“T’was the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.”
While homeowners are reporting that their greatest pest concern these days are bed bugs, throughout the tri-state area, a combination of wintertime and the recession is raising the risk of cockroach and rodent infestations for apartment dwellers.
“Inspections both deter and spot new infestations, enabling pest management professionals to take steps to eliminate them. Without such inspections any structure, homes, offices, and others can quickly become overrun with roach and rodent populations. It’s a no-win situation,” says Leonard Douglen, the executive director of the New Jersey Pest Management Association.
“We have reports that some landlords are cutting back regular inspections and the measures taken to avoid rodent and cockroach infestations as the recession continues to affect the operation of their structures,” says Douglen.
In March 2009 “Roaches and Mice Thrive in a Recession” was the headline of a New York Times story by Michael Wilson.
“Everyone is feeling the impact of the on-going recession on earnings and costs,” says Douglen, “but Mother Nature continues to ensure that billions of insect and rodent pests will threaten people’s health and their living environments.”
Douglen noted that public health laws mandating pest control are invaluable. Despite the increased threat of rodent infestations as mice and rats move indoors wherever they can find harborage against the cold, public facilities such as restaurants remain protected by the work of pest management professionals.
“The problem for those living and working in apartment and office buildings is obvious,” said Douglen, “because a single pair of mice or rats can swiftly multiply as long as they have access to food and water. The same applies to cockroaches.”
The rapidity with which pest populations can proliferate “tends to take people by surprise,” says Douglen. “If you see cockroaches in your kitchen, for every two you see, there can be several hundred you do not.” The young of German cockroaches mature in 36 days while American cockroaches take up to 160 days.
Rats are ready to breed within three month’s time of their birth and their gestation period is 22 days. They have an average litter of eight. Mice, too, reproduce rapidly.
The New Jersey Pest Management Association was founded in 1941. Its member firms are also affiliated with the National Pest Management Association. The Association maintains an Internet site at www.njpestcontrol.com.