Pests in the City
360 pages, 6 x 9
Release Date:01 Feb 2015
Release Date:01 Oct 2013

Pests in the City

Flies, Bedbugs, Cockroaches, and Rats

University of Washington Press
From tenements to alleyways to latrines, twentieth-century citiescreated spaces where pests flourished and people struggled for healthyliving conditions. Biehler argues that the ecologies that supportedpests were shaped not only by the physical features of cities but alsoby social inequalities, housing policies, and ideas about domesticspace. Community activists and social reformers strived to controlpests in cities, but fell short when families and neighbourhood culturewere blamed for infestations rather than racial segregation and urbandisinvestment. Pest-control campaigns tended to target public orprivate spaces, but pests and pesticides moved readily across theporous boundaries between homes and neighbourhoods.

Dawn Day Biehler is an assistant professor ofgeography and environmental studies at the University of Maryland,Baltimore County.

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