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Pest control in Ibiza and Formentera: cockroaches

Cockroaches: health risks and economic losses.


Cockroaches are among the most common insects. There are more than 3,500 species of cockroaches around the world, and they are present in virtually every type of habitat. Based on fossil records, it is estimated that cockroaches have inhabited the planet for at least 350 million years. Cockroaches are, without a doubt, one of the greatest success stories of evolution, so it is perfectly understandable that when there is no efficient pest control, there are "so many" cockroaches in Ibiza and Formentera.

Cockroaches are very gregarious animals, but not social like ants or termites. In other words, they live in groups, but without any kind of social order or specialisation of individuals.

They tend to be most active at night, remaining hidden during the day. If there is a large population of cockroaches in the environment, isolated individuals may also be seen during the day. Seeing individuals on the loose in broad daylight is an indicator that should not be overlooked.



The different species of cockroaches described below are adapted to humid and warm environments. Their diet is very broad and varied, feeding on food in perfect condition as well as on leftovers and waste. They can practice cannibalism and are very good climbers, to the point of being able to move without problem on completely smooth surfaces such as windows, or scurry along ceilings.

They preferably take refuge in cracks, crevices, manholes, sewage networks, etc.

They can also be detected directly on walls in large groups, if environmental conditions are favourable.

Cockroaches and economic losses.

As a consequence of their habits, the presence of cockroaches in our homes, environment and businesses is accompanied by economic losses. They spoil food products that have to end up in the rubbish, generate dirt on surfaces, cutlery, food... as well as damaging the image of hotels, restaurants, shops, etc. with the consequent loss of customers.


Cockroaches and health.

Cockroaches, due to their unhealthy habits, are important vectors (through contamination of food, utensils, surfaces, etc.) of numerous germs: streptococcus, salmonella, hepatitis virus, etc.

Cockroaches are also an added problem for allergy sufferers. Cockroach droppings and shedding skin contain allergens that can cause skin rashes, watery eyes or sneezing. People with asthma may be particularly sensitive to allergy attacks caused by cockroaches.

Cockroach identification and control.

Identification of cockroach infestation:

-Faecal remains.


-Characteristic odour.

Cockroach control by Integrated Pest Management (IPM):

-Preliminary inspection.

-Control of organisational measures.

-Control of structural measures.

-Installation of pheromone traps (monitoring of the population status and eradication of the pest, depending on the species).

-Application of biocides.

For a more detailed description of our work methodology, please consult the description of our Integrated Pest Management (IPM).


Pest cockroaches in Ibiza and Formentera: main species.

Pest cockroaches in Ibiza and Formentera: main species.

Of all the existing cockroach species in the Balearic Islands, 3 are the ones that will cause the most problems in our social and work environment.


Red or American cockroach (Periplaneta americana): this is the largest of the three cockroach species we are focusing on: it can reach up to 4.5 cm. Both sexes have wings, and can use them for short flights, although they will usually move by scurrying.

The American cockroach normally lives in damp, dark areas (they are photosensitive), urban sewage systems, pipes, bathtubs, septic tanks, basements, etc.

It has a very varied diet, with a preference for decaying food.

The cycle of the American cockroach consists of:

-Egg: the female produces egg packs in the form of oothecae.

-Nymph: it develops by molting its skin into one that is closer and closer to adult size and shape.

-Adult: the cockroach has completed its physical and sexual development.

Females lay the oothecae, which remain attached to the surface until the eggs hatch. They contain between 13 and 16 eggs. They produce an ootheca every 30-36 days, with the eggs hatching after 40-50 days. Nymphs reach sexual maturity after 23 weeks (160 days). They live for 14-20 months, and their reproductive potential is estimated at 800 offspring.

American cockroach on a white background. Periplaneta americana.


Blond or Germanic cockroach (Blatella germánica): of the three main pest cockroach species present in Ibiza and Formentera, it is the one with the greatest presence in the urban environment and the smallest size, up to 2.5 cm. Males and females have wings, but are unable to fly.

The German cockroach cycle consists of: egg, nymph and adult.

Unlike other cockroach species, the German cockroach does not lay the oothecae, but the female carries them along with her until the nymphs hatch.

On the other hand, both the adult cockroach and the nymphs are smaller than the American cockroach and the black cockroach. This gives them advantages over their competitors: the fact that the eggs are not left to hatch gives them a better chance of hatching, and their smaller size means they have a greater number of crevices and hollows in which to take refuge. In addition, they need less food to be able to reproduce and colonise new territories.

They have an omnivorous diet and are more active at night. Detecting German cockroaches during the day may be an indicator that the population is so large that feeding and sheltering sites are full, or that the available food does not cover the needs of the entire population during the night.

They breed throughout the year. Their oothecae consist of 30 to 50 eggs, and they may lay one egg per month. If we take into account that they can live up to a year, and that the young reach sexual maturity after 36 days, their potential number of offspring is 20,000 individuals.




Black or oriental cockroach (Blatta orientalis): measures between 2.5 and 3.5 cm. It has a clear sexual dimorphism, with the male having wings that cover 75% of its body, which is narrow, and the females, with a wide body, barely have a vestige of wings. Both sexes are flightless.

They have a preference for sites that offer a certain degree of humidity, either indoors or outdoors, such as shady yards, vegetated areas, sewers, drains, basements, etc.

Black cockroaches are omnivorous, but have a preference for decaying food, such as leftover food, organic waste, etc.

The black cockroach cycle consists of: egg, nymph and adult.

The females carry the oothecae on their backs, but only for about 30 hours, and then deposit them in a fixed, protected place with a nearby food source, where incubation is completed.

Each female, during the half year of her life, is capable of producing up to 8 oothecae. Each ootheca contains around 15-20 eggs, with an incubation period of 60 days. Nymphs reach sexual maturity after 24-160 days.


Oriental Cockroaches (Blatta orientalis).


Nova Control has the professionals, resources and experience necessary to guarantee the correct control of pests and microorganisms both in Ibiza and Formentera, always seeking to cover the service in a discreet and professional manner.

At Nova Control, we always try to adapt to the needs and requirements of our clients, whether they are public, private or private entities.

For further information, please do not hesitate to contact us:

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If you have any questions or doubts, please do not hesitate to contact us.


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+34 604 04 82 98

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07800 Ibiza (Islas Baleares)

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