All Hail: Roach encroachment

In my on-campus apartment on Huntington Avenue, I slowly approach my bathroom. I stick my hand in first to switch on the light, then poke my head in and inspect each corner before entering.

Why am I so paranoid?

Because one very unlucky day I strolled into the bathroom only to find the most gigantic bug I have ever seen – a cockroach – wandering aimlessly around my bathroom floor.

I come from the suburbs. We’ve only heard of cockroaches in movies like “Men In Black,” and in distant, gross thoughts about some dumpster in a back alley of a big city.

Before coming to Boston, I had never seen one. I would have been perfectly happy going my entire life without having that experience.

I yelled for my roommate but didn’t stick around to watch the bug’s life come to a sudden end under her shoe. I immediately requested a work order and told Residence Life there was an infestation – after all if there’s one, I assumed there were more – in my apartment.

I fully expected men in gas masks to come storming in, wielding massive spray cans and gas those suckers back to where they came from.

After a few days I came home and did a once-over of my bathroom, only to notice there was now a little cardboard box behind the toilet. Upon closer inspection, I realized it was a glue trap.

A glue trap? What happened to the men in gas masks? My roommate nonchalantly told me someone had come by, set a few traps and left. So not only are the vermin going to live (Anyone ever hear of the guy who kept one alive in a jar for weeks?), they’re going be stuck in my kitchen and bathroom until I move them, along with God knows what else?

Yup, said my roommate, clearly unfazed by the whole situation.

I find this method of dealing with unwanted creatures a little troubling. After all, setting traps doesn’t make the problem go away; it stops one cockroach from wandering too far.

A quick and unpleasant Internet search revealed cockroaches actually leave chemical trails behind them for other roaches to follow to a source of food (or in this case, water). My fear, naturally, is that I will soon have a parade of roaches following the trail into my bathroom for a drink.

Although I also discovered roaches have become resistant to many insecticides, there are a few out there that have proven effective. I for one would like to see the spray method used. If I can keep the kitchen clean and the bathroom dry, the university should at least spray the perimeter of the building, if not the apartment, whenever there is a complaint of pests.

But for now, not only do I not go anywhere near those traps – because I’d just rather not know what’s in there – I spend as little time as possible in my bathroom. I even manage to avoid using the bathroom in the middle of the night when everything is dark.

Still, I know it’s only a matter of time before I open that door to find another mutant-sized roach there to taunt me.

– Christina Prignano is a sophomore political science major.

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