Mice scamper through the hall-ways of the Podium building.Rats roam around Esso, tunnel-ing through the fence in hopes ofsneaking in the George Vari Engi-neering and Computing Centre.Cockroaches dart through the rstoor of the Library building andsneak in cracks and crevices.According to documents ob-tained by the
through afreedom of information request,persistent and escalating pestcontrol issues in several Ryerson buildings have been plaguing fac-ulty, sta and students for years.The university spends $22,000annually on campus pest controland sta from Orkin Canada PCOServices is on campus every Fri-day, checking mouse traps andlaying down rat poison but pestsstill lurk around campus.“It’s not to say it isn’t a problemor it is zero, but I would suggestthat it is by and large under con-trol, that it is not too serious,” saidRyerson President Sheldon Levy.“We should be aiming for perfec-tion — I doubt we’ll ever get per-fection but you should have that asyour goal.”Tonga Pham, director of Cam-pus Planning and Sustainabil-ity, said in an email that, althougheliminating pests is impossible, theuniversity puts“constant eort”into ghting in-festation.“In an urbanseing such asours it is nearlyimpossible to‘completelyeradicate’ pestson campus, therefore we also re-spond to concerns by taking actionas quickly as possible once an issueis reported,” she wrote.But, even with control measuresin place, some buildings on cam-pus have been experiencing pestproblems for years. The SouthBond Building [SBB] at 105 BondSt. requested pest control servicesfrom CPS several times since Au-gust 2010 because mice droppingswere found.The problem is still ongoing,according to Gabe Nespoli, re-search operations coordinator atthe psychology department, whichis housed in the SBB. He has beenworking in the building for fouryears and mice — in varying num- bers — have been present for the beer part of his time there.“It comes and goes,” he said.“I think maybewith the time ofyear.”Nespoli saidsta routinelynds mousedroppings onthe ground andsome desks inthe building. Hesaid some students are unwillingto work in one of the labs wheremouse droppings are regularlyfound.Although it doesn’t bother Ne-spoli too much to nd droppingsin the building, he is worried attimes about the cleanliness of theSBB. “I mean, it’s kind of gross,”he said.Although PCO pest controltechnicians come by the buildingwhenever sta members requesta check, he said the traps they setdo not seem to permanently deterthe mice.“They keep coming back so Idon’t know how eective (themeasures) have been,” Nespolisaid.But Pham responded that resultsare usually not immediate.“When a concern is identied by building users responsive action istaken immediately, however it cantake some time for this action tohave a positive eect.”Sta and faculty on the secondand third oors of Eric Palin Hallwere also plagued by mice lastyear and sta emailed CPS a totalof 22 times to report mice sightingsand mouse droppings between Jan. 13, 2010 andAug. 16, 2011.Lynn Reyn-olds, mechani-cal engineeringadministrativecoordinator, sentseveral emailsurging CPS tosend a pest con-trol expert to thedepartment’ssecond oor EPH oces last De-cember. Even though inspectionswere done regularly, the problempersisted.“But it was never more than oneat a time every few days or once aweek,” said Reynolds.The problem worsened duringthe university’s holiday break,when pest control was not in-specting. After Ryerson reopened,measures were taken and the micewere cleared until April, whensta reported mice sightings again,according to emails addressed toCPS. The problem was resolvedafter that, said Reynolds.“We haven’t seen another onesince then,” she said. But she stillkeeps her food in a sealed plastic bin under her desk.Even thoughpest controlsta does rou-tine checks oncea week, some buildings havehad to wait forexterminationfor more thanhalf a year. TheTheatre Schoolrst reportedsigns of termite damage to thewest wall of Room 101 in Septem- ber 2010.A pest control technician inves-tigated the problem but, in Febru-ary 2011, the school emailed CPSto say nothing had been done sincethe initial visit and termites werecontinuing to eat away the wallsof the classroom. One sta mem- ber emailed jokingly that, if actionis not taken soon, the university“might need to build a new The-atre School.”Finally, an exterminator was brought in late April 2011, whichcost the university $1,800.But Pham said the wait was be-cause the termite treatment is mosteective in the spring.‘The most eective, and leastinvasive, treatment for termitesinvolves ground injections thatare required at the exterior of the building,” she said in an email.“These treatments are less eectivein the winter, and cannot be donewhen the ground is frozen.”Levy said, although the idealscenario is no pests at all, the uni-versity is doing its best to controlthe situation on campus.“Other than bringing in the ex-perts and doing what you can, Ican’t think of anything else youcan do.”
October 26, 2011The Eyeopener
Rye fighting losing battle with pests
Eric Palin Hall
Faculty and staff in the Schoolof Social Work were complain-ing that “mice [were] marchingin the third oor of EPH” sinceJanuary 2010. In November,staff continued to email CPS,saying “we continue havingmice running around our ofceand disrupting our work.” Butsome staff members were notas harsh towards the critters.One wrote an email to custodialstaff, saying there was a “cutemouse scampering around.”
Since January 2010, staff inthe basement and rst oor ofthe building was complainingabout nding mouse droppingsin ofces and seeing mice inthe staff lounge area. One staffmember even reported seeing a“pretty brave mouse run acrossthe oor during a Senate meet-ing in POD 250” on Nov. 3, 2010.Traps were set but, in July 2011,CPS was still receiving emailsabout the issue.
Staff at the South Bond build-ing were plagued by mice April2010. By September, psychol-ogy chair and dean of arts JeanPaul Boudreau sent an emailto CPS asking for more power-ful pest control than the “smallchemical traps that seem tohave little to no impact.” In hisemail, he wrote the problem is“getting substantially wors[e]”and “the problem is becominga health hazard to many of ourpeople.”
Kerr Hall West
Kerr Hall West tops the chartsfor its diversity of pests. Staff inthe building reported spottingnumerous mice, a “foot-long”rat, and a cloud-like y infesta-tion in the men’s washroom.One complaint to CPS also saidthere was a silversh problemunder the mats and around thelockers in the Pool Ofce. An-other email said that mice wererunning around the Health Cen-tre on the ground oor of thebuilding.
It is nearly impossibleto ‘completely eradi-cate’ pests on campus.
— Tonga Pham,Campus Planningand Sustainability
Here are someo the buildingswith the mostunwelcomecampus pets
Some buildings on campus are overrun by rodents and insects scurrying around ofces, classrooms and Senate meetings.
News Editor Mariana Ionova
investigates Ryerson’s resident critters
ILLUSTRATION: LINDSAY BOECKL
I mean, it’s kind of gross.
— Gabe Nespoli,research operationscoordinator