Montclair State Students Find Bug Infestations In Their On-Campus Apartments

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Published September 21, 2021
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The Montclarion
The exterminator left ant traps in Rose Kershner's Hawk Crossings apartment. Rose Kershner | The Montclarion

Students have returned to the Montclair State University residence halls, but for some, it appears they received more roommates than they expected to have.

Ants, cockroaches and wasps have showed up in several dormers’ apartments, leaving them on edge and unhappy. Rose Kershner, a senior communications and media arts major, said one of her roommates noticed an ant infestation in their Hawk Crossings apartment within the first week of move-in, where the ants covered her desk and were coming out of the wall.

“It’s gross and it’s just kind of annoying because everyone’s like, ‘Oh, that happens every year,’ but it’s not something that should be happening every year so it’s not taken as seriously as you might want it to [be],” Kershner said. “They kind of can’t determine the difference between a ‘couple of ants’ and ‘fully infested’ just because it happens so often.”

Kershner's Hawk Crossings apartment was infested with ants. Sam Nungesser | The Montclarion

Kershner’s Hawk Crossings apartment was infested with ants.
Sam Nungesser | The Montclarion

Kershner said it took three days until an exterminator came to spray down the apartment, and even though he left ant traps, it was only a couple of days before the tiny bugs made their way back into the apartment.

As if it couldn’t get any worse, Kershner said the entire Hawk Crossings community is now affected.

“We got an email because we are supposed to be getting our mailbox keys, but apparently all mailboxes —there are three big mailboxes for each of the three apartments — and each of them has a [wasp] nest under them,” Kershner said.

Cayla Ingram, a junior television and digital media major and resident assistant (RA) in Hawk Crossings, said infestations are an issue at the start of every school year, and that this year, wasps seem to be a big problem.

Cayla Ingram is a resident assistant in Hawk Crossings. Sam Nungesser | The Montclarion

Cayla Ingram is a resident assistant in Hawk Crossings.
Sam Nungesser | The Montclarion

“I’ve actually had people say they had wasps flying around in their room and maybe someone’s allergic [so] that’s an issue,” Ingram said. “We obviously have to get prompt help with that.”

Ingram is hopeful that the bug problem will subside as the year goes on.

“Usually it’s just a problem as people start moving in,” Ingram said. “Our resident hall isn’t active over the summer and somehow bugs find their way in. It ends up being, usually, not an issue throughout the rest of the year. Nothing too big. Obviously, there’s going to be a spider here or there but the bigger issues do tend to go away as the exterminator comes in the beginning.”

The insect issue doesn’t stop at Hawk Crossings as dormers in Count Basie Hall in The Village found a cockroach crawling in their bathroom. Sarah Bailey, a senior family science and human development major, is one of the roommates in that apartment.

Sarah Bailey found a cockroach in her apartment in the Village. Sam Nungesser | The Montclarion

Sarah Bailey found a cockroach in her apartment in The Village.
Sam Nungesser | The Montclarion

“We keep a very clean apartment so there is no reason [why] cockroaches should be in there,” Bailey said.

While the exterminator did come to the apartment, Bailey hopes the problem stops at one cockroach sighting.

“As of now [there was only one cockroach],” Bailey said. “But rumor has it that when there’s one, there’s more.”

Andrew Mees, Montclair State’s media relations director, responded to the issue.

“We want students living in residence halls to have the best possible experience, and we take all complaints seriously,” Mees said.

Mees advised students who come across an infestation to put in a work order.

“Our exterminator is on campus twice a week, and will remediate the issue as soon as possible,” Mees said.

For emergencies, Mees said students can contact the University Facilities Service Desk via the work order, via phone at 973-655-5444 or via email at servicedesk@montclair.edu.

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