After a six-year break from investing in off-campus pest control, the city of Columbus is looking for rodents around the Ohio State area again.
Columbus Public Health is sending health inspectors around the University District area to look for signs of rodents, according to an article by The Columbus Dispatch.
The last time the program ran was in 2008, before the Columbus Public Health Department discontinued the $275,000 rodent control program in an effort to cut back city spending, according to Lantern archives.
Even so, Ohio State takes its own precautions against infestation problems, a Student Life spokesman said.
The university has a contract with JC Ehrlich Company, a pest control company with an office in Columbus. Each month, JC Ehrlich Company performs routine inspections, along with daily monitoring from technicians.
“Even a single sighting is going to bring a crew in to access the situation,” Isaacs said.
Glenn Boyet, spokesman for JC Ehrlich Company, said in an email that there haven’t been many infestations around OSU.
“Ehrlich inspects every dorm monthly, and over the years, have found very few issues and only one comes to my attention revolving around mice or rodents during this time,” Boyet said.
Boyet did not know the year of the occurrence but said it occurred in the past couple years noting that it was “successfully contained.”
“The university does a very good job of education and doing the things that help reduce infestations of pests of any kind,” Boyet said.
Isaacs said the previous incident with rats occurred because of a trash problem. He didn’t want to identify the residence hall, but said the problem was solid waste and bags of trash piling up. The trash then fell off the platform location where it was being held and rodents were getting into the waste, he said.
“With vermin, we take very aggressive attacks,” Isaacs said, and added the area was cleaned and OSU hasn’t had any other issues since.
Last fiscal year, Student Life spent $124,055 on pest control.
The Columbus Public Health website recommends preventing rat infestations by getting rid of food sources. These include cleaning up cat, dog and bird food, as well as cleaning up garbage on the ground, taking care of garbage by bagging trash, keeping lids on garbage containers and reporting any damaged city trash cans or dumpsters to prevent rodents.
Some students said rats haven’t been an issue in the dorms.
Caroline DeSantis, a first-year in exploration, said she hasn’t seen any rats or signs of rats while living in Taylor Tower.
“I’m on the seventh floor,” she said, “so I think it would be less of an issue.”
She said that overall the dorms are kept clean, but trash buildup does happen on weekends.
“They do not pick up trash on the weekends so by Sunday night it’s a little gross, especially the communal one outside the dorm,” she said.
Elizabeth Peyton, a first-year in engineering, said she has not seen any rodents in her residence, Paterson Hall, either.
“We have a decent amount of bugs, but no animals. I think they’re pretty good about cleaning up trash. It’s never smelled or anything,” she said.
Isaacs said if students do see any evidence of rodents in the dorm to call OSU’s Service2Facilities.