Emersonians battling some cocky little buggers

by Beacon Staff • February 8, 2006

Mice.

"The two utility closets, you'll see mice in there," said Ana Lowry, a freshman TV/Video major living on the third floor of the Little Building (LB).,Dorm living can have its share of inconveniences-loud floor mates and frequent fire alarms-but many on-campus residents said they have been plagued by another, more persistent annoyance.

Mice.

"The two utility closets, you'll see mice in there," said Ana Lowry, a freshman TV/Video major living on the third floor of the Little Building (LB).

Lowry, who said she has seen mice four times this school year, said that she has witnessed the rodents run between the utility closets and the trash cans and has developed a method to keep the pests out of her room.

"We had duct tape around the doors," Lowry said. "I understand that we're in the city, but we're also paying to go here."

Lowry said she reported the problem to maintenance and saw an exterminator on the floor soon after. However, she said she still sees mice in the dorms.

Residence Director (RD) Mike Ferrara said the problem is fairly common.

"[The pest problem is] nothing that I'm shocked about," Ferrara said. "It is a building in downtown Boston, so every building has its nonhuman inhabitants." He said students noticing problems should call Facilities Management, who will send an employee or exterminator to investigate.

"They'll look for possible sources of entry and go from there," he said, "They [students] should call each and every time they see something and call it in."

Facilities Management Service Coordinator Cynthia Athanas said the office gets around 16 calls about pests each calendar year.

She said she believes the amount of problems reported this year is comparable to the numbers reported in the past.

Amy Pallotta, a sophomore TV/video major who lives on the top floor of the 6 Arlington St. dorm, said she first noticed a mouse in her room two weekends ago.

Pallotta believes the rodent has been entering her room through a gap in the floor. Although she told her resident assistant (RA) about the problem, she did not report the mouse to maintenance.

Pallotta also said that she had problems getting a response from facilities in the past.

She is not the only west-side resident who has had to deal with rodent visitors.

Lauren Buchholz, a freshman film major, said she had a problem with mice in her room, and called facilities. She said a representative arrived on a Tuesday and placed traps.

Buchholz left school that Thursday due to illness. She said when she returned on Sunday, she was welcomed back to her room at 100 Beacon St. by the odor of dead mice.

There was one mouse in the trap when she returned, Buchholz said, and another was caught later that evening.

Buchholz said she had a friend dispose of the rodent the night she came back.

"The Facilities Department logs all service calls and notifies the service contractor, who responds within 24 hours and follows-up within two days," Neal Lespasio, director of Facilities Management, wrote in an e-mail interview.

"Any abatement and clean up is the responsibility of the Facilities Department and the pest control contractor."

Lespasio also wrote that all Emerson buildings are inspected and cleaned by a licensed contractor in July and August and that bi-weekly maintenance programs take place in each campus building.