Experts "concerned" with pests
Cold weather and problems with trash management have brought a number of pests, including mice and cockroaches, to Blair in recent months.
Environmental Health Specialist Chris Lim of the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services investigated Blair the week of Mar 25 for signs of mice, rats and other pests.
Lim identified several mouse droppings in the Social Studies and English department offices. In the third floor teachers' lounge, Lim also found many dead roaches, some of which were in the staff microwave.
Though Lim said more investigation was necessary to discover the source of the roaches and determine the severity of the situation, he concluded a problem existed. "You have enough roaches here that I'm concerned," said Lim.
The school is routinely checked for signs of pests and exterminators place traps when necessary, according to Building Services Manager James Brown. Since the building opened, exterminators have treated every room in the school.
According to Business Manager Anne Alban, Blair is stepping up its extermination efforts.
Several mice have also been seen at Blair in recent months, including in the gym and the Social Studies office. From his inspection, Lim was unable to estimate how many mice there might currently be in the school.
According to Alban, roaches are inevitable in a building the size of Blair.
Lim said a more serious problem than mice is rats. Though there were no rat burrows sighted near the school building, Lim identified several possible burrows along the Beltway wall.
Brown partly attributed the pest problem to negligent trash management by students and staff. "[Building services takes] pride in the work we do in the school. But the work we do doesn't show because we get very little help from the students and most of the staff," he said.
In February, English Resource Teacher Vickie Adamson was walking down the 140s hall and saw a mouse. English teacher Judith Smith and her students saw the same mouse as it scurried under her classroom door.
Adamson was quick to chastise the Social Studies department about possible infestation problems. "If they're harboring any mouse fugitives, they need to give them up," she joked.
Matt Yalowitz. Matthew Yalowitz, a junior in the Communication Arts Program, is enjoying the school year as a page editor on the staff of Silver Chips. In his spare time from Chips, Matthew enjoys fencing, running cross country and helping to get the Blair Student Democrats Club … More »