Detroit suburb forced to cancel trick-or-treat due to cockroach infestation

Officials in Wyandotte are closing sidewalks from 4pm to 8pm on Halloween to prevent a heavy roach infestation from spreading

Bevan Hurley
Monday 31 October 2022 18:45 GMT
Father transforms family home with handmade Halloween decorations

A Detroit suburb has cancelled trick-or-treating this Halloween due to an infestation of cockroaches.

Officials in Wyandotte are erecting human barricades to prevent kids from going door-to-door in search of sweet snacks in order “to prevent further roach migration”, a city engineer told residents in a letter obtained by the Detroit Free Press.

Councilman Todd Hanna told the Free Press that the city had voted to shut down trick-or-treating to prevent roach eggs from attaching themselves to kids’ costumes and spreading further.

The cockroach outbreak started in a vacant house in Wyandotte, 11 miles south of downtown Detroit, and has spread to neighbouring homes in the area, officials say.

The city was alerted to the outbreak when a waste management crew picked up garbage from a vacant home that was riddled with roaches, Mr Hanna told the Free Press.

The city was actively trying to solve the infestation, and were closing sidewalks in neighbouring streets from 4pm to 8pm on Monday night, he added.

“Barricades and signage will be placed on the street and at sidewalks at Grove, the intersections of Orchard and Pine, and at Eureka, closing the street and sidewalk to vehicles and pedestrians,” the letter to residents stated.

Residents in the area said they were “terrified” of the roaches spreading into their homes.

“You lay in bed and you think something’s crawling on you or something, it’s horrible,” Lisa LaBean, who lives next door to the house at the centre of the outbreak, told WXYZ.

According to figures from the 2019 American Housing Survey, 14 million of the 124 million occupied housing units reported seeing roaches in the previous 12 months.

A home can be considered to have a heavy infestation if it has more than 25 roaches, according to pest control experts.

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