Pests are a part of life. Wherever there are people, vermin of one kind or another are sure to follow. This is particularly true in urban environments like Boston, Providence and New Haven, where rodent and roach sightings come with the territory but smaller cities and towns are by no means immune. Unfortunately, pests are not merely gross. Many of them pose threats to humans, pets and property, so controlling or eliminating them is a major concern for all boards and managers.
Mice come with the territory in most major buildings, even clean ones, and they are fearless. Cockroaches, too, are ubiquitous. But the greatest threat right now is a newer arrival: the bedbug. Whether because of global warming, insect rhythms, or just bad luck, this old pest has experienced a renaissance.
“They had them pretty much eradicated, and then they started making a wicked comeback in the '90s,” says Brad Hall of NW Pest Control in Waltham, Massachusetts.
“Many of us—I’ve been in the industry for 35 years—had never seen bedbugs,” notes Michael Bensche, marketing director at Braman Termite & Pest Elimination in Agawam, Massachusetts. “And then when we saw our first couple of cases, we thought, ‘Well, this is kind of an aberration. This is odd.’ And then you got another. And then it just kind of steamrolled.”
They’re now New England’s most pressing insect problem because, explains Hall, “They’re the most invasive, hard to live with and expensive to fix,” he says.