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University News

Facilities: Pests pose no problem

Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Katherine Pleet ’12 was sitting in her first-floor Barbour Hall kitchen at the beginning of her sophomore year when she saw a mouse run across the floor. She called a friend for help, but the mouse was nowhere to be found that evening. Some days later, the mouse was spotted again, and this time Pleet contacted the Department of Facilities Management. Facilities workers soon arrived and set up traps, after which Pleet’s pest problems were a thing of the past.

“Facilities was very prompt,” she said.

Facilities receives about 10 reports of mice in University buildings every year. This year, it has received three reports of squirrels, two reports of cockroaches and one report of a skunk, according to Carlos Fernandez, assistant vice president of facilities operations and engineering.

Jill Pandiscio ’14, who lives on Keeney Quadrangle, has not yet seen any mice herself but said she has heard noises that indicate a creature is living in her walls. Pandiscio said Facilities has set up traps, but nothing has been caught so far.

James Amen ’12 also said he saw a rodent in his room on the second floor of Olney House last year. It did not perturb him — though it ate some cookies that were under his bed — and so he did not take any action to get rid of it, though he sighted rodents on multiple later occasions.

Pests such as squirrels or mice often enter rooms through open windows or doors, Fernandez said. If Facilities is notified of an incident by phone or through an online service request, it follows a pest control management plan and Custodial Services staff responds quickly, he said. Facilities has a 24-hour hotline that students can use to report pests.

Fernandez wrote in an e-mail to The Herald that there have not been any significant infestations on campus in his tenure with Facilities. “The Custodial Services staff provide daily cleaning of common spaces,” Fernandez wrote, adding that cleaning is the most effective means of keeping pests away.

According to Fernandez, there are no regular checks for mold or bedbugs because Facilities’ regular cleaning practices should sufficiently ward off those organisms.

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