Pill Bug Infestation

Monday, October 30th, 2017

In April, Mrs. Gagliardi noticed a few pill bugs throughout her classroom, and within weeks most of the rooms in the A wing were infested.

Pill Bugs are actually considered tiny pests and not really insects at all. Rather, they are crustaceans, which have adapted to live completely on land and do not need water to survive. This makes it difficult to get rid of them.

Mrs. Gagliardi explained that the problem began with a few bugs last April and continued to be present throughout the summer and the beginning of this school year. Before Memorial weekend the maintenance department used natural remedies (per protocol) to try to clear A110 of these creatures, but the pill bugs persevered and spread all over the A wing. The courtyard located outside the A wing classes seemed to be the root of all the bugs. The overgrown and weed-infested area is a haven to these bugs.

Mr. Groh was alerted to the infestation once again, and he arranged for the maintenance department to keep addressing the issue. They continued to try natural remedies, including ridding the courtyard of the weeds. Yet, the bugs were determined and fearlessly travelled back to the A wing. Manny, the head custodian, swept the A Wing every morning, but the problem persisted.

Mrs. Gagliardi recounted her frustration at the intrusion and distraction these pests caused for several months. She shared, “the students couldn’t concentrate very well and I couldn't even focus either. I was walking around the room swiffering, which took away preparation time.” Many teachers agree that these reactive measures were not helping exterminate the bugs.

Finally, Mr. Groh received permission to use chemical pesticides which entailed emailing parents, and evacuating the room and surrounding rooms for 3 days. Mrs. Gagliardi and her colleagues eagerly waited the designated 72 hours, and hopefully anticipated their return to a bug-free school.

The bug infestation in the A wing has been contained for now. However, Mrs. Gagliardi remains skeptical about the long-term efficacy of the treatment. “What I'm hoping is that a plan be put in place to maintain and to keep the pill bugs away”, Mrs. Gagliardi explained. She would like to encourage the administration to be, “more proactive than reactive, by ultimately paving over the courtyard.” That being said, this is a costly endeavor that would need to be included in the school budget.

Hopefully the overwhelming issue with the pill bugs will stay under control, so the administration doesn't have to take such drastic measures as paving over the courtyard.