Most homes will have problems with insects at some point, but there’s a world of difference between noticing the occasional ant or fly and dealing with a true infestation. 

This abandoned home had become a nest for cockroaches, who then invaded many of the surrounding houses. Neighbors raised a fuss and local authorities tried conventional extermination tactics like bug bombs and pesticides, but they all failed.

That’s when they came up with a more drastic solution…

This house on South Maple St. in Pana, Illinois, was abandoned for quite some time before it became a real problem.


The inside was filled with the previous tenants’ clutter…

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…including dirty dishes and old food.

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In other words, the old place was the perfect breeding ground…

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…for cockroaches.

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Roaches covered every surface inside the house. The infestation grew so bad that an overflow of roaches was even invading the surrounding homes. 

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City council authorities tried bug-bombs and pesticides, but they didn’t stop the insects. This was a special breed, the German cockroach, which is extremely difficult to kill…

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After a great deal of deliberation, local authorities decided on a drastic solution to the roach problem.

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Firefighters would burn the house to the ground and kill all the bugs in the process.

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German cockroaches can’t fly, so the firefighters knew there would be little danger of the bugs spreading the fire to other houses that way.

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They would light a perimeter fire first, creating a barrier to prevent the roaches from burrowing and scattering. They dug a trench and filled it with sticks and branches.

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Firefighters began the blaze at the front of the house, igniting the sticks and branches in the trench.

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Soon enough, the whole trench was ablaze and the flames began to lick the sides of the house itself. Firefighters sprayed the neighbor’s properties with water to ensure that they wouldn’t catch fire.

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Then, the entire house went up in flames, but the fire department stayed nearby to keep things under control.

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They let the fire rage long enough to ensure that all the cockroaches, even those nesting in the house’s foundation, would burn up.

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The house began to collapse, and the firemen let the wreckage smolder a little longer before they put out the fire for good.

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When firefighters went through the debris later, they didn’t see any live roaches, and in the subsequent weeks, the surrounding homes didn’t report any infestations. The city’s plan had actually worked!

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Fire was definitely the right call. Why would anyone take their chances with an army of pesticide-resistant roaches?

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