The cockroaches got so bad at a nursing home in Fresnillo, Zacatecas, on the weekend that the 11 elderly residents had to be evacuated.
A local politician arranged accommodation for the five men and six women — one of whom is 95 years old — in a nearby hotel, while the Fresnillo family services agency, or DIF, is taking care of the seniors’ meals.
The nursing home has been trying to deal with the cockroach infestation for a while and the local Civil Protection office sprayed for the insects a few days ago, reported El Universal. But another report said the infestation was not publicly known until a group of youths posted the information on social media after visiting the home and discovering the infestation of bugs.
DIF director Juana García Calderón said the agency intervened as soon as it learned of the problem and arranged for the residents to be moved. She said there was a serious problem with sanitation at the home.
Representatives from the municipal public works office inspected it yesterday and found the cockroaches had begun damaging the furnishings. Water leaks were also detected, among other maintenance issues.
Officials plan to issue recommendations regarding modifications to the facility if it is to continue operating as a nursing home, but they must be in accordance with conservation regulations because it is housed within a historic building catalogued by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH).
As a result, major renovations are not an option for the civil association that runs the home.
The DIF has issued a call to local residents for donations of clothes, blankets and kitchen items to replace those that have been damaged by the cockroaches.
After heavy rains during the summer brought out a serious plague of bugs and rodents, primarily cockroaches and rats, health authorities in July urged residents to take various measures to avoid health problems, including spraying.
They also suggested residents support neighbors with limited resources, particularly seniors, by helping them get their homes disinfected.
Information published by the University of Kentucky suggests cockroaches cause damage in four ways: by transmitting disease, triggering allergies, damaging household items and causing psychological or emotional distress, the latter because “they are butt-ugly so nobody wants to look at them.”