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Massachusetts is home to some of the oldest academic institutions in the country, and many of the buildings on college and university campuses in the state were built long before insect pest infestations became a significant concern. Today, homes and buildings are designed to prevent insect pests from gaining easy access to structures. Therefore, it may not be surprising to learn that many old buildings located on the UMass campus have long been infested with cockroaches.

Rumors have been circulating for decades about the extensive cockroach pest population that exists within UMass buildings. Many students claim that cockroaches are frequently sighted at campus house parties, in dorm showers, classrooms and even the campus dining hall. One student who encountered cockroaches in her dorm shower multiple times complained about the pest problem to administrative officials who eventually had roach traps placed around her room and in the bathroom. Despite this control effort, the roaches showed up again after a few days, so the student complained again, but this time, her complaints were ignored. The administration’s failure to address the student’s roach-infested, and expensive, dorm room indicates that the insect pests have long been a pervasive problem within many buildings on the campus.

Of course, numerous students have become critical of the roach presence on campus. For example, in 2011, two students created a Facebook page to post pictures of the many cockroach specimens that they found in the McNamara and Sylvan residential halls where they lived. This page entitled, “UMass Cockroaches”, encouraged fellow students to post their own pictures and infestation horror stories to the site.

Even newly built corporate restaurants located on the UMass campus are also well known to be inundated with cockroach pests. One former student encountered roaches everyday, especially within the Pita Pit where she worked on campus. The student claimed that cockroaches regularly accessed the kitchen through holes in the wall, and these holes had long been filled with available rags in order to block the roache’s entrance into the eatery. When the dining hall director on the campus was asked about this lazy pest control method and other roach-related issues in the campus restaurants, he claimed that the food was safe, as he ate at the campus eateries regularly.

Do you think that the cockroach population on the campus is too extensive to be eradicated at this point?