Austin, Texas, May 20, 2017: The city is bracing for a new breed of roach problem that’s sweeping the Austin metropolitan area.
According to the Austin American-Statesman, roach infestations have swept the Austin area in recent months, especially around the city’s public parks, the city limits and some downtown districts.
Austin has the highest reported numbers of roaches in the country, with more than 1,000 reported cases reported in the past month, according to the Texas Department of Health.
In response, the mayor is asking the public to help by removing any and all roach-infested surfaces.
“We’re seeing more and more roaches around our city,” said Austin Mayor Steve Adler, who has been campaigning for an end to the infestation.
“This is a serious problem.”
According to Adler and other city officials, Austin is now seeing up to 25% of its downtown roach population infested with the tiny critters.
“That’s what we’re seeing, and it’s not healthy,” said Adler.
“If people can’t take precautions, it could be very bad.”
In an effort to contain the problem, Adler has requested $5,000 from the city to hire exterminators and a robot that can kill roaches and their eggs in the city.
In a statement, the Mayor’s Office of Public Works and Economic Development said that the city would not hire an exterminator.
Austin also plans to deploy a robot to kill roach eggs in its downtown areas.
But it is unclear how many of the infestions are caused by the roach’s eggs, which are often found in a plastic bag or other non-porous material, or by a single roach that has been left on the sidewalk.
Adler says he expects the roaches to multiply again as the infested areas get more populated.
“We are working very hard to try to get them out of the area, and we will,” said his spokesperson, Alex Krasnick.
While the city has taken steps to combat the roch problem, it is not yet clear if the city will be able to eliminate them all.
According to Krasick, there is a “very small window” in which the rocs can remain on the sidewalks, but the roids would be removed during that time.
In recent years, Austin has seen an increase in roach infections.
In 2014, more than 8,500 roach cases were reported, with 1,788 of those roaches recovered.
In 2016, the number of roached humans was reported at more than 2,500.
But despite the increased roach counts, the Austin city council voted in 2016 to remove roach control measures, including the use of the “trap and kill” method, which has allowed the roars to remain in the sidewalks.
“It’s not really a good solution,” said one council member.
“We should be looking at what’s going on in our neighborhoods, not in a few buildings.”
Austin City Council members have also introduced legislation that would ban the use or sale of plastic trash bags and roach bait, which they say are contributing to the roca problem.