Clothier Hall dealing with cockroach infestation

<p>Courtesy of Amy Lauria | Cockroaches were spotted in Clothier Hall last Thursday. On Wednesday, Rutgers announced it would work with a pest control company to exterminate them.&nbsp;</p>

Courtesy of Amy Lauria | Cockroaches were spotted in Clothier Hall last Thursday. On Wednesday, Rutgers announced it would work with a pest control company to exterminate them. 

Clothier Hall was abruptly woken up Wednesday morning after two cockroaches were discovered in a student's room.

The College Avenue campus residence hall started seeing cockroaches inside the building on Sept. 29, said resident Amy Lauria. On Monday, Oct. 3, multiple students confirmed the presence of cockroaches on the second, third, fifth and eighth floors of the building.

“Monday morning … I get a text from my roommate freaking out saying she had found a roach in my room,” the School of Arts and Sciences sophomore said. “I wrote in the Clothier group chat right away (and) everyone instantly responded that the basement — where the laundry and trash room is — is completely infested with (cockroaches) hiding under all the washers and dryers.”

An email to her hall director was not answered, and calls to Residence Life were not returned, she said. 

School of Nursing sophomore Daniel Thiberge said he saw a cockroach in someone's room after a student brought it up from the laundry room. He later heard that there were two in the resident's laundry basket, not just one.

Lauria and her roommate continued to call Residence Life on Tuesday. In the meantime, she and her roommate sprayed Raid around their room, seeing at least one cockroach “come out of her (roommate’s) laundry basket.”

A Rutgers housing employee came to the residence hall on Wednesday morning, and Lauria asked him for help with the cockroaches. He called someone to deal with the roaches in the basement and her room. This extermination was confirmed later in the morning.

“However, I’m not sure how much this will do because we need an actual exterminator, not just someone to go around and spray Raid, something me and my roommate have already done” she said. “When I talked to Residence Life they said they can't spray serious chemicals and exterminate unless they get a lot of complaints so they can only do something minor.”

Maintenance personnel have responded to previous reports of infestation, but only clear away immediate symptoms, Thiberge said. He often has spiders cover his window or the space immediately outside them in webbing.

"Apparently this problem has been around for a long time along with the spider infestation, and the higher-ups know about it, but at best I've had maintenance come to vacuum my window (or) spray pesticide once, but it doesn't seem to be working," Thiberge said.

She said because roaches have been reported on multiple floors, spraying Raid in one room may not help.

“The worst part is Res Life knows about the issue and hasn't even sent out an email or alert to notify the residents living here so we can at least take caution in preventing it. We have a right to know,” Lauria said. “This morning I was woken up at 8 a.m. to girls screaming at the top of their lungs because two more roaches have been spotted in their rooms.”

Thiberge said half of their floor had been woken up by the screaming on Wednesday morning after the students discovered the roaches.

Messages to University Facilities and Capital Planning Residence Life were not returned.

University spokesperson Greg Trevor said Rutgers is working with a pest control company to exterminate the cockroaches. Students who want to report roaches can file one online at

"Students are asked to provide specific details, including the type of pest and the time and location it was spotted," he said in an email.

This story was updated.

Nikhilesh De is the news editor of The Daily Targum. He is a School of Engineering senior. Follow him on Twitter @nikhileshde for more.

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