A game of cat and mouse

Cartoon by Wyce Mirzad

Since Pierce College underwent construction on the back road near the faculty offices, the campus has had a rat problem that is affecting the everyday  operations of professors.

Administration needs to outsource and contact a professional extermination service to handle the matter, as well as step up fixes in-house.

The problem grew during reconstruction. When the concrete was broken, a hive of rats was discovered underground. They dispersed themselves throughout the campus, but seemed to take to the Faculty Office bungalows located behind the College Services building and the Library Learning Crossroads.

If Pierce doesn’t act quickly, the campus could become infested, which creates several problems, including potential health issues.

Rats can carry many of at least 60 communicable diseases, including Hantavirus, leptospirosis, typhus and meningitis.

One solution is to make adjustments to the trash on campus, making it less accessible.

Professional exterminators are needed because the rat traps placed throughout the faculty offices mean rats are left in offices all day for professors to find in the morning. Rats even can chew their own leg or tail off to escape from the trap. With the old metal snap trap, rats are mutilated and leak blood in the offices which created a smell in some of the bungalows.

Someone that knows the patterns and behaviors of these creatures is needed, and soon, because rats have an strikingly high reproduction rate.

John Hopkins University pegs the average pregnancy term of rats at about 21-23 days, with about 10-12 pups being born in each litter. A female rat can mate with as many as 500 partners during a six-hour period of “heat,” or sexual receptivity, which occurs about 15 times per year. That adds up to as many as 2,000 offspring in one year.

Pierce, working with professional exterminators, can manage this problem before it gets out of hand.