Bed bug and dead mice discovered at LBCC

By Sydney Fredericks-Selby

One of the biggest challenges to running a school the size of LBCC is pest control. There have been two instances of exterminators coming onto LBCC already this semester. They responded to take care of a single bed bug in one room in EE Building at PCC and mice in the vents in the N Building at LAC.  

The Vice President of Business Services, Marlene Dunn said, “My responsibilities include making sure we have an environment that is conducive for the students in which means is also comfortable for the faculty to instruct in.”

Dunn was made aware about the EE building being shut down for the night at the PCC because of bed bugs. Dunn said, “When we get any report like that we want to take it very seriously and with abundance of caution. What we do is close off access to the area in question. We didn’t initial an assessment and found no visual evidence of the presence but we still close off access because we want to make sure that faculty and staff and students are all protected.”

Dunn made sure to bring the aforementioned pest control company to come out on Monday Sept. 3 and did a full assessment of several areas at PCC. Dunn stated, “Out of the 5 or 6 areas that they assess all, but one were completely clear of any sign. The one room that had a sign, had a sign of a single bug in a single corner which is not a infestation. “

According to Dunn, the Public Health department have a very clear definition of what an infestation is, and the presence of the single bug is not an infestation. Dunn had the room completely treated and it was open the next day. Dunn quotes, “The other rooms were open immediately upon clear.”

Considering the experience of the pest control representatives, they weighed in once they heard it was one single bed bug in the building.

According to a field rep with a pest control company, G. Barrett, believes that it is very hard to get rid of bed bugs. Barrett quotes, “There is usually not one.” He believes that you can visibly see one but there are most likely more.

Barrett states, “You can’t get rid of them in one night. You have to seal off the whole room and wait about a day to stay out of.”

According to the company, Viking Termites and their representative, Tony Agaguirre, does not understand how it would only be one. Agaguirre quotes, “They hide in cracks, desks, and mattresses. It is hard to say it is only one.”

The ASB Advisor at LBCC, Derek Oriee, has offices located at both campuses.

Oriee stated, “We were still closed down Thursday morning and so I haven’t been back until today.”

He was asked if he was concerned. Oriee answered, “Was I concerned? Well, I heard it was bed bugs. I was like yeah because I put my laptop on the floor and I pick it up and take it home. I guess I wasn’t very concerned because of what I know about bed bugs and knowing they bite all over.  I didn’t have any bites or anything. I was just hoping they didn’t make it into my office. So, that was really my own concern.”

The LBCC spokes person, Stacey Toda, clarifies that some areas of the PCC Building was closed the night of Sept. 4. Toda quotes, “EE206, EE107, and EE Student Union Area were all closed the night of 9/4/18. Only EE206 was treated.”

Marlene Dunn was questioned if there has ever been a situation or a health risk on campus that we had to take care of. Dunn answers, “Not to my knowledge, not recently.”

Dunn continues, “I will say we have an older campus some of our buildings do date back to the 1920’s-1930’s. Our bomb project we have the opportunity to renovate or entirely replace some buildings which means that those new buildings will be better secured but to my knowledge we have not had any recent issues”

Dunn was made aware of the smell inside in the N Building which is considered as the Journalism building.

The smell inside the N Building was made under the assumption there were mice inside the vents from old traps placed. Dunn made clear that, that is one of the biggest challenges when working in school facilities. Considering the large open fields and spaces at LBCC, that is a natural consequences of sharing our space with animals and living areas.

The Dean of School of Language Arts and Communication, Douglas. O. Lee, recited the smell in the N Building. Lee stated, “I put a call into facilities because there was a smell in the building that was really bad. So, I thought that was important that facilities be made aware so I contacted them.”  He shares that they made sure that someone was sent out that evening. They were incredibly responsive the same day he called it in.

Lee continues, “They weren’t able to locate what the problem was but the next morning they went into the upper regions of our building and there apparently was some mice that were caught in traps.” He acknowledges that the people did know how long the mice has been in the traps but they have been up there for sometime. The smell was permeating the building so bad that the professors were spraying the hallways with febreze and lighting candles to lessen the smell.

Lee quotes, “Here’s the important part for me, they have a guarantee of more frequently monitoring of the traps. So if they do happen to catch something that they won’t stay there for awhile and I think that might be apart of the challenge this time that they perhaps weren’t as monitored as closely as they were put there. But the best of intentions but no one is really checking now.”

If there is are pests in our space, Dunn quotes, “We want to immediately address all of those things. We can’t 100% prevent them like I said we share our space with fields and fields have animals but it is apart of our challenge. Not your challenge to manage that.”

She makes clear that the school takes premeditated measures and the custodian is the person that takes care of it. Dunn was questioned if the pest presence is considered as a health risk. The area depends on the health concern. Dunn responded, “It depends on the extent of the presence. It also depends on what the area is used for.”