For well over a year, a pile of rubble that used to be a home has been lying on a patch of property within a Springfield neighborhood. Not long after the home was demolished back in August of 2018, random individuals began throwing bags of trash onto the property, resulting in what now looks like a miniature landfill in an otherwise picturesque neighborhood. Due to rubble, massive amounts of trash and overgrown vegetation, an exceptionally large number of insect pests of numerous species have become prevalent on the property, and unfortunately, within neighboring homes as well.

City authorities had the house demolished after the chimney began collapsing, and since the property owner is now deceased, numerous legal proceedings have taken place in order to determine the party responsible for the cleanup. The overgrown vegetation and rubble on the property has provided insects and arachnids with an abundance of food sources and harborages. More than anything else, the abundance of food and other forms of decaying organic matter on the property has attracted a number of pests, particularly flies, ants and cockroaches. Many harmless herbivore insects have also become numerous, as the lack of lawn grooming has provided them with an endless amount of food.

Under normal circumstances, most plant-eating insects, such as beetles and thrips, are not problematic indoor pests. However, since many arachnids rely on these very insects as their primary food source, spiders have gravitated into the neighborhood. Naturally, multiple residents living near the rubble have fallen victim to repeat insect pest infestations. For example, one resident described an unmanageable ant infestation that she struggled to control for weeks before breaking down and calling a pest control company for assistance. After a lengthy back-and-forth between many homeowners and city officials, an upcoming date for the removal of all trash and rubble has finally been set. However, the overgrowth of vegetation will not be controlled until the spring season.

Have you ever experienced an insect infestation that ultimately resulted from a neighbor’s dirty living habits?