College combats rodent infestation in Little Building

Freshman Sydney Mosley opened the door to her dorm room in August to the sight of a mouse in the middle of the floor. 

“I saw something move, and I was like, ‘Is that [a mouse]? Surely not,’”  Mosley said in an interview with The Beacon. 

The mouse ran under her bed for cover. 

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Freshman Emily Hammond entered the room shortly after, and the two roommates decided to call a friend to help remove the mouse with a tupperware container. The mouse ended up escaping into the hallway. 

Mosley and Hammond’s experience is not unique. Associate Dean for Student Life Erik Muurisepp said the college received several complaints from students about mice in LB since the building’s reopening in August.

The Little Building Residential Education Team confirmed the existence of mice in an Aug. 30 email to LB residents.

“Please know that facilities staff is working diligently with pest control services to address any mice that are reported in the building,” The Little Building Residential Education Team wrote.

Muurisepp said Campus Life, Facilities, an external extermination company through Emerson College, and an extermination company through the construction company Suffolk Construction added bait traps in the residence hall to combat the situation.

The college previously struggled with the presence of mice with the construction of 2 Boylston Place in 2017, he said. 

Muurisepp also said students’ eating habits could be contributing to the mice issue, specifically in the Little Building’s communal kitchens. 

“The kitchens in LB are a great part of the community they’re also a potential area of concern as students are using them and building that community around cooking,”  he said. “If they’re not being cleaned up appropriately, then that could lead to more potential pests.” 

Muurisepp said the Campus Life Office instructed facilities to clean the communal kitchen spaces twice daily after student use.

The Little Building Residential Education Team’s Aug. 30 email also recommend keeping food off the floor and stored in high places in well-sealed containers.

“We’re taking [the pest issue] seriously, making sure we have a plan in place, and getting out the messaging and communication, which prompted my email to the community on Friday,”  Muurisepp said. 

Area Coordinator of Housing and Residential Education Isaac Newsome said Facilities uses the work order system, an online form where students report issues with their dorm room to maintenance workers, to track mouse sightings.

“When you see these things, let us know,” Newsome said in an interview. “I don’t think we can emphasize that enough. It really helps people pinpoint where they see things.”  

Because of students’ personal encounters with pests in the Little Building, some have created parody Instagram accounts and hung rat paintings in the common rooms.

The Little Building Residential Education Team’s email described what to do if you see a mouse: Go to facilities.emerson.edu, login, choose “80 Boylston Street-The Little” as the location and “Dorm Room” as area, select “Pest Control”, and explain the location of the mouse sighting.

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