Every two years, the US Census Bureau carries out a nationwide survey that asks American citizens of all backgrounds a series of questions concerning residential life and housing conditions. This survey is known as the American Housing Survey, and it covers numerous aspects of urban and suburban living conditions, such as neighborhood crime, relations with neighbors, mortgage contracts, indoor living conditions, and pest issues.

When it comes to pest issues, Census Bureau employees mainly focus on pests that damage property, like termites and carpenter ants, and pests that pose a public health threat, like rodents, flies, stinging insects, and cockroaches. According to the results of the most recent survey, a large proportion of Boston homes are infested with cockroaches. In fact, Boston was ranked at number 21 on the list of most roach-infested cities in the country. While cockroach pests are particularly problematic within big cities like Boston, roaches frequently infest homes, businesses, public buildings, and even prestigious colleges and universities throughout the state.

Back in 2006, extensive cockroach infestations in residence halls on the Harvard University campus terrorized students for months. In 2015, the Merrimack College dining hall closed after it became clear that a cockroach infestation had become established in the kitchen. Last February, another cockroach infestation took form in the Regis College dining hall, and this time, multiple students managed to capture the insect pests on smartphone video recordings. One student captured footage of several cockroaches crawling about on cupcakes, and many students proclaimed that they would rather starve than eat the food being served in the building. In response to the clear infestation in the kitchen area, college administrators reduced the price of meal plans, threw out compromised food items, closed part of the kitchen, and had food served on paper plates with plastic utensils due to the possible contamination of dishes and silverware. One pest inspection report stated that 75 cockroaches were recovered from traps that had been placed in the dining hall, but pest control professionals managed to eradicate the roaches when the building closed for spring break.

Have you ever discovered a cockroach presence at an eatery?