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February 22, 2024

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Spring Housing Guide

Pests, insects less prevalent in residence halls this year

When students think about living in a residence hall, they may no consider the possibility of pests occassionally showing up as well, but pests have been spotted in residence halls.

This year, there have hardly been any reports about insects in students’ rooms, except for a small complaint of cockroaches in Offenhauer at the beginning of the semester, which was quickly taken care of, said Director of Residence Life Sarah Waters.

“Issues like this are not new,” Waters said. “We don’t want pests in buildings, but it happens. We always try to make sure we’re pest free and when we have something come up, we do our hardest to get rid of the problem as quickly as possible.”

Sophomore Allison Lauck lives in Offenhauer and said she hasn’t had a problem with insects in her room so far this semester, but when she lived at Harshman Quadrangle this past year as a freshman, she discovered a cockroach on the floor.

“I got my RA and I just didn’t want to be in my room,” Lauck said. “The University helped us out later that day and I feel like they do a good job on keeping everything clean and do their best since we are living here.”

David Crandall, professional full-time exterminator and health inspector for campus services, takes care of work orders filed by students or staff regarding pest and insect problems. Many tactics are performed when a report is filed, such as inspection and the use of vacuums, traps, dusting, and if it comes down to it, the use of sprays and pesticides, he said.

“Every situation is a little different,” Crandall said. “We go out and inspect the problem first to find out what we’re dealing with because I don’t want to have to spray the room if I don’t have to. If I don’t have to use something, then I won’t and we try to not just rely on sprays.”

There are connecting tunnels throughout the University, which serve as a water source for insects and there are food operations on campus, which give insects and pests a prime place to hide, Waters said. Students might even bring the insects with them to campus from another place, but ultimately, the pest and insect issue is something the University takes seriously when it is brought up, she said.

“We don’t have a problem that is so bad when you walk in the hallways that you immediately see cockroaches running throughout the residence halls,” Waters said. “That’s not the situation. When we get reports like that we go out and investigate right away.”

Freshman Ian Gustafson lives in Offenhauer and said the only kinds of bugs he’s seen in his room are flies and that’s only because he leaves the window open.

“I think the University does fairly well in keeping bugs out of peoples’ rooms,” Gustafson said. “They have the policies written down and they want students to take trash out and clean your room and vacuum it.”

It is encouraged for students who have insect and pest problems with their rooms to file a report as soon as possible.

“We encourage people to call and report if you see a bug, spider or a mouse,” Crandall said. “Get a hold of somebody and we’ll put a work order on it and let your RA know about it.”

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