Experts: Heat contributes to the rise of cockroaches

PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) It's not just humans looking for a cool spot indoors during this excessive heat. Creepy crawlers are looking for some relief, too. We're talking about cockroaches. The bugs are invading businesses across the city.

"No, it never happened to me. This is the first time," said Raul Castro.

Raul Castro is beside himself. The city health department shut down his South Philadelphia restaurant on Friday. Inspection found roaches on the walls and lurking behind pipes. Castro has owned Plaza Garibaldi on the 900 block of Washington Avenue for 14 years. The notice and a 315 dollar fine is right smack on his front door.

"I don't know if it is the weather but they came out," he said. "It's really hot. You know, it's been extremely hot the last couple weeks,"Castro explained.

Experts say the heat is contributing to the rise in roaches.Exterminator Matt Kelley, of Prodigy Pest Solutions, says when the temperature soars above 80 degrees, the roaches actually start to fly.

"They start becoming frequent flyers. What they are doing is looking for a cold spot to go in. They're looking for cracks and crevices, open doors, open windows," he said.

Castro is not alone in dealing with the problem. Other restaurants in the city were also cited for roaches, including Cosi at Fourth and Chestnut, the Woodland Village Diner on Woodland Ave and Lucky Garden Chinese take-out in Southwest Philadelphia.

Kelley says summer storms are also driving roaches out of the sewers and up the drains in restaurants and homes.

"If there's moisture or anything rainfall coming down, or if you have water in your commercial kitchens. That is what they doing, they are looking for a place damp place to set up shop," Kelley explained.

The sweltering summer conditions also increase the metabolism of roaches, and their ability to reproduce.

Raul Castro says his wife and children eat in his restaurant 90-percent of the time. He's committed to curbing the critters that carry disease causing bacteria for the safety of his family and his customers.

"That's my priority here in restaurant because this is what we do for a living," Castro said.