Pest infestation is common in Bur Dubai, Barsha, JLT and Deira as they are some of the most densely populated neighbourhoods Image Credit: Stock photo

DUBAI: Deira, Silicon Oasis and Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT) are the most cockroach-infested areas in Dubai while Bur Dubai, Dubai Marina and Al Barsha top the list of localities infested by bed bugs, according to the number of pest control calls made in the past 12 months.

ServiceMarket, a UAE-based online marketplace which collated the data, said most of the 1,600 calls made to them over the past year came from residents in JLT, Jumeirah Village and Al Barsha.

“Pest infestation is common in Bur Dubai, Barsha, JLT and Deira as they are some of the most densely populated neighbourhoods of Dubai. This explains why the maximum requests for pest control were made from these areas,” said Bana Shomali, co-founder of ServiceMarket.

While bed bugs and roaches remain major concerns, accounting for nearly six out of 10 pest control complaints in Dubai, certain parts of Jumeirah, Mirdiff and Bur Dubai must also contend with rats.

“This is primarily because these places have lots of villas which are more likely to have rats than apartments,” said Shomali.

Longtime Jumeirah 1 resident Indian expat Disha Tourani said she just can’t get rid of the pesky critters. “In the past 20 years, we have called rat exterminators no less than 40 times but the problem remains unresolved,” she said.

According to her, rat infestation has peaked since the closure of the beach around three years ago.

Gnawing problem

Rats are a gnawing problem in Bur Dubai too. “They are eating into not just false ceilings and AC wirings of my shop but also my business,” said a man who runs a tailoring shop in Meena Bazaar.

Another shopkeeper said he had to re-construct the ceiling completely and get a new split AC after the wires and internal ducts were damaged by rats.

Bugging issue

Bed bugs are the second most common reason residents call for pest control in the city. The creepy crawlies are among the most resilient household pests, up there with cockroaches and termites in terms of their ability to breed and survive in the most hostile conditions.

Nisha Prem, a resident of Bur Dubai, said she has tried every trick in the book but the bed bugs keep coming back. “I have just concluded a six-week pest control programme to get rid of them but I doubt if it will be effective,” she said.

No one-time solution

Pest control companies say their efforts don’t yield the desired results as residents often skip the treatment midway or fail to follow their guidelines.

“It’s like skipping your assessments and expecting to top the school. Pest control is a process, not a one-time solution. On an average only three out of 10 households complete the treatment which can take several weeks,” said Rafiq Ahmad of Lulu Pest Control Dubai.

Pest control services cost anywhere between Dh60 and Dh600 depending on the programme.

About 1,500 tonnes of pest control chemicals are imported into the UAE annually.