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Students discover cockroaches living in Gamertsfelder Hall

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Students residing on the fourth floor of East Green’s Gamertsfelder Hall were unsettled after discovering a number of cockroaches living inside the residence hall.

When first-year student Elijah Williams moved into his dorm room, he noticed a dead cockroach behind his door. Less than a week later, he saw a live roach hanging on a pipe below the bathroom sink.

Chris Mir, another first-year student, saw one in his room next to the door before swiftly killing the insect.

“(It) makes me want to live anywhere else honestly,” Mir said.

Peter Trentacoste, executive director of Housing and Residence Life, said the department had not received a call or work order regarding cockroaches in Gamertsfelder.

“For my eight years, that particular insect is one that we just don’t have a lot of problems with typically,” Trentacoste said.

Trentacoste explained several insects retreat indoors when the air outside becomes dry, which could contribute to the presence of roaches in Gamertsfelder.

The dirtier a room or building is, the more likely cockroaches live there. The insects usually spawn because students don’t seal food, Trentacoste said.

Cockroaches are known for being dirty creatures. The insects are also potential carriers of diseases — such as salmonella and polio — that pose health hazards to students, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The creature feeds on miscellaneous household items such as cheese, meat, cardboard, blood, human toenails and even other cockroaches. 

Some students who live on the residence hall’s fourth floor expressed concern that their fellow hallmates aren’t paying enough attention to sanitation.

It’s more common for Residence Life to contend with ants, stink bugs, Asian lady beetles and bed bugs, Trentacoste said.

Students should alert their resident assistant about pests in the hall, keep food containers sealed tight and take out trash on a regular basis, said Environmental Health Coordinator Chad Keller. For their own safety, Keller discouraged students from attempting to take on infestations by themselves.

“At the end of the day, students are our best eyes and ears in identifying those problems,” he said. 

Students who encounter cockroaches or any other pest should call Facilities Management and Safety at 740-593-2911, Trentacoste said.

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated bed bugs are the most common pest Res. Life contends with.

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