Neighbors you don’t want to invite over

The Pierce community has new neighbors on campus that don’t have backpacks, but travel in packs.

The North of Mall construction caused a rodent infestation, which has spread to the Library Learning Crossroads and new faculty offices in Alder since December 2017.

The rodents used to live in the walls on and would come out at night, creating their homes  throughout campus.

Department Chair of the Library Learning Crossroads Paula Paggi said she has tried to contact Plant Facilities for assistance setting up rodent traps and disposing of traps with rat and mice carcasses.

“At the end of the 2018 winter session, Plant Facilities found rats and mice nesting behind the refrigerator in the library’s kitchen for warmth,” Paggi said. “Plant Facilities has had gardeners setting up rat and mouse traps all over the library.”

Instructor of Humanities and History Richard McMillan said he has found rodent droppings on the computer mouse and keyboard he uses in his office and uses Clorox disinfecting wipes to clean his work space. McMillan said he is concerned with the rat and mice infestation on campus reaching his office in the 3100 building.

“Rats are in this faculty office building because they are looking for warmth and food. Us teachers leave our food and wrappers in our trash cans, thus inviting these pests to rummage,” McMillan said.

McMillan said that professors may be at least partly responsible for the infestation coming to the faculty offices and that the design of the building facilitates rodents’ entry.

“I brought my own rat traps and placed them all over my room–behind my door, behind the faculty couch. I’ve caught five rats so far,” McMillan said. “One downside that makes matters worse is that, at the bottom of each faculty office door, at least three inches has been cut off to help with AC air flow. Those widened door bottoms have helped rats and mice limbo through our doors.”

Adjunct Instructor of English Chris Corning said he saw a rat walking on the staircase in front of the business offices on Wednesday, Feb. 14.  

“The rat looked shriveled up, slow and old. It walked toward me. It didn’t seem scared of me at all,” Corning said, “I contacted Plant Facilities immediately.”

Pierce instructors McMillan, Paggi and Corning have reached out to Plant Facilities to address the rodent problem although Head of Plant Facilities Paul Nieman could not be reached.

McMillan said he could offer Pierce ideas on controlling the rodent population.

“Pierce needs to get more cats on campus,” McMillan said.