NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Only essential workers are allowed on the job during the coronavirus pandemic.

One of those essential jobs is pest control. CBS2’s Dave Carlin spent time with one to see what challenges he’s been confronting.

“It’s a lot of roaches and mice,” said Jeffrey Pacheco of Dial-A-Bug Pest Control.

Pacheco is dispatched to about 100 New York City homes in a single work shift.

“It’s a problem. It’s gonna get worse,” he said.

Lately, he’s only getting inside about 30% of the time.

“They don’t want to let me in at all and just spray the outside of the door. But I try to tell people to let us in so we can get rid of roaches and mice, so that way they won’t have those types of germs or anything in the apartment,” he said.

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“I’m terrified of them,” said Park Slope resident Lauren Awtry.

She showed Carlin how she’s dealing with a pest problem on her own.

“l have never been the smusher, squasher. I am the spray and I run,” she said.

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If for any reason an exterminator cannot gain access to your living space – say you’re quarantined – it’s vital they get to the common or shared areas, including apartment building basements and boiler rooms, Carlin reported.

“There could be about 2 million rats running around in New York City and especially because of lack of food, rats are going to be looking to move into residential buildings or residential houses,” said Favio Ulloa, of Prestige Pest Services, which is based in Hawthorne, New Jersey.

It’s not just an inner-city problem, says Ulloa.

“They’ve been consuming bait. That means there is definitely consumption of bait,” Ulloa said after he checked the traps in closed businesses.

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Get rid of openings in water lines, roofs need to be secure, and lids always have to be kept firmly secured on trash cans.

“Thanks for what you do,” said Carlin.

“No problem,” said Pacheco.

Be grateful for these essential workers, in their protective gear. They need the public’s help to keep us all healthy.

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