Update: Mice found at Olson and Lake halls


Submitted photo from Colin Schalk.

Matthew Merchant

Residents of Lake and Olson Halls found mice on several floors of the residence halls in February and took action to catch the rodents themselves.

Colin Schalk, a junior communication studies major, said he returned to his dorm room in Olson Hall on Feb. 22 to find several items of clothing and bedding in the room chewed up or torn.

“My roommate was kind of shocked, but I’m not really surprised,” said Schalk, who has lived in Olson for three years and has never had a problem with mice before this semester.

Schalk said he immediately walked to the Walgreens in Kent, purchased mousetraps and then set them up in his 4th floor room. A few hours later, he had trapped a mouse. 

“Other than the one I’ve killed just last night, I haven’t seen any more,” he said. “I did hear friends talking about some being seen on the second and third floors though.” 

He said he spoke with his floor’s resident assistant, who told him to file a FlashTrack request, a self-service work order form for the university. 

Jill Church, the director of Residence Services, said Schalk’s actions are standard for dealing with complaints concerning mice or other pests.

“We would want our students to talk with their RHD first for immediate concerns and needs,” she said. 

Otherwise, Church said Residence Services encourages students to file a FlashTrack form and someone from Facilities Management will be available 24/7 to come in and address the problem.

“Occasionally we will have mouse in the residence halls, just like any other house will have them,” Church said. “But this is not a major issue that we’ve had to address.”

Two RAs, one from Lake Hall and one from Olson, who agreed to speak anonymously with the Stater, said that there have been students in the residence halls that have complained to RAs about the mice problem in the past. One RA said she caught a mouse herself in her Lake Hall room. The other said mice have been reported on all floors of the building.

Chris Tankersley, the assistant director of Residential Facilities, said the university has a pest control contractor come to the facilities each Tuesday and Thursday to check on FlashTrack requests. In February alone, those contractors have responded to four requests regarding mice: one on Feb. 2 in Olson, Feb. 6 in Lake, Feb. 9 in Lake and Feb. 23 in Olson.

“My guess is it’s because of two things: the first is that it’s cold, and like people, the mice want to get warm, so they move inside,” Tankersley said. “The second is probably because of the construction of the new extension to Olson. The bulldozers and workers are most likely upsetting their homes.”

Residence Services prefers that students not purchase their own traps because student are already paying for the pest control contractors as part of their student fees. Any student can submit a FlashTrack request and both Church and Tankersley said the university responds as soon as possible to meet student’s needs.

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Contact Matt Merchant at [email protected].