Cockroaches may not be as gross as they seem.
Adrienne Shumlich/the Gauntlet

Roaches move in to rez

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Earlier in October, cockroaches were found living in four suites of a Southern Alberta Institute of Technology residence building. 

According to SAIT public relations specialist Melanie Simmons, it was an isolated incident and effective measures were put in place to solve the issue.

“We were concerned to learn that some pests were discovered in four units on the fourth floor of the East Hall residence building,” said Simmons. “Pest control experts were immediately deployed and their efforts have been extremely effective.”

The students living in the suites were given large plastic bins to keep their food out of reach.

“All students living in residence units at SAIT were advised to maintain clean living practices,” said Simmons.

University of Calgary senior instructor of biological sciences Rob Longair said that cockroaches are not as bad as people may think.

“It’s probably more of an ‘ick’ factor. There’s only a tiny percentage of them that are pests and the rest of them are actually pretty interesting,” said Longair. “They tend to be able to [live] in buildings and in many places where there’s high enough humidity and that’s why they can show up in apartment buildings.” 

He said the only issue cockroaches can present is the transfer of bacteria onto food.

U of C residences have not encountered the same issue with cockroaches. Director of residence and ancillary services Randy Maus said precautions are in place to limit pest problems at U of C’s residences.

“Generally, because we are a place of residence where there is food, we ask people to maintain cleanliness,” said Maus. “We clean the buildings regularly and we always pay attention as we go through the buildings and look for any signs of pests so we can treat them right away.”