Cockroaches on the rise in Winnipeg

WINNIPEG — When you turn off your lights for the night, keep an eye open – as there may be some nocturnal creepy-crawlies settling into your home.

Poulin’s Pest Control said Winnipeg is seeing a rise in cockroaches.

Entomologist Taz Stuart, the director of operations at Poulin’s Pest Control, said back in 2017 they received about 1,700 calls for cockroaches. That nearly doubled in 2020, with the pest control company receiving around 3,400 calls for the nocturnal pests.

Stuart said they are on track to surpass that in 2021.

“It could be related to the pandemic, with people actually staying home,” Stuart said. “There is lots more online ordering, maybe bringing in cockroaches in their home unknowingly on those items.”

Stuart said cockroaches like unsanitary conditions, they like cardboard and are great hitchhikers – meaning they may catch a ride into your home through incoming packages. He suggests opening packages outside before bringing them in.

He said if you want to find out if you have cockroaches in your home, wait until it gets dark and then turn off your lights.

“Wait a couple minutes, they’ll start coming out of their hiding spaces and start looking for a water source or a food source,” he said.

Stuart said while cockroaches are on the rise – not just in Winnipeg but across North America – another pest is seeing a decrease in the city. Poulin’s Pest Control has been receiving fewer calls for bed bugs.

“Probably the reason is the pandemic, people aren’t interacting with people, the bedbug problem is decreasing naturally,” he said.

Stuart said there are products homeowners can get to deal with cockroaches, but if it is a larger infestation, he suggests calling in professionals to get rid of the unwanted house guests. 

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