Student complaints about vermin drop sharply, Facilities says


Not in my backyard

This semester, Georgetown students and residents alike complained loudly about rats and mice invading the neighborhood.

In the Georgetown University Student Association Senate, Arman Ismail (COL ‘11—Reynolds) led efforts to mollify what he called “a growing problem” that have culminated in a $200 allocation for waste disposal awareness and improvement.

On the georgetownforum listserv, a neighborhood complained that the problem had gotten out of hand using some vivid imagery:

“We have a never ending supply of monster sized ravenous rats boring through the walls of my house. [T]he whole neighborhood is over run with rats,” the resident wrote, adding that introducing snakes to Georgetown was a possible solution.

But when asked if Facilities had been receiving more work orders regarding vermin recently, Director of Facilities Karen Frank wrote in an e-mail that her office “[has] in fact noticed a sharp drop off of calls about vermin.”

“Our contracted pest control service has been on campus daily to respond to calls,” she wrote. “They have baited and looked for any means for vermin to enter a building or apartment and have assisted Facilities in blocking holes and replacing door sweeps.”

Frank would not specify the time frame over which the work orders decreased, and University communications officers did not have additional information on the subject, but neighbors and students can take heart knowing snakes do not appear to be necessary to combat rodent presence. All it takes is vigilant extermination—and lots of Big Belly solar trash compactors.

“I’m sure that the Big Bellies are discouraging animals because of the closed containers,” Frank wrote.

4 Comments on “Student complaints about vermin drop sharply, Facilities says

  1. Karen Frank is Vice President for Facilities and Student Housing, not Director of Facilities.

  2. The sharp drop off was predicted. There were so many rats visible this year because of the new trash cans– normally rats that would survive and hide in the old ones couldn’t live there anymore, so they ran around terrifying freshmen and old people. It’s not that there were more rats than normal, it’s just that they were more visible.

    Then after a certain period of time, they all died because they have no more regular food supply. “Discouraging animals” is an awesome euphemism, btw, Ms. Frank.

    Nature: it works!

  3. Living in Village B, I don’t really understand the apparent drop in vermin sightings. Personally, I see rats every night on my way back to my apartment from the library: at the front gates, in the bushes near the front gates, and all over the Village B courtyard. In addition, I see mice (and cockroaches) in my apartment frequently. I’ve called facilities 3 times about fixing this problem, yet nothing has changed. There is just an empty glue trap sitting in my kitchen, because the other one had to be thrown away after catching roaches. I also know that other people in village b have complained about mice and roaches in their apartments. There is still much more that needs to be done on the general pest issue.

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