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The Cleveland State custodial staff is using traps (left) to try and control cockroach (right) and mouse infestations in campus buildings.



Oct. 30, 2017

FAST handles a pest problem

Students, faculty and staff are dealing with a rodent infestation in the School’s of Communication, Engineering, Rhodes Tower and Physical Education. All of these buildings are reporting problems.

Gary Pettey, Ph.D., director of the School of Communication, has had a few encounters with these creatures.

“Starting last summer I had seen a small mouse in the hallway on occasion, probably in search of food. Faculty have found droppings in offices and some faculty claimed to see them in their offices. The dept. of Facilities, Architect, Safety and Technology (FAST) has sent mousetraps, but none were fruitful,” Pettey said.

Pettey is one of several faculty members who have seen these creatures running around offices and hallways.

Shehadeh Abdelkarim, director of Facilities Management at Cleveland State,  commented, “the issue with rodents in the Communications Building was determined to be caused by the demolition of the Chester building and several holes identified in the exterior of the communications building.”

He added that known holes have been fixed, traps set and an exterminator hired.

Finally, the last action step was educating students on how to eliminate possible food sources by securing offices and common areas.

However, some students and staff are not convinced that the Chester building is the sole reason for the problem.               

Some argue that cleanliness is not a top priority. Last spring, the university made budget cuts to the cleaning staff. Before these cuts were made, faculty offices were cleaned weekly, but now just once a month.

A member of the cleaning staff, who asked not to be named, said he believes cleanliness will be hard to achieve.

“Resources have been cut, no new equipment purchases. With an 80 percent cut in our budget, it’s harder to do a great job with less staff and inferior equipment.”

Stephen Horning, a senior and promotional communication major, came across a cockroach in the one of the men’s restrooms. He shared his thoughts on what he believes should be a top priority.

“I think we should look into fumigation,” Horning said. “I don’t like the idea of being in an environment with pests. We definitely need to up the cleaning staff.”

FAST managers say they are aware of the situation and have acted to get rid of the rodents as efficiently as they can. Ken Heiss is a facilities manager for Rhodes Tower and has been with the University for 42 years. He claims to have been seeing rodents since the ‘70s.

Heiss had been filing reports for six months when FAST took action with traps and an exterminator who visits Rhodes Tower every Friday. He said he believes poison would be a good option but it is against state regulations, so FAST has tried other methods instead.

“I’ve been around them for so long I don’t get spooked,” Heiss said. The librarians get very upset but I do not like those sticky traps we have because the mice suffer and it’s not pretty.”

Aubrie Tone, a member of the softball team, senior and promotional communication major, has had a few encounters with these pests.


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