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Santé Montréal


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Anyone can have cockroaches regardless of social class or origin. There’s no need to be ashamed if this happens.

According to investigations conducted by Montréal’s public health department, in 2018, about 3% (22,000) of households in the city had had cockroaches.

It’s important to stay vigilant and act quickly to prevent cockroaches from spreading. Don’t treat your home yourself: call on a professional. If you’re a tenant, the owner is responsible for taking care of the problem. 


 How to recognize cockroaches

  • Brownish insects 1 to 3 cm long
  • Don’t jump or fly
  • Eat rotting food, pet food and leftovers
  • Often found near kitchen appliances and pantries or in bathrooms
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When to Consult

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Protection and prevention

Cockroach debris (excrement, decomposing insect shell, etc.) are allergens that can cause or aggravate asthma and hay fever (allergic rhinitis). 

More rarely, a cockroach infestation can result in transmission of bacteria through contaminated food.

Having cockroaches can cause anxiety and sleep disorders. 

To reduce the probability of infestation and increase effectiveness of  extermination products, it’s important to make the environment the least attractive to cockroaches as possible. To do so, access to food and water must be reduced. Here are a few tips to follow: 

Occupants or tenants

  • Regularly clean food deposits from surfaces and grease spots from appliances.
  • Don’t leave dirty dishes on the counter, especially at night.
  • Keep food in sealed glass or plastic containers. Cardboard and paper aren’t cockroach-proof.
  • Don’t leave your pet’s food or water bowl  out.
  • Put garbage in containers with tight fitting lids and throw them out regularly.
  • Clean your home thoroughly, including places difficult to reach (behind the stove and refrigerator).
  • Notify the owner quickly of the infestation.
  • Before the extermination, prepare your home according to the professional’s recommendations

Owners or building managers

  • Make sure building garbage bins are covered and surrounding areas clean.
  • Repair water leaks to reduce availability of water.
  • Seal and fill holes and cracks in the building.
  • Restrict the movement of cockroaches between apartments by installing rubber seals under outer doors, and fine-mesh screens on conducts.
  • Call a certified pest control specialist as soon as you’re notified that there are cockroaches in an apartment, and allow the professional to proceed to solve the infestation problem. 

During the move and before settling into your new home, check for insects 

  • in electrical appliances and furniture,
  • in food. 

If you have cockroaches, you should 

  • Notify the owner (see next section).
  • Get a professional exterminator to apply the product.
  • To prevent cockroaches from spreading, put infested items in well-sealed bags before putting them out on the street.
  • Use wide tape to seal boxes, and fill holes where cockroaches could be hiding.

In case of infestation, it's important to notify the building owner

1. Notify the owner rigth away if there are coakroaches or bed bugs int he apartment.
2. If the owner doesn't take action, send him a letter by registrered mail, with the notice of delivery.
3. If the owner doesn't take action within a reasonable time (up to 10 days), contact your borough (call 311) or linked city to file a complaint.
4. You can also get in touch with the Régie du logement.


You can ask your neighbourhood’s housing committee for help at any time during this process.


Find your housing committee: Regroupement des comités logements et associations des locataires du Québec

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Risk factors

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Help and Resources

Having an infestation isn’t fun. Feeling stressed, anxious and overwhelmed related are all normal reactions. 

If you think you have health problems related to sanitation in your home, consult a health professional. 

Don’t hesitate to call Info-Social at 811.

Contact your family doctor. Don’t have a family doctor?

Use your postal code to find your CLSC. Go to the Santé mieux-être portal 

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People at Risk

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Dernière mise à jour le : 2019.05.27