5 shared Urban-Dwelling Pests
It’s easy to think that pests are more shared in rural, uninhabited areas. With plenty of land and no human interference, they have space to grow larger populations, right?
Wrong. If you equate pests and natural areas, think again. For centuries, bugs and wildlife have thrived in cities. Pests are truly drawn to crowded social spaces: our neglected trash cans and dumpsters, our warm homes, our kitchens, beds, and floors. They can be a problem no matter where you live.
That being said, certain factors can increase the risk of experiencing from pest problems in cities. Concerning rats and roaches, sightings are most shared in lower income housing, older homes, and housing units that have structural problems, water leaks, or missing roof/building material. already having trash on your block makes you 2.95 times more likely to identify a roach. This is why urban areas with high population density and abandoned/decaying buildings are highly prone to certain types of pests.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 14 million Americans spotted roaches in their homes last year. This isn’t just a huge problem, but a public health crisis, as many bugs and rodents can carry diseases, cause irritating bites, and cause symptoms of conditions like asthma.
Let’s take a look at some shared pests you can expect to find in the city:
1. German Food Roach (GFR) – GFRs have co-inhabited human spaces for so long that they’ve truly become masters of staying hidden. Being nocturnal, you may never realize you have a GFR problem unless you notice signs of them. Highly effective scavengers, they thrive on decaying food items. And they aren’t picky-in fact, they’ll eat items like toothpaste and paper if it comes down to it. They are drawn to dark, moist spaces, like bathrooms, kitchens, attics, and in-between walls. Anyone can experience a GFR infestation. Signs to look out for include feces (dark specks, like coffee grounds), bad smells, dark smears, egg capsules (oval, pill-like), and damage to food items/character.
2. Rats – Rats are another pest that thrive in cities. At this point, they are considered part of the “urban ecosystem” due to their prevalence in public spaces. Why? In part, human food waste. Rats will eat just about anything, and we provide them a continued all-you-can-eat buffet in our trash cans and dumpsters. What’s more, rats can transmit a whole range of diseases to humans, making them a dangerous health danger. Signs of a rat infestation include droppings, bad smells, distributed nesting materials, and signs of chewing on food packaging or points of entry.
3. Racoons – Racoons are an intelligent, trash-loving, nocturnal pest. While they rarely come indoors, they can wreak havoc on your garbage cans, chew up insulation and wiring, and spread diseases and parasites. In 2016, the city of Toronto spent $16 million, just for dealing with a raccoon infestation! Like roaches and rats, they’ll eat anything, and thrive off our prodigious amounts of food waste. Signs of racoons include droppings, scratch marks, noises in your yard at night, small tracks, and damage/disruption to your character.
4. House Flies – The shared house fly can be found in any human ecosystem, due to their love of human food, garbage, and already excrement (like sweat or feces). Flies copy in garbage and sewers. Besides being a nuisance, they can spread diseases and illness. Signs of a house fly infestation include seeing lots of flies (especially in clusters), seeing maggots, and hearing them in great numbers. While sealing up garbage, cleaning, keeping points of access closed, and practicing good hygiene is considered the best way to prevent house flies, truly anyone can suffer from an infestation.
5. Bed Bugs – Bed bugs are notoriously shared throughout the complete country. In particular, places with high population density, people sleeping in shared spaces (like hotels and apartment buildings), and lots of travelers. They’re able to hitchhike from place to place on clothing, bedding, bags, and other belongings. They are tiny and often difficult to find. Signs of bed bugs may include itchy red bites, rashes, or hives (though many people show no reaction to the bites); blood stains on your bedsheets; dark spots, especially around the corners of the mattress; bad smells; and eggs.
Experiencing signs of a pest infestation in your home? Call the experienced Pros at Black Diamond!