Auckland's cockroach infestation worsens
They're creepy, they're crawly, and they're lurking where you'd least want to see them.
Newshub has obtained figures from Auckland Council showing cockroach infestations account for 60 percent of food outlet closures in the city. And it seems Auckland's cockroach woes are worsening.
"Our technicians have logged a 55 percent increase in activity compared with last year," says Jon Thompson, of pest control service Rentokil.
"It's always very much to do with the seasons. Cockroaches will always become more active in the warmer, summer months -- and this summer, we had a nice, warm summer that seemed to go on for quite some time."
Central Auckland was the worst represented area but it's improving, with the number of forced closures dropping year by year.
South and east Auckland had a bad year in 2014, but have picked up again. West Auckland has been up and down while the North Shore is on a slide, but is still probably your safest bet for a roach-free restaurant.
Newshub reporter Katarina Williams went out with Auckland Council health inspectors as they did their rounds, looking in the nooks and crannies.
"Wherever it's warm, moist, that's where we're most likely to find them. If they're out and about during the day, then you know that's a real problem," says inspector Veronica Lee-Thompson.
And if cockroaches are found lurking, the council has the power to force a business to close its doors, usually temporarily, so they can clean their premises.
Gloria Jean's sailed through the inspection. It has strict pest protection measures in place, and the owner works hard to achieve compliance.
"We have to deal with it, like, every single second. That's why it's hard, I guess," says Tony Lee, Gloria Jean's owner.
Auckland Council is due to release new food safety guidelines for eateries in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, remember to check the A rating of a restaurant. If it's anything less than A -- don't eat there.
By Katarina Williams