Insects and rodents can contaminate food, damage homes and make asthma and allergies worse. The chemicals used to get rid of pests can also cause health problems. Pesticides can cling to carpets, furniture, and other surfaces in your home and are dangerous to people and pets if not properly used.
Safe pest control is a team effort and everyone has a role to play. Just like building owners have a duty to properly maintain property, residents are responsible for keeping their living spaces clean and reporting building maintenance problems to owners or managers.
If you are a building owner or maintenance worker looking for pest control guidance, visit Pest Control Information for Building Owners, Managers, Supers and Workers.
To get rid of pests and keep them from coming back, you need to deprive them of everything they need to survive: food, water, shelter, and ways to get around.
Short-term exposure to pesticides may result in:
Long-term, ongoing exposure to pesticides may result in increased cancer risk and other serious health problems.
Pests such as cockroaches and mice are far too common in many NYC households, especially in low-income neighborhoods with poorly maintained housing. In some neighborhoods, over 50% of households report seeing cockroaches every day and mice within the last 3 months. Cockroach and mouse body parts and droppings affect indoor air quality and can trigger allergic reactions or asthma attacks in some children and adults. In NYC, asthma affects over 1 million New Yorkers.
Children younger than 21 years old who have been diagnosed with asthma by a health care provider and live in a home with pests (mice or cockroaches) are eligible for a free home assessment by the NYC Health Department’s Healthy Neighborhoods Program (HNP). A referral for this service can be requested by the child’s health care provider using the Health Department’s Online Registry, or via fax using an Asthma Referral Form (PDF). If HNP staff find environmental asthma triggers or other home health hazards in the home, they will work with the building owner to try to correct the problems. For more information, email NYCHNP@health.nyc.gov or call 311 and ask for the “Healthy Neighborhoods Program.”