Chakra: La Cucaracha Invasion
By: Dany al-Amine
Published Friday, June 8, 2012
Since the year 2000, small cockroaches began invading the town of Chakra in South Lebanon at the beginning of each summer. They come in “incredible and disturbing numbers,” forcing some residents to leave their homes.
It may seem funny to some, but the issue has been plaguing the residents of Chakra in South Lebanon. With summer approaching and the temperature rising, millions of small cockroaches began invading homes located in the southeast quarter of the town about a month ago.
Exterminating them has become the main concern of residents and Chakra’s municipality, exhausting all possible means of fighting this bizarre phenomenon.
The situation is alarmingly out of control. Large numbers of cockroaches now block the entrances of homes and can even enter apartments through the smallest of holes.
According to a local resident, some families were forced to move after “we would wake up and find cockroaches covering our bodies.” A young man postponed his wedding plans because he could not move into his new home located in the infested area.
According to head of municipality Rida Ashour, “the phenomenon first emerged after the year 2000, perhaps after the rise in the number of residents in the area.”
“Around this time of year, reddish black cockroaches, no bigger than 1cm in length, begin to invade homes in incredible and disturbing numbers, particularly at dawn and at night. As a result, some families were forced to leave their homes,” he explains.
Ashour continues, “We have been using various kinds of pesticides in an attempt to exterminate these insects, in cooperation with the Agriculture Ministry and Jihad al-Binaa, but no to avail.”
“Pesticides kill the visible insects. However, millions of them soon begin to spread and invade inhabited homes. Specialists who were sent to the quarter by the Agriculture Ministry were surprised at what they saw and have not been able to find a solution to the problem yet,” he says.
Mahmoud Waizani, a local resident, describes the moment a home gets “invaded.” He says, “The entrance to the apartment becomes stacked with insects at night, which prevents me from opening the door to the home. I still cannot move inside until we find the right solution.”
“Their number reaches the millions at sunset and with the decrease in the soil’s temperature. The phenomenon worsens with the rise of temperature in summer.”
“This calls for the intervention of the authorities in order to solve this strange problem, since more than 200 families reside in the area invaded by insects,” he warns.
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.