New York City is not generally known for its biodiversity. Surprising pockets of nature like the Jamaica Wildlife Refuge give a glimpse of the incredible ecology that once existed in the area, but the development of a massive metropolitan area of 30 million people has take its toll on Mother Nature.
Fragile as it is however, nature can also show its stubbornness in the concrete jungles and suburban landscapes of New York. Instead of hungry predators or malaria-ridden insects, New Yorkers have their own battles with wildlife. Some enemies have been pestering locals for years, and new ones have widened the conflict.
Crawling, Flying & Creeping
The usual suspects have been living in urban environments for years: ants, rats, cockroaches, mice, waterbugs, and bedbugs are just a few of the more common offenders. These creatures have been coexisting with humans for eons, and humans have being trying to eliminate them throughout history. We haven't been doing a very good job, because all the above-mentioned pests are very much alive and well in New York City.
Human habitats have something to offer every pest, or else they wouldn't be there. For many, it's the simple safety from the elements. “Mice come inside looking for shelter, looking for food sources and to keep warm,” says Arthur Katz, president of Knockout Pest Control in Uniondale. “The buildings of New York have lots of cracks and crevices, which make it easy for the mice to go in and out. A good pest management program by any building would be to seal up those cracks and crevices to keep those mice and rodents from coming in,” he says.
Many New Yorkers consider pest issues to be virtually inevitable, and renters with irresponsible landlords have limited options if they want to take preventative pest control measures. Co-op and condo residents have a lot more leeway to make sure property managers are handling pest issues the right way. “Any good pest management program has a partnership between the tenants, the management company, and the pest management company,” says Katz. “People just think, 'I hire a pest management company and he comes and puts some products down and that's the end of my responsibility,' but that's far from the truth.”