According to a local exterminator, a rise in cockroach numbers may be a sign of Edmonton’s growing diversity.

Tom Schultz of Edmonton Exterminators says he’s rarely seen as many cockroaches in his forty years of business as he has recently.

He believes the rise of infestations is a result of Edmonton’s expansion and diversification. When Canada imports products from warmer climates, more of the world—and its insects—are brought to the city.  

And it doesn’t take much for the insects to multiply.

“If nothing’s done about it within a six-month period of time, you can literally have 100,000 cockroaches,” said Scholz. “That’s how quickly they reproduce.”

Alberta Health Services told CTV News it does not have any data pointing to an increase, but said in recent years public health inspectors have noticed an uptick in cockroaches as a pest control issue during restaurant inspections. AHS said it could not speculate on the factors causing this. 

Luckily, Schultz says the roaches are little cause for concern.

“They’re more of a nuisance than anything else.”

With files from David Ewasuk