Food Prep

What's really behind Miami restaurants’ cockroach problem?

Cockroaches are invading Miami's restaurants.

Cockroaches are invading Miami's restaurants.  (iStock)

Restaurants in Miami are battling a pesky problem: cockroaches.

Lots and lots of cockroaches.

According to Vice, more than 41 restaurants in the city have been cited for roach infestations in the past month alone. Out of the 41 cited by officials, eight eateries were subjected to immediate emergency shutdown orders.

That follows a previous round of citations and closings when 31 restaurants in Miami were cited for roaches at the end of January. Two restaurants were shut down during that time period.

Of those reviewed and cited, Ventura Restaurant was reported to be the most severely infested, with inspectors discovering “approximately 100 live roaches walking on plates stored on (a) shelve by three-compartment sink in the kitchen area.”

According to the Miami Herald, “Catering to Kids,” which specializes in food for the younger set, was caught multiple times with the bugs. They were closed on Feb. 17 after “approximately 35 live roaches” were found. Those cockroaches were discovered on the kitchen floor, underneath sinks, inside an oven and behind a table used for food prep.


Despite the closing, however, roach activity was discovered in subsequent restaurant checks on Feb. 19, 20 and 21.

And at North Miami Beach’s Island Delight Pizzeria, the cockroaches were literally climbing the walls.

According to The Florida Division of Hotels and Restaurants Department of Business and Professional Regulation inspectors, the establishment had “approximately 40 to 50 live roaches" on a wall over a preparation table and five roaches crawling on another wall inside the kitchen.

According to Nation’s Restaurant News, German cockroaches are the most likely to be found in restaurants. One German cockroach female’s egg case can hold up to 40 eggs, which can be hatched within a month. The roaches then reproduce within six weeks. 

Despite the proliferation of bugs, officials have yet to determine the cause of the widespread roach infestation though the Miami Herald reported in January that Miami-Dade and Broward rank third in the nation in terms of number of roaches due mostly to the hot, humid climate and dense population.