Insects and rodents are a nuisance to deal with. The mere size of these pests can create some challenges for our students and the housing operation. Furthermore, the expense of keeping these unwanted pests out of the residencies can be costly as well as the amount of damage caused by these pesky invaders. Often times, problems can be corrected swiftly before getting out of control. However, there are times when problems go unreported or untreated for long periods of time which allows the issue to migrate to multiple residencies. Keep in mind, insects and rodents, like people, seek three things to survive and multiply:
- Food – as long as there is a regular food source, pests will continue to come back
- Water – as long as there is moisture where invaders can stay hydrated, they will continue to come back
- Shelter – as long as there is a comfortable home (warm in the winter and cool in the summer), they will continue to come back
What To Do
It is important students and staff work collaboratively in handling pest control issues. When working together, the outcome of success is far greater than working independently or against one another. Here are some important details for both partners to understand and practice to minimize and solve problems.
- Maintain a clean household. This includes…
- Removal of trash and waste on a regular basis. Discarded trash needs to be taken to the area waste receptacles and not placed outside the front doors, in the bushes or on the grassy areas.
- Sweep and mop non-carpet based floors weekly.
- Vacuum carpeted floors weekly.
- Clean bathroom sink and tub weekly.
- Pick up debris from your around the outside of your residency. Litter left over from social gatherings provides some easy means of “survival” for pests.
- Place opened food in plastic, sealing containers – Chips and snacks, cereal and other food items which are commonly sold in boxes or bags larger than a single serving are often stored in the same bag or box once they are opened. Though you may not smell the flavorful aroma from your food, pests do! Placing items in plastic containers such as Tupperware, GladWare, Ziploc or another suitable storage product will eliminate the aroma issue and possibly add to longer freshness.
- Close doors and unscreened windows – One of the easiest ways for a problem to enter your residency is through an opening in which you can control such as the front door or a window without a screen. Simply keeping your door closed creates another barrier to pests.
- Report problems early – Do not ignore or simply live with a problem. Report it! Though seeing a single insect is not cause for panic or alarm, seeing several on a regular basis is the beginning signs of a problem waiting to grow. An unreported issue in one residency can grow to the point of affecting surrounding residencies. Submitting a work order takes seconds to do. Ridding an infestation which has been breeding for a long period of time can take months to resolve.
- Allow time for treatment to set in – The application of pest control methods will not result in an immediate removal of pests. To shrink a population which has been growing for weeks or months will take some time. There is not a timeline or specified number of days your problem will be resolved as each problem is different and may require different treatment methods.
Residence Life Will:
- Respond to work orders – The Residence Life operation is small group of staff handling multiple items on a daily basis. When a problem is reported to Residence Life, all efforts will be made to correct the problem. Some problems may take several days and others several weeks.
- Provide regular pest control treatments – The Residence Life operation will administer the use of a professional pest control provider for all residencies on campus. Furthermore, the facilities operation will enter residencies on a regular basis to treat for pests even when there is not a problem. This will help in our prevention efforts to keep pests out.
- Provide educational information – The Assistant Director of Residence Life – Facilities will stay in contact with colleagues around the state and Midwest region regarding the latest pest control methods. Information will be collected from industry conferences specific to the field of on-campus living where common practices, new techniques and specialized applications are learned from and administered.
- Communicate with students – The Residence Life operation will communicate its intentions and plans when addressing a problem larger than a simple correction. Details of what is needed on the part of the student will be included in the communication as well as any instructions which may be crucial to the implementation of a correction.