Corpus Christi -- CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) — A South Texas woman showed up to a recent City Council meeting dressed as a cockroach in her latest attempt to bring attention to the influx of roaches and rodents near a major road after new vegetation was planted.
Texas AA&M University-Kingsville professor Patricia Polastri brought a bag of dead roaches to the meeting last month to complain about the vegetation planted along Ocean Drive in Corpus Christi, the Caller-Times reported. She said roaches and other pests attracted to the street's palm trees and bushes put residents' safety at risk.
"I lived there when we only had three palms in that section of Ocean Drive; now we have 35," said Polastri, who has lived in the area since 2012. "In five blocks, we have 156 palms alone. The city is not going to take care of that."
Councilman Ben Molina met with Polastri last month to walk the median and "understand the issue from her side of the story."
"At first, she said it was more than just a roach issue to her," Molina said. "She talked about public safety, she talked about mobility, people walking in and out of there."
Molina said he spoke with other residents along Ocean Drive and learned that most favored the planted vegetation.
"That's why I didn't push further to have the city address the landscaping issue there," Molina said. "Because for the most part, a lot of the residents were in favor of the landscaping."
But Polastri said most neighbors haven't seen the nocturnal pests because "the vegetation has grown too high." She warned that the pests will remain "invisible" until they create a hazard on the road.
Information from: Corpus Christi Caller-Times, http://www.caller.com