Battle against cockroaches causes building to explode

And guess what? The cockroaches survive...

Updated: 
Apartment explosion

Anyone who has ever experienced a cockroach infestation will understand the desire to deal with the problem as quickly and decisively as possible.

But when one US man decided to blitz his apartment with roach spray, it led to an explosion - which didn't even kill the bugs.

The unnamed man, of Asbury Park, New Jersey, was spraying the house with insecticide when he started to get a headache. But when he opened a window to get some fresh air, the oxygen mixed with the fumes and was ignited by a lit pilot light on the stove.

"You had the chemical, you had the oxygen and you had the ignition source," Garrett Giberson, a spokesman for the city's fire department, tells the Asbury Park Press.

The resulting blast blew out the first-floor apartment's windows, bent the front door and damaged the kitchen.

The man, along with two other people, were taken to a hospital as a precaution and are now being given shelter by the American Red Cross.

But to add insult to injury, neither the industrial quantities of insecticide nor the explosion appears to have discouraged the cockroaches.

"The unit was infested with roaches. When I got on scene I saw numerous roaches crawling throughout the apartment," says Giberson.

City inspectors have now discovered that the entire apartment block is infested and ordered the landlord to put all the residents up at a local hotel until the bugs are eliminated.

Cockroaches, though, are notoriously difficult to kill. In experiments, around 10% were shown to survive the sorts of radiation levels generated by the Hiroshima bomb.

The UK doesn't have anything like the problem with cockroaches that many countries, including the US, do. However, according to Shelter, as many as half a million privately rented homes around the country are infested with vermin of one sort or another.

Here, though, cockroaches tend mainly to be associated with poorly-kept fast-food outlets - leading to some truly disgusting finds.

Last year, a man said he was having a romantic dinner with his girlfriend at a restaurant in Manchester when he discovered a cockroach lurking in his chicken Kerala. And even more unpleasant, perhaps, was the case of the woman who found one of the bugs deep-fried in a bag of chips.

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