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Household Pests


Thanks to the efforts of the maintenance department, the Worcester Housing Authority is 98% pest free. That means 98% of our units have no roaches, no mice, no bed bugs, no spiders, no ants, no pests! This could not have been done without the efforts of our residents to actively report pests and prepare for treatments.

We will do everything we can to provide each of our residents with a clean, well-maintained apartment. But, sometimes we find unwanted guests (roaches, bugs, mice). When we do, we work aggressively to correct the problem.

In the vast majority of instances, these household pests are the result of something that a resident has done. Our biggest problems are poor housekeeping and improper disposal of trash.

You Can Help

As with other vermin such as mice, there are things you can do to help the success of the extermination process and prevent a re-occurrence. Good housekeeping practices are crucial for a successful extermination.

    1. Do not leave food out anywhere in your unit. Store it in tightly sealed containers or keep it in your refrigerator.
    2. Clean up spills immediately.
    3. Wipe down kitchen counters regularly.
    4. Clean out your kitchen cabinets regularly.
    5. Sweep or vacuum floors daily.
    6. Leave pet food out only long enough for the pet to eat until full. Immediately store uneaten pet food properly.
    7. Keep clothes picked up and closets in good order.
    8. Get rid of old cardboard boxes. Roaches use untidy places to hide in.

For exterminations to be effective it takes a cooperative effort between you and the WHA.

When We Exterminate

Exterminations for roaches in your apartment are performed at least once a year following a planned schedule. These exterminations are done whether you are currently seeing roaches and other insects or not. This process works on all types of bugs, ants, spiders, silverfish, etc.

You may also request an extermination if you are actually seeing roaches at other times of the year. Please call your manager to make arrangements for these off-schedule exterminations.

Only licensed WHA staff, who have passed a rigorous State training program and written examination, perform exterminations, either for insects or rodents. All license holders must also receive annual refresher courses on standard and new techniques and products.


For roaches, the WHA uses primarily a boric acid compound. This is a dry white powder that has relatively low toxicity to humans and pets. You may see some of this powder along your baseboards. Please do not touch it or vacuum or sweep it up. It must remain in place for it to work. This powder sticks to the roaches and when they return to the nesting area and clean themselves or are cleaned by other roaches, they die. Additionally, 2 small plastic devices are placed in your unit, one in the bathroom and one behind the refrigerator or under the kitchen sink. They contain a hormone that prevents the roaches from breeding.

Additionally, a bait gel is used in your kitchen cabinets. This products attracts the roaches and then once eaten causes the roaches to die. Occasionally, an aerosol called CB-80 is used. This product is made from the African Pyrethrum Daisy. This product is used to locate roach hiding places. When it is sprayed in a suspect area it causes the roaches to run out. Then the hiding area can be treated effectively.

After We Leave

Once the treatment is complete and the WHA staff members have left your unit, it would be wonderful if we could tell you that the roach problem followed them out the door. This is not the case. You may see some fairly quick results evidenced by dying roaches lying on their backs with their legs still moving or by roaches running around in circles. This is a good sign, but it may take another 4-8 weeks for the treatment to be completely successful. Please be patient. This method does work very well.


Worcester Housing Authority
630A Plantation Street
Worcester, MA 01605
Phone: 508-635-3000
Hours: 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM