As if Maltese restaurants didn’t have enough to worry about between new regulations, decreased revenue and, you know, a pandemic, a leading pest controller has raised the alarm over some very unwanted diners.
“I’ve never seen as many cockroaches in Malta as I am at the moment,” Arnold Sciberras told Lovin Malta. “And this is something I’ve been suspecting for some time.”
Having previously noted the rise of invasive pests in Malta as COVID-19 cleared humans from the streets, he has identified another area where cockroaches are really taking advantage.
“They’ve been left alone in kitchens that were closed for almost two months, closed quickly due to COVID-19 without receiving the proper cleansing,” he said. “And some of these species breed really fast.”
Since the government announced restaurants were reopening this week, many eateries have been scrambling to open in time.
Though there are restaurant and water inspections, Sciberras is concerned that no thought was given to insect infestations.
This means that throughout the week, many restaurants have been calling for thermal cleanups of their establishments to try and identify any cockroach nests that may have formed, especially in popular areas like Sliema.
“I’ve been collecting cockroach eggs like crazy,” Sciberras said. “I’m finding mostly American cockroaches (Periplaneta americana) in large numbers and large quantities of ootheca (cockroach eggs) due to how the situation has happened.”
He noted that the short notice the government gave restaurants to reopen didn’t help things.
“Are restaurants opening today locally to let clients in, or from what I have been seeing to let the cockroaches out?” he asked wryly.
He ended by saying that this was a lesson to always stay clean and be prepared to avoid and prevent the problems from arising in the first place.
“But things do not work that way… so I guess clients should be ready to expect surprises,” he said.