Pests in the City
360 pages, 5 1/5 x 9 2/5
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 cities created spaces where pests flourished and people struggled for healthy living conditions. Biehler argues that the ecologies that supported pests were shaped not only by the physical features of cities but also by social inequalities, housing policies, and ideas about domestic space. Community activists and social reformers strived to control pests in cities, but fell short when families and neighbourhood culture were blamed for infestations rather than racial segregation and urban disinvestment. Pest-control campaigns tended to target public or private spaces, but pests and pesticides moved readily across the porous boundaries between homes and neighbourhoods.

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

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