Rodents scurry into residence halls

FIXit has received about 22 rodent complaints across different residence halls this fall.

A University official said they were unable to provide a list of the affected residence halls by the time of publication.

To stem potential infestations, Facilities Services officials cleaned behind appliances and blocked openings in walls in all buildings across campus to thwart potential rodent infestations – a consistent problem in urban areas.

Fulbright Hall, which saw about 38 rodent complaints during the 2010-2011 academic year, has only seen one so far this year. In 2009, buildings like JBKO, Munson and Madison halls all saw increases in rodents during construction on The Avenue.

Gerard Brown, program manager for the D.C. Department of Health’s Rodent and Vector Control Division, said construction does generally attract rodents to nearby buildings.

“If rodents are in an area already, construction will displace them,” Brown said. “They still need food, water and shelter, and will move somewhere new if construction takes place.”

Sophomore Chrisanthe Theodorakakis, who lives in Fulbright, said her house scholar warned her to look out for rodents.

“I did spot a mouse in our kitchen once and I immediately submitted a FIXit request,” Theodorakakis said. “The very next morning maintenance was there to put in mouse traps and they’ve been here every morning to check the traps.”

Depending on the season, residence halls are treated for potential rodents in hallways, lobbies, boiler rooms, trash rooms and communal kitchens, University spokeswoman Michelle Sherrard said.

“If the University did all that prep work, they did exactly what we recommend,” Brown said, adding that rodent presence is a sign that residents might not be storing trash or handling food properly.

He said students should keep an eye out for rat droppings, grease tracks in rooms or tracks outside the building in the grass or dirt. Students should also avoid placing their own mouse traps around their rooms and should not tamper with the traps laid down by facilities management, Sherrard said.

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