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British tourists warning as Spain invaded by chemical-resistant pests


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British tourists preparing to spend their spring and summer holidays in Spain may have to deal with a rather unwelcome surprise.

With the arrival of warmer temperatures, it is normal to notice more bugs and pests. 

However, many parts of Spain are seeing the emergence of cockroaches that have become resistant to certain types of biocides, an expert has warned.

Jorge Galván, Director General of the National Association of Environmental Health Companies (Anecpla), explained this phenomenon saying some of these insects have experienced a “random genetic alteration”.

A similar alteration happens “with any species”, Mr Galván stressed, but the fact that it has affected cockroaches means they have become more difficult to get rid of. 

He told Spanish newspaper 20 Minutos: “If we treat with a biocide and there are resistant cockroaches, these are the ones that will survive and procreate.

“That is why pest management is so important because it allows us to make a specific diagnosis, apply a treatment and then make changes if necessary.”

The expert also touched upon the significant rise in infestations noticed in Spain – up by 33 percent so far compared to the 2023 rate.

The skin-crawling rise in intervention to get rid of all kinds of arthropods, the Anecpla director general said, is likely being caused in part by climate change, with the hotter weather providing better breeding ground for the pests.

Moreover, the coastal areas sought-after particularly by British tourists, such as Andalusia, provide a particularly favourable environment for cockroaches, due both to higher humidity and the food – in the form of waste, crumbs and dirt – unwillingly provided to them by tourists.

High levels of hygiene are key to avoiding the proliferation of cockroaches, as is regular decluttering. 

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