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Live cockroach found in Darwin man’s ear highlights pest health risks

Pressrelease 28-01-2014

Australia’s leading pest control company Flick Anticimex has warned Australians of the health risks associated with pest infestations, after a 2cm cockroach was removed from the ear of a Darwin man.

The cockroach entered the man’s ear while he was asleep and caused severe pain until it was removed by forceps at the Royal Darwin Hospital. It is purportedly the largest insect removed from someone's ear.

According to Flick Anticimex, it is not uncommon for bugs such as cockroaches to crawl into a person’s ear while they’re asleep. Most cockroaches prefer warm, moist places and will search for food during the night. Cockroaches can pose serious health risks. They can spread 33 different kinds of bacteria, six parasitic worms and at least seven other kinds of human pathogens. They are a common cause of food poisoning, and can also trigger allergic reactions and asthma attacks – especially in children.
“A minor cockroach problem can quickly grow into a serious infestation,” says Gary Stephenson, National Pest Technical Manager at Flick Anticimex, “Most pests breed in places where you cannot see them. That means by the time you start seeing one or two, the problem is usually much bigger and it is time to get a professional involved.”

Flick Anticimex has provided the following tips for preventing a cockroach infestation:

  • Do not leave dirty dishes in your sink overnight.
  • Keep all food in the refrigerator or in containers.
  • Regularly remove garbage from your home, especially your kitchen.
  • Inspect deliveries of food and other consumables (boxes, hampers etc.) before taking inside.
  • Install tight-fitting fly screens and draft excluders on door bottoms to seal up gaps.
  • Keep pet food stored in air-tight containers where possible.
  • Regularly clean and maintain bird aviaries and other animal cages.
  • Clean out gutters regularly and repair leaking taps.
  • Don’t let water pool in areas close to the home.
  • Keep lawns cut short and gardens maintained (sweep up leaf litter and keep weeds down).
  • Book a yearly pest inspection with a reputable pest controller.
Published: 28-01-2014

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