Malta’s Most Hated Pest Shows Up Early This Summer

Cockroaches have arrived in Malta ahead of schedule this summer, but pest control expert Arnold Sciberras says this doesn’t necessarily mean a surge in their numbers.

Early Arrival, But No Surge Expected

Arnold Sciberras from The Exterminator explains that the early appearance of cockroaches is due to a dry winter followed by a rapid rise in temperatures. These conditions are perfect for cockroach breeding.

While there have been more reports of cockroach sightings and extermination requests than usual, Sciberras reassures that this doesn’t indicate an unusually high population this summer. However, if favorable conditions continue, there could be a significant increase in cockroach numbers next summer.

Cockroach Hotspots

Cockroaches thrive in urban areas with plenty of food and shelter, so cities like Valletta, Sliema, St Julian’s, and Paceville are particularly prone to infestations. This year, Sciberras has also noticed a rise in reports from the Three Cities, especially Birgu, indicating that these areas are also hotspots for cockroach activity.

New Cockroach Species Identified

Recently, Sciberras and his team discovered three new species of cockroaches during their pest control efforts. These new species are under investigation for a scientific journal.

Although specific details are still being confirmed, Sciberras suggests that one of these new species might become an invasive pest in Malta.

Unlike the German cockroach, which is usually found indoors, this new species prefers to live around food sources like kitchens and gardens and is more likely to be found in rural areas.

Oriental Hornets Expected Back

In addition to cockroaches, Oriental hornets are also expected to make a comeback this summer. These aggressive insects, with their reddish-brown bodies and yellow markings, have been a persistent problem in Malta over the past decade. They are active from May to October and prey on insects like grasshoppers and honeybees.

Sciberras notes that while Oriental hornet numbers were lower last year due to weather changes and control measures, they are likely to be more common this summer.

However, he doesn’t expect their numbers to reach the levels seen in 2022. Urban areas with unfinished construction and waste, like Sliema and St Julian’s, provide ideal breeding grounds for these hornets.


The early appearance of cockroaches and the anticipated return of Oriental hornets highlight ongoing pest issues in Malta. By understanding these patterns, residents and pest control professionals can better prepare and manage these pests. Keeping urban areas clean and addressing potential breeding sites can help mitigate their impact.

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