For around three years, numerous residents of the Cromwell Court apartment complex in the village of Hyannis located in the town of Barnstable have been living in roach infested conditions. However, unlike many long-running insect infestations in apartment buildings, the failure to have the roach pests eliminated from Cromwell Court is not due to inaction on the part of the landlord or property managers; instead, the roach issues persist because several tenants have refused to allow pest control professionals to treat their unit for roach pests. In fact, the landlord of the apartment complex is a member of POAH, or Preservation of Affordable Housing, which is a non-profit organization that aims to keep affordable housing safe and free of health hazards, including insect pest infestations. The landlord recently hired a new pest control firm that is working with the Barnstable Health Department to formulate a plan to eliminate the extensive roach presence in the multi-story complex.

Roach pest issues have been a problem at Cromwell Court apartments for quite some time, as the health department has received 17 roach pest complaints since May of 2018, and 41 complaints since 2006. The long-running cockroach infestation persists to this day, and has spread to dozens of apartment units. Third floor resident, Montana Rocheteau, has been struggling with roach pest issues in her unit since she moved in back in October of 2017. Recently, pest control professionals spent hours in Montana’s unit filling cracks and gaps in her walls with insecticide gel and placing sticky traps around her apartment in order to determine where the roach pests are hiding. Since moving in, Montana has seen roaches emerge from small cracks in wood and from behind electrical outlets, but perhaps worst of all, she had to throw out all of her refrigerated food after finding that roaches had literally infested her refrigerator. Montana also burns incense daily to mask the smell of dead cockroaches that have collected in wall-voids. Another tenant recently showed a trap filled with dozens of roaches to a Time Magazine photographer who visited the complex, and another tenant, Christie Marceline, showed photographs of roaches crawling on her kitchen counter. Christie is still struggling with the roach pests despite 8 separate insecticide treatments conducted within her unit. Public health authorities are confident that the apartment will be made free of roaches, but this may take some time given the many challenges of eliminating pests from multi-unit structures.

Have you ever suffered through a long-running insect pest infestation?