Chase Charaba, Co-Editor-In-Chief
After months of battling rodents in the College Center with traps, college officials have the upper hand.
Rats and mice infested Pierce College at the end of spring quarter, necessitating officials to hire an outside exterminator. Students sighted rats in the Academic Resource Center on May 18, and multiple rodents were spotted in the Office of Student Life, including a dead rat and two dead mice that were pulled from the ceiling.
“I’d say probably in the last month, we’ve caught two in the traps that we’ve set,” Dan Timmons, building and grounds manager for the Puyallup campus, said. “That’s a huge difference from when this first started. We were probably catching a couple rats each day.”
The college contracted with an exterminator to get rid of the rats last spring, and they’ve continued to work with the college into fall quarter. The pest control company came to the college every week for the first month, Timmons said. Now the company will make monthly visits to check the traps and reassess the situation.
“We set traps in the ceiling and on the roof,” Timmons said. “We call them the penthouse, the units on top of our roofs.”
It took about a month for the problem to get under control, and the college has taken measures to ensure that the rats don’t return, Timmons said.
Director of Safety and Security Chris Mackersie sent an email to all college employees last quarter asking them to remove food from their desks that wasn’t in containers.
..“Over the years, we have had similar challenges in the Brouillet and Gaspard buildings,” Mackersie said in his email. “In each case, Facilities required the assistance of the building occupants to completely eliminate the rodents from the buildings.”
As reported by The Puyallup Post in the June 14 article about the rat infestation, custodians focused on collecting trash every night and notifying staff members who had left food out during the night in an effort to curb the problem.
“We’ve taken measures to make sure exterior building doors are closed when not in use,” Timmons said. “We’ve asked the college community to help us out by not leaving any kind of food out. If you’re going to be having food by your work area, make sure it’s in a closed container.”
Timmons said he doesn’t know why the rats showed up in the College Center, but that the building is the perfect environment to attract rodents.
“We have our dumpster in the back and we have our kitchen right there, so we have multiple food sources for the rodents to hang out,” Timmons said. “If doors were being left open, that’s the perfect environment to get them to the building, so we just have to be diligent and make sure we keep that area clean and the doors closed.”
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