“THERE ARE RATS AND ROACHES IN OUR ROOMS”
By: Neo Goba
The Durban University of Technology students who stay in the institution owned and leased residences not only share their rooms amongst themselves but also cockroaches and rats.
This is according to students that are located at residences. The likes of Hertine Court, Berea, Alpine and Baltimore residences are among those affected by this infestation. This problem has been going on for a number of years and there in nothing in sight promising to have this problem resolved.
“I’ve been swapping residences from first year because I couldn’t stand the cockroaches where I stayed. We have been lodging complaints but nothing seems to be done to help us in due time. Over the past four years I’ve been at this institution, I can only recall them coming twice to our aid,” said Jessica Dlamini, a B-Tech student.
According to Nosipho Mpungose who lives at Baltimore Residence, the majority of Residence Advisors (RAs) do not address this issues.
“Last year, as I was on my way when a cockroach popped out of my bag. I lodged a complaint but nothing was done about it,” said Mpungose.
Mandla Hlabangane who stays in Hertine Court Residence said that their residence has frogs more especially in summer.
“To be able to study at night we are forced to go to the library because the noise that they make is unbearable for most of us. We’ve tried to spill Jeyes Fluid but that doesn’t seem to get rid of them. In fact it makes them make an even louder noise with different tones and the same time,” said Hlabane, who studies engineering.
Tom Zwane, Alpine Residence Advisor said that the students are partially responsible for these infestations.
“On the 21st of January, the House Committee sent people to come control the problem but the students don’t meet us halfway as they leave food exposed in their rooms. I’ve been to other residences and found others to be much cleaner than others,” said Zwane.
Residence Coordinator, Jean Mncadi, also said they have been trying to resolve the issue this problem residences but concedes it is beyond their control.
“We try to fumigate the places every three months. I’ve advised the senior handyman to buy more chemicals at Provida as they have chemicals that kill rats instantly,” said Mncadi.
“Last year I completely finished those rats at Berea Residence. I haven’t received any complaint thus far in the meetings I have with house committees. I address whatever problems they have raised. I’m not saying we don’t have rats anymore, but we’ve certainly reduced them,” she said.
She further mentioned that students are unhygienic themselves.
“They like eating inside their rooms and they are unaware that rats and cockroaches prefer warm, moist and sheltered areas close to food and water. The next thing they do is complain whereas they could avoid this from happening,” concluded Mncadi.
A research by Durban Pest Control, which is a company that controls plagued homes in Durban, has revealed that cockroaches and their eggs are spread throughout the buildings in food and other packaging.
According to their website, sanitation and hygiene are important deterrents, even the cleanest rooms do become infested with cockroaches due to minute deposits of fluids, sugar and other food deposits in difficult to get at places such as in drains, behind electric appliances and inside cracks and crevices in kitchen cupboards.
A solution to this problem is to place cockroach and rat gel baits so that it will kill feeding cockroaches and rats.