the pest to other places". For this reason, "if a private individual discovers a cockroach infestation, we recommend using specialised pest control companies," he adds
On the other hand, experts are concerned about the appearance of rodent pests, especially rats. Specifically, a sustained increase in incidences of brown and black rats has been detected in recent years in urban environments, where it was not usual. Adepap points out that rat infestations, which can only be treated by specialised companies and professionals, are very harmful to environmental health, since this is a species that can transmit zoonotic diseases, i.e., diseases that are transmitted from animal to person and vice versa. One example is monkeypox, which, although initially detected in monkeys, is also present in other primates and rodents, which can transmit it to humans.
Other pests we will suffer this summer
Black flies, bed bugs and fruit flies are some of the pests that will also be on the rise this summer. The black fly is usually found in rivers, streams and creeks and causes annoying and painful bites. On the other hand, the reactivation of international travel has led to the return of bedbugs, which, in most cases, are brought into homes on clothes worn in a journey or suitcases. Sendra recommends travellers to "thoroughly check the rooms where they will spend the night, as well as suitcases when they return home, and wash clothes used during the trip at the highest possible temperature". And, "once the plague is already present, the action of specialised professionals is needed".
Finally, as for the fruit fly, it is necessary to have a special control both in the food industry and in domestic kitchens, since they can carry pathogenic microorganisms, such as salmonella and Escherichia coli bacteria, and contaminate food and the surfaces on which they land. At the end of the summer, cases of Asian wasp nests are also expected to increase, and experts are closely monitoring the arrival and expansion of the invasive species such as Aedes japonicus, native of the Far East, and Aedes aegypti, native of Africa.