University witnesses decrease in pests

Regina Gilmour

Nationwide, university students have issued complaints of outstanding pest problems in their residence halls. 

And while cockroaches have appeared on campus, the University has experienced an overall decrease in the number of reports, according to Erika Allen-Lynch, director of Environmental Health and Safety.

“The cases are sporadic,” Allen-Lynch said. 

In fact, she reported that overall, there have been 15 fewer pest control incidents for the fall semester. 

There were six more reports of rodents than last year, a decrease of two incidents for roaches, an increase of 12 reports for stinkbugs and a decrease of 16 ant complaints.

“We have pest control on campus three times a week, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday,” Caitlin Russell, manager of Residence Hall Operations said. “Pest control on campus is used as a preventative measure.” 

Despite these available resources, pest problems are still present in several residence halls. One such residence hall is St. Rita’s.

“The first night, I found a disgusting bug, so I bought some spray and sprayed my room myself,” sophomore St. Rita’s resident Nicholas Grassi said. “My concern with the bugs is that they keep coming back. That’s why I spray every three nights.” 

Grassi reported the problem to his resident assistant, who put in a request to eradicate the cockroaches. Fumigation was offered to Grassi, but he declined. Fumigation is a severe measure, which is rarely used in the case of pest control. 

“We are not allowed to spray,” Allen-Lynch said. “We only do it in a sheer emergency. We try to use a healthy way of exterminating.” 

However, prevention is certainly easier than treatment. 

The best ways to prevent a cockroach infestation include regularly emptying the trash, recycling bottles and keeping all food packages closed or sealed, according to Allen-Lynch. 

Vacuuming, sweeping and cleaning periodically to remove traces of food can also help prevent variety of pests from mice to cockroaches to ants. Also, blocking identifiable sources of water can be effective in preventing unwanted visitors. 

“The key is to report it,” Russell said. “Come to Residence Life, report it or send in the request online through the facilities’ website. Go to the Villanova website and select Facilities and Environmental Health and Safety.”