Trick-or-treating canceled in Michigan neighborhood after massive cockroach infestation

A Michigan neighborhood shut down trick or treating festivities this year after a vacant house on the block became overrun with cockroaches, sparking fears the vermin would travel home with revelers. 

“It doesn’t matter whether you’re a tidy person, a hoarder, roaches come in all these houses,” Becky Wallace, who lives near the infested home in Wyandotte, told Click on Detroit. The city is located about 11 miles south of Detroit.

City officials decided to cancel trick-or-treating near 20th Street, closing sidewalks in the area on Monday due to the infestation. Officials fear people could step on cockroach eggs and spread them throughout the area. 

“It is in the best interest of citizens to close 20th street and the sidewalks from Eureka to Grove on Monday, October 31, 2022, from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm,” the city wrote in a letter to residents of shutting down sidewalks on Monday in anticipation of Halloween, WXYZ reported. 

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NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 31: Children receive treats by candy chutes while trick-or-treating for Halloween in Woodlawn Heights on October 31, 2020 in New York City. The CDC shared on their website alternative ways to still celebrate the holiday while being safe. (Photo by David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)
(David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)

“Barricades and signage will be placed on the street and at sidewalks at Grove, the intersections of Orchard and Pine, and at Eureka, closing the street and sidewalk to vehicles and pedestrians. It is recommended that Trick ‘r Treating be discouraged in this area,” the letter continued. 

Walking on the street could help kill the cockroaches, but their eggs still could spread and survive, City Council member Todd Hanna noted.

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WASHINGTON, DC- SEP 23: This dead cockroach was one of many found in an empty apartment in the Lincoln Heights area in NE Washington, D.C. on September 23, 2022.  (Photo by Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC- SEP 23: This dead cockroach was one of many found in an empty apartment in the Lincoln Heights area in NE Washington, D.C. on September 23, 2022.  (Photo by Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
(Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

“Remember when the kids were little, and they drag their costumes and they’re dragging their bags, well from my understanding, you can step on roach eggs and you can take them home, you can spread them. I would not want them to be taken home to mom and dad’s house,” Wallace added to Click on Detroit. 

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WASHINGTON D.C., UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 28: A view of the stalls with pumpkins and special products for the festival before the upcoming Halloween in Washington D.C., United States on September 28, 2022. The US is gearing up for pre-pandemic levels of trick-or-treating on Halloween, which is celebrated on the last day of October, featuring colorful costumes and horror-themed decorations.  (Photo by Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON D.C., UNITED STATES – SEPTEMBER 28: A view of the stalls with pumpkins and special products for the festival before the upcoming Halloween in Washington D.C., United States on September 28, 2022. The US is gearing up for pre-pandemic levels of trick-or-treating on Halloween, which is celebrated on the last day of October, featuring colorful costumes and horror-themed decorations.  (Photo by Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
(Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

City engineer Greg Mayhew said the ban on the spooky holiday tradition will prevent “further roach migration.”

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A garbage man was the first to spot the infestation, according to local officials. Wallace recounted that trash collectors “picked up one or two bags and said, ‘whoa.’”

“They contacted the police and they were right out,” Wallace said. 

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 31: Designer Barb Salzman, from Hatch Creative Studio, hands out candy to children trick-or-treating on October 31, 2021 in New York City. Earlier in the month, Dr. Anthony Fauci announced "to go out and enjoy Halloween" citing trick-or-treating and other activities held outdoors pose low risk for those vaccinated. (Photo by Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – OCTOBER 31: Designer Barb Salzman, from Hatch Creative Studio, hands out candy to children trick-or-treating on October 31, 2021 in New York City. Earlier in the month, Dr. Anthony Fauci announced “to go out and enjoy Halloween” citing trick-or-treating and other activities held outdoors pose low risk for those vaccinated. (Photo by Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images)
(Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images)

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The city is currently trying to kill the roaches, but “it will take some time,” according to Mayhew. 

The Associated Press contributed to this article. 

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