By Max Ward, staff writer

In social science teacher Erik Hodges’s class, cockroach encounters aren’t a rare occurrence. Once a cockroach climbed up a student’s desk and fell on that student’s leg. The student jumped out of the desk, and the whole class’s attention shifted that way. Eventually the student disposed of the cockroach by flicking it away.

At Prospect, cockroaches have been seen during class, causing disruptions. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, many factors contribute to why they are apparent, such as moisture and food.

There are multiple ways get rid of them, like traps and exterminators.

Seeing them out in the day is a sign of an infestation because they are nocturnal critters. Cockroaches began appearing at Prospect only three to four years ago.

In Hodges’s class, he has taken humor out of the cockroaches, giving them names such as Clive, Ronald and Reginald.  

Hodges was also introduced to these cockroaches by seeing them on the ceiling, climbing up a student’s backpack and on top of the social science room’s microwave.

He has also had to dispose of the cockroaches. Hodges has stepped on a cockroach, causing its leg to fly in the general direction of a student.

Another time, there was a trap set up in his room for cockroaches, and to Hodges’ surprise, there was a mouse in it.

“It was really gross,” Hodges said. “This is my room. This is where I live.”

Hodges has only seen or heard of cockroaches being apparent on the first or second floors, which he thinks is due to the water fountain pipes.

Grounds Manager Oscar Acevedo also agrees. Acevedo believes the cockroaches are due to the large amount of drains in the first and second floor area.

Acevedo has his theories as to why the cockroaches first came to Prospect.

One is that they came from the sewers and around the drainage area.

Another theory is that they came in along with food that is being sent in from manufacturers.

Acevedo also believes that having food in the classroom can contribute to mice and cockroaches.

“If it were me, I’d say eat in the cafeteria, eat in the faculty caf, keep the food out of the classrooms,” Acevedo said. “But that’s not my call, and I don’t want to bash the administrators. That’s their call.”

Hodges has noted that cockroaches are places that we don’t realize, like walking around in the halls.

Acevedo has gotten reports of cockroaches being seen in the bathroom, which can be attributed to its drainage.

  The district has taken action in attempting to get rid of the cockroaches.

They have hired Anderson Pest Solutions to help get the cockroaches out of the building.

Anderson has done methods such as putting traps in the drain pipes in attempt to get them out.

“The district is very aggressive,” Acevedo said. “We don’t mess around. We’ll call Anderson Pest, and they’ll be there the very next day. We’re very serious about it.”

For Acevedo, whenever a teacher calls every two or three weeks, his team is there as soon as possible trapping it, and then handing it over to Anderson Pest.

Anderson then looks at what they have and uses that information to evaluate the best way to get rid of the cockroaches. As a whole, Acevedo doesn’t think it is a major issue.

The bugs haven’t been seen near the cafeteria. Acevedo noted that there have been no reports of sightings by the lunchroom.

“We have not seen any in the cafeteria area, which is great,” Acevedo said.