Fighting cockroaches could be a much more sustainable way to protect citizens’ health

New York City’s current Mayor Michael Bloomberg set some standards for himself before he began to tackle the issue of tackling cockroaches, according to a recent New York Times’ article.

His three main points include:

‘If a cockroach hits you in the face with a paper cup of water, it doesn’t move’. ‘No matter what the city says, it is a pest, and we should treat it like one’. ‘You can treat it and it does not have to be a problem in the long run’.

While Mayor Bloomberg hopes that these basic guidelines for combating cockroaches will encourage people to fight back against the infestation of the pests, to many the commonly preferred methods are troublesome and of course, in the city, costly. New York City shelters have already reached their full capacity and alternative solutions such as hotels and Cajun villages with cuisinart utensils are popular. A frustration is building over this environmental health issue as the recommendations of other cities have been misunderstood and misinterpreted.

New York City holds an astounding 551,000 cockroaches per square mile making the city the most infested urban area in the United States according to the USDA Department of Agriculture’s pest management inventory survey. Many argue that the city should be prepared to use all resources available to battle this ecological problem, including more firefighters, police officers, and sanitation workers.

New York City isn’t the only place in the United States facing massive problems with cockroaches. According to the MSIT ‘Emerging Pest Threat Survey’ cockroaches that live in wastewater treatment facilities in Texas, Missouri, Florida, Kentucky, and Kentucky County, had the highest populations. Local municipalities are facing monumental challenges that could become even more challenging with global warming. Over the next twenty years the Department of Agriculture estimates that there will be a 140% rise in the number of cockroaches.

Perhaps one of the most effective ways to fight cockroaches is to breed. Bloomberg’s plans to fight cockroaches without having to resort to employing hundreds of extra officers and firefighters could become a success in the future if more urban areas can address the problem, through breeding. Some potential solutions include high school students, which has been reported by the New York Times.

It appears cockroaches are multi-faceted, not just a threat to humans and their welfare. While cockroaches may threaten an urban environment it may be that some factors will prove to be beneficial in the long run.

By taking care of a single insect and helping it grow, developing it into a pest population would be a better and more sustainable strategy that attacking it and creating a plague, rather than the other way around. The simple fact that fewer males emerge from the female is because they require more shelter and providing one on a large scale is a simpler, safer, and more effective solution.

As concerns about human health, population growth, and climate change continue to rise, how will cities deal with each situation? This question will no doubt continue to grow as future generations continue to live in cities, but the dangerous, yet effective, introduction of breeders may hold the answer.

Do you think cockroaches should be killed off before they become an ecological problem? Or are humans the reason for their growth?

This article was originally published on and has been reprinted here with permission.

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