Plagues have been a popular newsworthy item, for the past couple of years, and now we can add pestilence to the calendar of events. The cockroaches have become so bad in one suburban Detroit neighborhood that officials in Wyandotte have closed a portion of a city street to Trick or Treating on Halloween night. 

The city residents can thank the sharp eyes of a trash hauler who tipped off officials after seeing them in a vacant home. Apparently, they are so bad that they are scurrying on neighborhood sidewalks and have begun infesting other homes in the area. The situation is also so bad that City engineer Greg Mayhew proclaimed a Halloween ban will prevent “further roach migration”. According to the Detroit Free Press, officials don’t want the roaches hitching a ride on costumes. 

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Mayhew says the city is trying to exterminate the roaches on a portion of 20th Street but, “It will take some time.” City Council member Todd Hanna offered a pro and con approach to the Halloween roach problem. He says that walking the street could help kill the roaches, but their eggs could spread and survive. In other words, the neighborhood kids will be bringing home more than bargain candy from Walmart. 

The cockroach could sort of be classified as a surviving prehistoric creepy crawler that descended from roachoids, who probably roamed the Wyandotte neighborhood some 320 million years ago.  According to Wikipedia,  

Cockroaches are probably among the most primitive of living Neopteran insects. They are common and hardy insects capable of tolerating a wide range of climates, from Arctic cold to tropical heat.

Personally, my first encounter with cockroaches was as a young innocent hippie and newly introduced urban dweller. It was in my first apartment, which I had just rented in Kalamazoo’s fabled “Student Ghetto”, that I witnessed the horror of roaches. In the middle of the night, I decided to trot into the kitchen to rob the refrigerator. After flipping on the kitchen light switch, I heard an eerie scuffling sound, and to my horror, the sight of countless numbers of cockroaches scurrying for cover. I now know the oily stench that marks a roach's domain. 

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