Students who were interviewed said poor sanitation is what causes cockroaches to appear in their units most of the time, especially when they leave trash and dishes out overnight.
Lamjav Dash, a freshman studying English from Mongolia, said he sees cockroaches every week, sometimes even on his bed. Dishes and trash “really are the main problem,” he said. “Honestly, I’m not afraid of cockroaches, but of course it would be nicer to see the house clean. I’m sure it’ll be fine if there are no dishes or trash left overnight.”
Elder and Sister Croft, the Hale parents for Hale 3 and 5, said it’s common for them to see students cook and then just the leave the pan on the kitchen top with food in it. They guaranteed there would be cockroaches in the unit if the trash and food are always left out overnight.
Elder Croft explained, “Just imagine, if there were always free pizzas available in the lounge, students would always stop by to have one. The same happens to cockroaches, if you always leave food or trash overnight opened, they’d know where to find their food too.
Jared Tan, a freshman studying computer science from Malaysia, said there are no cockroaches in his unit because his roommates follow the cleaning duties schedule given by the RAs. “You should do trash every night. Everyone in our unit does, so our unit is fine. Self-discipline is important.”
Sam Capitan, a sophomore from Utah majoring in marketing, said, “When I came to Hawaii, it was the first time in my life to have problems with cockroaches. It had never happened to me when I was in the mainland.”
According to students interviewed, putting personal items in the living room and hallway is also a way to attract cockroaches to the unit. Capitan explained, “If you put stuff on the floor, that gives cockroaches a nest. If you don’t, they won’t have that place to hide.”
Sister Croft explained cockroaches tend to hide in boxes, and they actually eat the glue in package boxes. “If you just leave your package box there, you’re offering a feast for the cockroaches. Just throw them away,” said Sister Croft.
Christina Chan, a freshman from Hong Kong majoring in TESOL education, said it’s important to close the door since the kitchen is just right next to the door.
“Cockroaches shouldn’t be able to come into the unit because we have nets on the door and on every window. But sometimes the door isn’t closed completely–that’s when the cockroaches get the chance to come in.”
Whether annoyed or scared, students who were interviewed said they would still choose to kill cockroaches whenever they see one. Chan said, “Of course I’m scared but I have to kill them. I usually spray bleach liquid over them.”
Altanshagai Enkhbat, a Mongolian freshman majoring in graphic design, said to kill cockroaches, hand are no go but feet are a fo’ sho’. “I usually step on them. If they’re on a wall, I use a paper to wipe them to the floor and then step. If the situation doesn’t allow me to get them on the floor, I kick them.”
However, Dash said he doesn’t mind killing cockroaches with his bare hands. “It’s important to do it fast. If you go to grab something, they’re already gone. I just punch them, then wash my hands.”
Elder and Sister Croft shared different kinds of help students who are fighting with cockroaches can get from the Housing Department. “We have poison that draws cockroaches to eat. We have spray for cockroaches. Those are all available in the RA’s offices. Also, there is a whole handbook about preventing bad bugs on the Housing Department’s website, whic