Pantry pests!

by Rhode

If you like food stories:

Meet The Granary Weevil, The Pantry Monster Of Our Own Creation

The scientist in me thinks this is the coolest thing… the bug disliker in me is highly squeamish.

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85 thoughts on “Pantry pests!

  1. We haven’t dealt with these very recently, but those dang pantry moths! We tried just discarding the food they were in. Nope, it requires a full pantry clean out, wiping down packages, walls, and shelves. I agree with the quote at the end of the article:

    So the next time you disgustedly dump an insect-infested supply of rice, oats or pasta in the trash, take a moment to reluctantly tip your hat to the tenacity and dedication of the humble granary weevil — and its extraordinary, millennia-long journey to ruin your dinner.

  2. I’m not sure if I can click on this article….I am a bit squeamish about this stuff. I’ll be okay reading it, but then in the night, I’ll be sure that there are bugs crawling around on the bed or something.

  3. Roaches. *shudder* Because of our mild winters, the bugs never die. There are still mosquitoes flying around here.

  4. I’m sure we’ve got some type(s) living in our food, but I have not seen any in the last couple of years since we found some and thoroughly inspected and cleaned everything out. I think we keep a (little bit) less around overall and rotate our stock faster than we once did.

    We have stink bugs in our house. This despite having a 3x/yr pesticide service spray all the exterior. Not like daily, but often enough that I get pissed when I see ’em.

  5. In the home country, these were in most grains and pulses especially rice. People used big sifters to sift and then wash the grain and pulses. If you wanted to eat, that was the unfortunate reality. Things have gotten better with much more packaged food but you can’t store things in your pantry for long, as we do here in the U.S.

  6. When I get home I will inspect the only two grain items not in airtight containers. And then put them in ziplocks until I pick up some more containers

  7. Gross. We recently had to deal with clothing moths in one closet. Unfortunately, these moths picked the closet where my DH keeps his suits and they had a party. Big mess and one suit was almost brand new and it couldn’t be repaired. We learned a lot about moths because we saw one downstairs and we had no idea it was a moth. It looked like a tiny fingernail when the wings were closed. Massive cleaning, and we had to throw out two suits and some sweaters. All of the new suits are stored in a closet that is in a different part of our home. We keep checking and cleaning, but I am on the look out for any new pests. I started to be more vigilant in my food pantry last year after several of you shared nightmare stories about pantry moths. I’ve been a little Marie Kondo like about my pantry and storage since Milo, LfB and S & M shared their experiences.

  8. When I initially read this story, I thought of all of you with the pantry moths. We have not been impacted (yet, because you just never know), but the whole idea of how this one particular bug evolved to not need wings was cool and creepy at the same time. And totally weird.

    Do any of you have pest-reduction strategies? I know Fred says he pays for exterminators. Any other strategies to avoid unwanted pests?

    We put everything in plastic, now necessary, but started as a holdover from my living in FL. I never stored my pantry items in plastic prior to living there.

  9. Pantry moth sufferer here. We knew we had them in Aug of 2017 but we were leaving for a 10 day vaca so there wasn’t much cleaning we could do. When we returned home it was bad. So, into the trash went a LOT of food, and a part of my soul with it, as I have admitted that I have a moral issue with throwing away food. We used pheromone traps to catch them and those tennis racket shaped bug zappers to get any we saw.

    Fast forward to spring of 2018, and we see a few flying around. So we knew that our search and destroy which included cleaning out pantry and other food storage areas and cleaning with vinegar didn’t catch every last one. So, out goes the food again (ugh) and another search and destroy mission revealed the problem. You know the small holes along the inside of a cabinet that will allow you adjust shelf heights? Well, the little buggers had laid eggs in there because we saw the casings. Fortunately, those holes are *just* the right size to be cleaned out with a wooden food skewer, which is what we did in painstaking detail. I will report back in spring of 2019. I am only somewhat hopeful.

    But really, go get one of those bug zappers, and have fun with moths and mosquitoes. There is something deeply satisfying about that zap on an August night when you’ve been listening to a mosquito buzz.

  10. “We recently had to deal with clothing moths in one closet.”

    Do you take any steps to combat the moths, e.g., cedar, moth balls? I’m curious about the efficacy of such steps.

  11. “You know the small holes along the inside of a cabinet that will allow you adjust shelf heights? Well, the little buggers had laid eggs in there because we saw the casings.”

    Did you take any steps to prevent them from nesting there again? I’m thinking that taping over the holes would be quick and easy, and easy to reverse if you want to change the shelf heights. Another way would be to get a bunch of the shelf height pegs and use them to fill all empty holes.

  12. “You know the small holes along the inside of a cabinet that will allow you adjust shelf heights? Well, the little buggers had laid eggs in there because we saw the casings. Fortunately, those holes are *just* the right size to be cleaned out with a wooden food skewer, which is what we did in painstaking detail. ”

    Yes, that was our situation. Fortunately, we’ve had no recurrences. Fingers crossed.

    But I was thinking just now…what about when we have these periodic polar vortexes (vortices?) with sustained sub-freezing temperatures, what if you submitted your house to a strategic overnight freeze?

    Leave every faucet slowly flowing. Somehow we have to protect the toilets, maybe with some RV antifreeze in the bowls and tanks. Then open all windows and decamp to a hotel for the night.

    Nothing would survive, I don’t think. Not in any form of gestation or life cycle.

  13. WCE, I’ve used similar foggers in the past.

    I first learned of them when I worked at a fast-food joint in HS. A couple of times a year, right after closing, we’d cover all work surfaces and set off a few of them. Then early the next morning, before opening, we’d have to do some cleaning, because they left a slightly sticky, waxy-feeling residue. But we didn’t have to clean out the nooks and crannies, e.g., behind equipment; my boss figured the residue there was probably a good thing WRT pest control.

    I’ve also used them in the attics of our house and IL’s house.

  14. “Somehow we have to protect the toilets, maybe with some RV antifreeze in the bowls and tanks.”

    I was under the impression that only the supply lines, which are shut off and don’t allow room for the expansion of water as it freezes, require this sort of protection. The water in you toilet tanks and bowls have lots of room to expand if they freeze. The same is true for the water in all of your traps.

  15. “Then open all windows and decamp to a hotel for the night.”

    My concern would be theft.

  16. then we need to ensure that the toilet is continuously flowing.

    I would probably Google how to winterize a house, as it might make more sense to drain the pipes rather than keep them all flowing

  17. “My concern would be theft.”

    Sometimes I try to think like a criminal, and honestly, I can’t see myself stalking and targeting a house for burglary when it’s five degrees outside. Granted, I’m a bit lazy, but then again, it’s probably a safe assumption that your average common street thug is going to be even lazier than me.

  18. “it might make more sense to drain the pipes rather than keep them all flowing”

    This would seem to defeat the purpose of your traps, which is to provide a barrier between the sewer pipes and the interior of your house.

    As mentioned above, I don’t see that the water if your traps freezing would cause any damage. OTOH, I remember staying at a friend’s mountain cabin during ski season, and one of the things he always did just before leaving was pour some antifreeze in his traps.

    If you crack the toilet water supply valve open just enough for a constant drip, that drip will also keep water moving from your tank into your bowl and down your drain.

  19. “I can’t see myself stalking and targeting a house for burglary when it’s five degrees outside.”

    I’m thinking more of a crime of opportunity, e.g., somebody driving by sees all the windows open, stops, rings your doorbell, gets no response, enters through a window, opens your garage, drives in, closes the garage door, loads up his/her car, then drives away with a load of your stuff.

    I guess if you have a Ring, you could avoid the part about no response to ringing your doorbell.

  20. Finn, we haven’t, but it’s on our to-do list before the weather gets warm again. We are going to get the little round stickers that match the wood color that come with some cabinets but did not seem to come with ours.

    Pantry moths really are difficult to eradicate. I once spotted one in the worm stage purely by accident as I was cooking – it was small, maybe 1/2″, and it made the mistake of moving when I was near it. It was SO WELL hidden under the little lip where the glass stove cooktop overhangs the counter, it’s really dumb luck that I saw it. The fact that our stovetop and counters are black and it was white helped me spot it. If we had tan countertops I would have never seen it.

    So, that’s the enemy you’re up against with pantry moths.

    My apologies to the squeamish today.

  21. Meme and NOB, we will be in your fair city on Saturday to watch DD play in a high school jazz festival at the Hynes Convention Center. DH will be two weeks post op with his knee replacement. Any insider tips on parking, places for lunch, etc. that don’t involve a lot of walking? DH is up and moving, but walking short distances is about all he can do for now.

  22. We used yarn in our toilet tank last weekend. We found this trick after our toilet pipe froze, and we had to go away in December 2017 with a forecast near 0 for several days. The gift that keeps on giving is the contractor that I used to renovate my bathrooms. Until the reno, my pipes never froze as long as I kept water running in one bathroom sink. This held during a record breaking cold in ’04 and other deep freezes. The new line to the toilet did freeze last year even with insulated floors in the master bath. It has to do with one pipe that would require an entire floor to be destroyed to fix. You just need a piece of 18-24 inch yarn to keep the toilet flowing if you’re concerned. You put the yarn in the tank. Google toilet freeze prevention/yarn.

  23. Finn, I did buy a bunch of stuff in BBB. I checked reviews, articles and read on some web sites about clean up and prevention. Some of the stuff is very strong and it was hard to breathe, so we switched out to lots of cedar. I also found one brand of moth cake that wasn’t so bad after a few days. I am going to keep replacing everything about every 90 days because I think it stops working effective after a while. Also, we laundered and dry cleaned everything. Washed walls with vinegar and we just keep vacuuming to try to stay ahead of them.

  24. Swim — It’s been a while since I lived in the city proper, but IIRC, the Hynes is connected via indoor walkways to the Prudential Center, where there is both a big parking garage and lots of places to eat. The Hynes might have its own parking garage, too. There are probably also places to eat that are either next door to or across the street from the Hynes, but off hand I don’t know what’s there these days. I’m not sure if there will still be snow on the ground by this weekend, but if there is, you might try to stay within the Hynes/Prudential complex, so that your DH won’t have to venture out on the snow and/or ice.

  25. Lauren and Milo, you’ve piqued my curiosity about plumbing and low temperatures.

    Lauren, when you toilet pipe froze, exactly which pipe froze? Was it the drain pipe from the bowl, or the supply line to the tank? Was there any damage, or was it just an inconvenience that you couldn’t use the toilet (or maybe more accurately, that you couldn’t flush the toilet) until it thawed? Had you turned off any of the supply lines before you left?

  26. “Was it the drain pipe from the bowl”

    My rudimentary understanding of residential plumbing is that this line is not normally filled with water except during flushing. Hence the “glug glug glug” at the end of a flush. There’s a break in the flow, and what made it over the level threshold is gravity-drained to the sewer line or septic.

  27. And along with today’s topic, we got an email this afternoon about lice going around the school.

    Jee. Zus. I can’t with all the little critters.

  28. I’ll take lice any day over moths and other things in the food that I eat. Every time we talk about those pantry moths I want to run home and throw everything out. Ick ick ick

  29. I’ll take lice or moths or most any little critter over bedbugs. That was a most traumatizing experience.

    We get ants running around on our kitchen counters, usually in May but sometimes during other times a year. We’ve had some success with those ant traps, but it’s annoying to leave sweet rolls in in their carton on the counter and find it overrun with ants.

    I’m actually surprised we don’t have more bugs considering you cannot patch up all the tiny holes in a house, but I guess the climate up north plays a role in keeping things in check. When I lived in the desert we had all sorts of bugs in the house. My relative in AZ has thoughtfully posted pics of her scorpion catches on FB using something like this tape that she puts near her garage door. She catches a lot of mean-looking things!

  30. Swim. Park in the Prudential Center Garage. Hynes is usually accessible directly from the inside walkway. If you are coming in on the Mass Pike there is an exit marked prudential center/Copley. Two lanes go off there, you want to be in the one that is not the rightmost exit only lane but the next one over. If it seems hard to find a place, just valet it unless you are going to be there very late. There are plenty of places to eat in just that one mall, and there is another big one connected via a walkway. In the Prudential Center Mall there is a food court, but a big attraction is Eataly – the Italian “market” with food stalls. This is Rhett’s neighborhood so he can advise more. There are also a Cheescake factory and a California Pizza Kitchen a bit longer walk at opposite end of the mall. Maybe also PF Changs, not my taste. I like CPK, but for more special outings I go outside the mall via the Hilton (also attached and right next to the indoor Hynes entrance) and across the side street to seafood restaurant the Summer Shack. My daughters and I like to go there and do oysters and drinks before going to a Red Sox game.

  31. Milo, I’m thinking that if you’re going to leave the house, you would shut off your water supply to the house and open all your faucets. For your toilets, you might want to flush them (after turning off the supply), which would drop your floats and thus open the float valves.

  32. As some of you have noticed, this blog has attracted many followers. The vast majority are “spam” followers that somehow pop up automatically, and I haven’t taken the time to find out how to prevent them. However, they don’t really follow our blog as in reading posts regularly. This outfit just came up as a new follower.

    Seattle’s Best Pest Detection
    The Most Experienced Bed Bug Sniffing Dog Handler in Seattle

  33. I will take lice over pantry/clothing moths and bed bugs. It isn’t that difficult to get rid of lice and they can’t live after 48 hours without a live host. For example, the lice can’t just live off a wood bed frame.

    Finn, we are not sure which pipe is the problem, but we were home when it froze the first time after the construction. This master bath is the only bathroom that touches an outside wall and we found out many years ago that the original construction/insulation from this builder was terrible. We told this contractor about the insulation problems and we tried to add as much insulation as possible during this construction, but this pipe runs down to the basement so it gets very cold.

    We were home when it froze the first time, and our plumber came to see if there was anything that he could do to fix the problem. It happened overnight when there was no use for many hours AND no sun.He said that the only way to determine which pipe was to break open the floor. This was only a few months after the construction so we just ran space heaters and blow dryers until the sun came out. As soon as it thawed, we moved to the yarn trick, and now we just add some yarn whenever we see a forecast with extreme cold. These temps are not common around here, but there was a very long stretch last year of single digit temps. Many of our neighbors and friends had frozen pipes last year, but we just take more precautions now to prevent any frozen pipes. We keep cabinet doors open, run the heat much higher than our normal temps, let faucets drip in a couple of bathrooms etc. We also bought a simple cover for our faucet that connects to our outdoor hose. It is like an insulated sock for our outdoor water faucet. It is very inexpensive and it prevents drafts. We generally drain that line and shut off our outdoor water faucet around mid November.

  34. And since it’s past 4, I’ll head off on a tangent started by Swim…

    Besides visiting that Eataly at Prudential Center, over the holidays I also had a chance to sample some ethnic foods new to me: challah, matzo ball soup, and real NYC bagels.

  35. Lauren – I’m sorry for the frozen pipes issue. That was one thing I was concerned about when we moved here, but we’ve never had any issues.

  36. Finn, good choices, but did you also get a slice in NY? I didn’t realize that Eataly opened in Boston. My favorite pizza in Boston is Regina. The only thing that I don’t like is that my cousin always wants to go to the original location. It’s fun because of the history, but it’s hard to walk since the space is so small.

  37. Swim, definitely park at the Pru if you need to park. Where are you staying? We can give you directions. :)

  38. Lauren, we haven’t had any recent problems, fortunately. For a while there, setting foggers before every weekend out of town was routine.

    Lemon Tree, can’t agree with you there–bugs that might be crawling on my body are far ickier to me than anything in my food. When I think about the pantry bugs or the moths that once ate a hole in my skirt, I get itchy all over and grossed out thinking of them on me. I’ve never had lice & hope I never do. I am glad that my son’s hair type is very unlikely to host them.

    I don’t think one night would be sufficient to freeze a house. Have you ever gone into a place where the heat has been turned off for a couple weeks or months? It takes a couple days to truly feel warm, because the walls have to get warmed up again. Turning the heat off for just one night, even with windows open, isn’t going to be enough to counteract the warmth seeping from the walls.

    “it’s probably a safe assumption that your average common street thug is going to be even lazier than me.” Ha! Living on the streets is hella hard. Lots of articles available if you want to find out more. Basically, the things that seem too simple for you to think about take a ridiculous amount of very detailed planning, and you’re operating on a minimum of sleep.

    “The vast majority are “spam” followers that somehow pop up automatically” That is good to hear! And it’s humorous to mention all those silent followers in a message on pests and insidious bugs.

  39. Swim,

    Diagonally across from Eatly they’ve opened a bunch on new lunch places: Anna’s Taqueria, Num Pang Kitchen (bon mi sandwiches), and I think a Sweetgreens (salads). There is also a Wagamama (Asian fusion). They also opened an Earls which is an slightly upscale Canadian Cheesecake Factory. These are all within 1000’ of the Hynes.

  40. SM – I stand by my previous assertion.

    “The general pattern is that extreme weather tends to cause an across-the-board decrease in crime when it’s cold,” said Matthew Ranson, an economist for the Cambridge, Massachusetts, consulting firm Abt Associates. He recently published results of a study in which he combined 30 years of data across the country and found “a very strong historical relationship between temperature and crime.”

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/does-cold-stop-crime-it-seems-so-n309856

  41. Milo, I didn’t see an assertion that crime drops when it’s cold. I’d agree with that, because of how much effort it takes to get warm. What I saw was you saying that you are not as lazy as these people are. That’s what I disagree with.

  42. To be clear, I never conflated theft and burglary with homelessness. But, I suppose it’s good to know how highly you think of me.

  43. July,

    Per that article MM needs to ask for a raise and an non fishbowl office and all her conferences and such paid in full. And an assistant and a parking space by the door.

  44. “real NYC bagels”

    Finn – best damn thing on the planet. I miss those bagels. I also miss being able to buy pizzas by the slice.

    A funny aside: Back in August, I was in Atlantic City for a convention. I had my colleague with me who’s foreign by birth. I desperately wanted a slice of pizza so we wandered the boardwalk until I found a place that served pizza slices the size of a newborn baby. She almost walked out because the pizza didn’t look “good”. I had to explain to her that they half cook the pizza, display it, and then you choose your slice and they finish the cooking in the oven. I forgot that grabbing a “slice of pie” isn’t typical for the rest of pizza-eating America.

  45. Hah! Instead we just dumped overloads on two tenure trackers, in one case literally 24 hours before the first class meeting. When I talk to my friends at other schools, they report the same – either mandatory overloads, or adding so many students to existing sections that there isn’t enough room for students to sit.

  46. MM,

    Do you think it will end up like pharmacy programs? There was a sudden surge in demand so Wallgreens was offering sign on bonus BMWs and such. But then the number of pharmacy students surged and things fell back to earth. Or is demand high enough? I guess if the H1B crackdown continues that’s 70k jobs a year.

  47. Oh, I have seen CS booms and busts before. But our busts are never as bad as in other fields, and our booms are really boomy.

  48. The Hard Part of Computer Science? Getting Into Class

    All they have to do is pay more. Just like with every other labor shortage in the U.S.

  49. Schools don’t have the money to pay more. That is the problem. They can’t compete with the salaries that CS PhDs can get in industry. It is particularly acute at the small tuition dependent private schools.

  50. The article mentions Haverford. One of my kid’s best friends is at that school and considering majoring in CS.

    At my son’s school, every section fills within a few days of registration starting. Since he is in the honors program, he gets priority, but even with that, he said it was a bit of a scramble.

  51. Schools don’t have the money to pay more.

    Meh. They could find it if it was important to them. Just fire a couple of administrators and redirect those salaries. But of course the administrators are making those decisions, so it won’t happen. And private industry could pay more instead of importing foreign workers and then writing tear-stained articles in the WSJ about how they can’t find any qualified employees.

  52. I agree that private colleges could pay more, but public schools genuinely don’t have the money. Scott Walker’s attack on the Wisconsin Plan, which was the model for the country, is Exhibit A there.

  53. RMS, the problem is that CS is used to subsidize other programs. We are a cash cow for my university right now. One of the things that makes me very angry is that even though it is well known that to teach programming to novices effectively, you need to give students lots of hands on help and feedback, universities persist in jamming several hundred kids into CS1 courses, with autograders instead of humans doing the grading so there is no feedback at all. Meanwhile, the English department gets to hire 40 million comp lecturers so they can teach writing in small sections. Universities say that CS is important to them, but the administration largely doesn’t really believe it.

  54. S&M, the small tuition dependent privates, which is really the majority in that sector, do not have the money to raise salaries. You saw the news the other day that Hampshire College is in trouble…There are going to be more schools in trouble soon.

  55. Universities say that CS is important to them, but the administration largely doesn’t really believe it.

    You just made my point for me.

  56. Per that article MM needs to ask for a raise and an non fishbowl office and all her conferences and such paid in full. And an assistant and a parking space by the door.

    Oh yes, Definitely !

  57. “And private industry could pay more instead of importing foreign workers and then writing tear-stained articles in the WSJ about how they can’t find any qualified employees.”

    +1

  58. Ancedotally the kids of the first wave IT focused H1B’s, are to a large extent majoring in STEM fields.

  59. “Universities say that CS is important to them, but the administration largely doesn’t really believe it.”

    We have problems at our university with the deans and chairs in certain low-demand disciplines, who resent and do everything in their power to block resource reallocation to high-demand disciplines. But ultimately the students are the consumers, and they will take their business elsewhere if you can’t accommodate their demands.

  60. Thanks all for the lunch recommendations for Boston, I didn’t realize so many of you were from the area. I’ll have DH check out some of your recommendations and see which are closest as walking for him will still be limited.

    DD’s group has exactly 18 minutes to play their set, anything over will automatically disqualify them. If she weren’t so excited about this we would have him stay home and facetimed him to watch their < 18 minute set. For context, drive time to Boston is 2 hours one way. We will be bringing ice packs in a cooler so that he can ice the knee when needed. What we do for our kids.

    Others have recommended Eataly but thought it might be too long of a walk for him.

    He had his follow up yesterday and we saw xrays of the new knee – fascinating. He also received a medical card indicating that he had a metal implant, tho the dr said that most patients with this type of implant have reported that they do not set off security metal detectors.

  61. Others have recommended Eataly but thought it might be too long of a walk for him.

    Swim,

    Eataly and the places I mentioned are out in front of Saks. The convention center is to the left on the map.

  62. Or see the green square in the middle that says Prudential Tower? The pink box above it is Eatly.

  63. Swim – could you check with the mall or the convention center to see if they have transport wheelchairs to rent (like strollers at the mall)? Or maybe see if a local medical supply place rents transport chairs. They are very small wheelchairs that may give you some piece of mind. I rented one for a trip that occurred <48 hours after I severely sprained my ankle. Made our trip so much smoother. And I wasn't tired from hobbling on crutches all the time.

  64. “And private industry could pay more instead of importing foreign workers and then writing tear-stained articles in the WSJ about how they can’t find any qualified employees.”

    But at zero unemployment how much good would raising wages do?

  65. MM – that’s interesting that at your schools, the computer science program subsidizes the humanities. The Seattle Times just had an article about the University of Washington where it’s the total opposite. It’s much cheaper to run humanities programs – the cost of an undergrad English major is much less than the cost of an undergrad computer science major. According to this article (and the UW provost for planning and budgeting), you need more labs/equipment and smaller class sizes for computer science programs than for English or history etc. degrees. As the number of humanities majors drops and people are shifting into more STEM majors, it’s causing financial issues for the University of Washington.

    https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/as-stem-majors-soar-at-uw-interest-in-humanities-shrinks-a-potentially-costly-loss/

  66. But at zero unemployment how much good would raising wages do?

    At the margins companies would have more incentive to offer training. It would also entice high ability people away from other high wage jobs (finance, etc.) and those finance firms would then have to hire from a tier below where they were accustomed to hiring.

  67. It is not as simple as raising wages for computer professionals. Many computer and bio and other engineering/tech companies are quite content to fill many open spots with young skilled workers, whether H1B or other legal classifications without current or imminent green cards, who are willing to accept the offered wage and cannot change jobs. Raising wages will not increase that pool, just the cost of employing it, nor will it magically induce more US citizen or permanent resident students to try to obtain precious spaces in overflowing programs. Elite Industry already pays well and has perks to entice high achieving US students to study and seek employment in what we usually call “tech”. If industry in general wanted to increase its pool of qualified US applicants, it would partner with local middle of the road universities to a) fund training of more profs or other levels of teacher b) create Northeastern style work/study programs c) provide additional classroom space and equipment. Why would it want to spend money to create a larger pool of higher cost workers?

  68. seattlesoccermom, you are right that STEM majors cost more than humanities majors. And honestly, I think at a lot of schools, the psychology major (cheap and popular) subsidizes bio and physics. When I say that CS subsidizes other programs, I didn’t say specifically humanities. Many schools put CS in the engineering college, and use it to subsidize some of the even more expensive engineering majors. At my school, though, the situation is that the professional programs, including CS, are subsidizing the liberal arts majors, including bio and physics. We have the data, so we all know it. I know that at NYU, the masters in CS that is aimed at working people is the huge cash cow.

  69. At DS’ school, their introductory CS class is huge, the biggest class at the school, and I believe it is open to anyone who wants to take it. They manage that with a single prof and small army, which includes a few preceptors and a whole bunch of teaching fellows and course assistants, most of whom are undergrads. Many (most?) of the students are not CS majors.

    I don’t know if that same model is used in any other CS classes, or how well it would work in other schools.

  70. Being able to access computer science classes was a big factor in DD picking Oregon State over Cal Poly and University of Washington. She got into the engineering programs at all 3 schools – but at Cal Poly and UW, it seemed unlikely she could switch into computer science (and for Cal Poly she definitely would not have been able to switch). DD is taking her first computer science class this quarter and really likes it so far.

  71. If she chooses Com Sci, Margaret Burnett’s Com Sci 419 class on inclusive design sounds interesting. I’ve heard Burnett talk about her research on medical records software and why users don’t like what software engineers do, in many cases.

  72. SSM, that’s consistent with what I was reading in CC during DS’ senior year. A lot of kids were getting into the colleges they wanted, but couldn’t get into those schools’ CS programs.

    The more I think about it, the more I like DS’ school’s approach to the intro CS class. Some understanding of CS will be of use to many students who aren’t CS majors, so facilitating the opening of a class at that level to all students, even if that method doesn’t necessarily work well for more advanced CS classes, makes sense.

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