Although spring ushers in a host of good things–like warm weather, longer days, and lower heating bills–the season also brings with it a proliferation of critters, not all of them welcome.
Unfortunately, most condo and co-op dwellers are familiar with New York City’s most prevalent indoor insect: the cockroach. Other pests–such as ants and termites–tend to be less of a problem in a city with the size and climate of New York. According to several pest control professionals, even bedbugs (numbers of which have increased in New York City in recent years) are still not nearly as pervasive a problem as roaches.
Profile of a Cockroach
Aside from just being plain "gross," roaches can be unpleasant–even harmful–in less obvious ways, too. Their fecal matter can contaminate the air, which can cause respiratory trouble in people with allergies, or people with weak or delicate lungs–particularly young children and the elderly. Roaches also track germs and bacteria into the apartment that can also cause respiratory distress or sickness.
Three types of cockroaches predominate in the United States: the German, the brown bandit, and the American (known rather euphemistically as "water bugs"). In New York City, German cockroaches are the most abundant. Unlike American cockroaches, which flourish in the warmer, more humid climates of the South, German cockroaches can survive even in the chilliest, draftiest New York apartment. And while brown bandit roaches are more or less "nomads," according to Nana Kojo of Kojo’s Pest Elimination and Pest Control in the Bronx, often traveling individually or in small groups, German cockroaches tend to "cluster" in groups, resulting in sickeningly high reproductive rates. Considering the fact that a roach, which reproduces every six weeks, can produce forty to forty-two eggs in one egg sac (adding up to roughly a million new roaches per year, if you count the offspring’s offspring), "clustering" does not bode well for apartment dwellers.