STATE OF THE CAMPUS: Bugs and Rodents, Oh My!

By Xavier Martinez, Clarion Staff

Lately there have been sightings of bugs and rodents on the school campus and unsurprisingly, many students have been scared, disgusted, disturbed, and have run away screaming. The cause of the critters seems to be a combination of campus ivy, small openings in walls and ceilings, and student litter. Luckily, solutions are in place to keep them at bay.

Kennedy’s locker room is no stranger to rats, and the district has instructed staff to put traps in the ceiling and cut down on the amount of ivy growing in the fields. According to Kennedy P.E. Teacher Sean Finegan, “Ivy is what mainly attracts rats. For example, when there is an ivy smell on student gym clothes, rats can find their way into the locker room through the ceiling.”

Newly added sealant and edging (along the top of the bricks) helps to close gaps in Kennedy’s outside walls. This and other measures are helping to prevent bugs and rodents from getting in.

On the other hand, bugs aren’t a huge issue elsewhere on campus according to Kennedy staff. The campus for the most part is relatively clean due to the hardworking custodians. Luckily, bugs aren’t an everyday dilemma but it’s still something that shouldn’t be ignored. According to Sophia Iorio (9), “It’s only my first year on campus and I’ve already witnessed bugs and rodents on campus. I remember seeing cockroaches on bathroom floors and once even saw a rat hanging from a door in the locker room. It’s really disturbing and unsanitary.”

Despite this, Plant Manager James Hernandez, Kennedy’s primary maintenance technician, argues that students can be part of the solution by tossing their trash during lunch. “It’s not only because of the ivy, but most rats are attracted to food at lunch. Many students aren’t too careful [when it comes to littering].” As for battling bugs in the plants, “we don’t poison plants because we don’t want to risk any of the students picking them up. We just pull the ivy out of the ground. It’s mostly just black widows and cobwebs, so we just kill them easily, no big deal.”

As bugs aren’t as much of a concern, rats are what everyone should worry about with their attraction to food. Bugs just pop out of nowhere sometimes, but that’s really nothing to worry about. Until the rats find a new home, everyone should keep the school as clean as possible.

A lot of people fear bugs and rodents, and that’s not a huge surprise. Both are different from every other creature created in the world: they’re small but really creepy, they pop up in the most unexpected places, and have weird traits that give many goosebumps. These creatures are unpleasant, not to mention a nuisance to anyone’s day; but as disturbing as they can be, rats can also be added to the list of Kennedy’s exotic creatures.

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