Check it out: The Health Department says that one in four New York City households has had mice or rats - and that 30% of households have roaches. Blech! The DoH's big point is that many residents are using various pesticides and repellants that may be illegal and may contaminate other surfaces - such as cooking areas - which may lead poisonings. Unsurprisingly, residents with lower incomes report higher rates of infestation, probably because their buildings are not well-maintained no matter what they try to do. Here's the DoH's recommended gameplan to avoid infestation:

- Fix leaks and dripping faucets quickly. Keep sinks dry overnight.
- Use caulk and plaster to seal holes and cracks in kitchens and bathroom walls, floors, ceilings and cabinets.
- Store food in sealed containers, and do not leave food, pet food or garbage out.
- Reduce clutter and piling of newspapers and cardboard.
- Remove garbage daily from apartments, and put garbage on the curb as close to pickup time as possible.
- Use only safer pest control products such as boric acid, gels and baits for cockroaches, and glue traps or bait in enclosed tamper-proof containers for rodents. Avoid foggers, bombs and sprays that spread chemicals throughout the home.
- If you have Tempo® , Tres Pasitos, Cockroach Chalk or any other pesticide that is improperly labeled, seal it in a plastic bag and discard it in a container away from children and pets.

Just another reason to get some home repair 101 lessons! Do you have any good pest control tips? Gothamist noticed some bizarre non-cockroach bugs in the kitchen and bath areas, so we got some roach motels and that pretty much ended the problem - and we also try to vaccuum or DustBust whenever we can, because those suckers love hair (it's all protein). A friend mentioned that he returned from a trip and found a mouse that essentially spontaneously combusted on his kitchen floor.

And apparently even Anderson Cooper has mice in his apartment!