The present world is being witnessing swift changes in ecology due to faster urbanization and climate change that favour the development of urban pest complex.
The situation is so alarming that urban pests are challenging with human society for their claim in food, shelter, belongings and what not? Outcome of this challenge is that we lose our health, food, shelter, fabric, economy and time ultimately fading out our quality life.
Influence of urban pests in tarnishing public health is most significant as it is a direct threat to human life. Hence a general awareness about common household pests is to be created in all levels to save every one of us from the insect pests which are most competent and threatening creatures of this world.
Let us aware some facts about urban pests:
- Cockroaches are one of the most significant pests found in apartments, homes, food handling establishments, hospitals and health care facilities worldwide.
- They are a potential health problem to people and their companion animals. The pathogens associated with cockroaches, including such pathogens as viruses, bacteria, fungi and molds.
- Three predominant species are the American cockroach, the Oriental cockroach and the German cockroach. They hide in small spaces in and between shelves, books, sofa cushion, kitchen vessels, grocery shelves and under shelf liners and are highly active at night and in dark.
- It is essential to identify the pest species and locations where they are breeding.
- The development of a community action plan is necessary, so that the tenants, landlords and proprietors actively participate in the IPM programme.
- Control strategies should involve prevention, cleaning and sanitation, application of insecticide monitoring and evaluation.
- Bedbugs have long plagued humans in their living environment.
- They hide during the day in tiny spaces around their feeding site, such as on mattresses, furniture, and in cracks and crevices, and then feed on humans at night. Itchy welts may result from the bed bug bite.
- Common bedbugs have been found to naturally contain 28 human pathogens
- The saliva of bedbugs contains biologically and enzymatically active proteins that may cause a progressive immunogenic and allergenic reaction to repeated biting
- Bed bugs are big problem to hospitality industry as they cause
Increased laundry expenses
Replacement of bedding and furniture
Structural cleaning and physical modifications
Lost revenue from negative publicity
- House centipedes are long, flat, and have 15 pairs of long legs as an adult. They prefer dark, damp, cool locations and hide during the day. House centipedes can come into the house via drains and sump pumps.
- They are predaceous and come out at night to feed on silverfish, cockroaches, spiders, and other small arthropods.
- Cover drains and sump pumps with screening; remove shelter for centipedes, such as cardboard boxes; caulk and fill cracks and crevices; use a dehumidifier to remove humidity; keep things clean and dry.
- A high population of house centipedes may indicate a large population of prey species
- Pharaoh ants do not sting, but are a nuisance to building occupants and an important contamination concern in medical and food preparation and processing facilities
- Fire ants are stinging ants whose name most commonly refers to the aggressive and invasive species
- Flies constitute a major group of nuisance species in rural and urban environments worldwide.
- They can quite easily and accidentally become disease vectors, by transmitting pathogens, especially those that cause enteric infections (such as Salmonella and Campylobacter), from contaminated to uncontaminated substrates.
- Elimination of food leftovers, breeding sites and shelter will minimize fly populations
- In northern hemisphere, the presence of flies is a major problem, but rising temperatures due to changes in the climate may lead in the future to an increase in fly populations and fly-borne diseases.
- Fly trapping in outdoors and indoors is a good way to manage fly populations around homes, apartments and stores.
- Human lice are the most widespread ectoparasites and cause low-level morbidity in vast numbers of people
- Head lice have remained primarily an infestation of children.
- Mosquitoes are considered as the vicious insects since they act as vectors in transmitting diseases such as filariasis, dengue, malaria, Japanese encephalitis, yellow fever, etc.
- Female mosquitoes make a painful bite to suck blood meal for egg production, thereby they transmit of a number of disease causing agents to the host.
- More than 700 million people annually are affected by mosquitoes.
- Sanitation and water management, such as source reduction, are key to any solution of a mosquito problem
- The major tool in mosquito control operation is the application of synthetic insecticides. Unprocessed bed net, insect repellent and pesticide-treated bed net, mosquito coils, pesticide house sprays and even smoke from foliage are the efficient technique which used to control mosquito-breeding.
- Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM) is a combination of methods and strategies for maintaining low levels of mosquito population in a habitat.
- Rodents are the most intelligent creatures among the non insect pests, which compete with human for food, shelter and ownership of all valuable properties.
- Rats live and succeed in all climatic conditions and are often found in and around buildings and make their burrow in garden.
- They can swim and live in water for three days continuously.
- They are vectors of all pathogenic microbes like virus, bacteria, fungi, etc and transmit epidemic diseases like Plague, Salmonellosis, Leptospirosis, Diarrhea, etc.
- Apart from these diseases fecal matter of rodents easily gets mixed with food grains which cause contamination and food poisoning.
- As their incisors continue to grow they have the tendency to grind something nonstop to sharpen their teeth and cause damage to food, plastics, wire, cloths and other important materials worth billions of dollars every year.
- They are the biggest menace in all our places and particularly the field of catering, hospitals, hotels, clubs, software industries and warehouses.
- A single pair can reproduce 1500 descendants in its life cycle of 18 months period.
- Moth, Indian Meal
- The Indian meal moth is most commonly seen flying around in kitchens at night. It has reddish-brown markings with a copper luster on the lower two-thirds of its wings.
- The larvae are found in common pantry items like cereal, flour, grains and grain products, and dried fruit and nuts. Larvae leave behind visible webbing as they crawl around and pupate in these products.
- Inspect newly purchased grains before putting them in the pantry; store food in tightly sealed containers; if moths are sighted, search all dried food (e.g., cereal, pet food, oats, and other grains) and dispose of any infested food products; vacuum and thoroughly clean shelves to remove both insects and spilled food; use a flyswatter to kill adult moths.
- Pheromone traps containing a lure to attract male moths can be useful in detecting a problem early but will not provide control.
- Silverfish have silver, carrot-shaped bodies that are thicker at the head and tapered at the abdomen. They have long antennae and three long filaments coming from their abdomen.
- Silverfish prefer cool, moist, dark places like basements, closets, bookcases, and storage areas. They move very quickly when disturbed. Silverfish eat any substances containing starch, such as flour, cereal, books, wallpaper, and glue, but they will also feed on items high in protein.
- Remove food sources or keep in tightly sealed container; keep things clean and dry; reduce clutter; use dehumidifier to remove humidity; seal cracks and crevices; repair leaky pipes and roof; use sticky traps.
- Termites also known as white ants live as a social colony consisting queen, king, solders and workers. Queen controls and runs the society as leader for food, security and reproduction. Workers make the tunnel path to harvest cellulose food in any kind of materials in any place.
- Swarms of winged reproductive flying from the soil or wood are the first indication of termite infestation in a building.
- Termite damage is not always evident from the exterior in the case of subterranean termites
- A successful termite control process should include complete inspection, Marking the root cause.
- We should go for pre construction termite control measure for every building according to Indian standards norms
The scientific data evinced that domestic exposure to cockroaches, mice, and dust mites cause asthma. These pests are common in urban environments and play a significant role in the pathogenesis of urban asthma.
Creating awareness on basic facts about these dangerous urban pests is the vital thing which leads to implementation of effective pest control measures at all levels.
Beware that we can’t completely eradicate pest from this world as they are part and partial of this evolutionary word which meant for every fittest organism.
We can only manage them. Let us try to manage pest without much damage to the environment.
Youth Ki Awaaz is an open platform where anybody can publish. This post does not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions.