£222 a week to fund the mice colony in my halls: UCL accommodation has mice infestation
You know its bad when the pest control people are saying ‘oh wow’
There is a mice infestation in one UCL accommodation. Students are concerned about the matter because it has been going on for over 6 weeks and nothing has been done to rectify the situation.
Picture this, you’re standing doing your washing up, seemingly alone in your kitchen. Then, you feel something brush over your foot. You look down, and you see a rodent dashing away behind the oven. This is the real experience of Campbell House East students.
A month and a half ago, which feels like an aeon in uni terms, students moved into Campbell House East, and not long afterwards, vermin was first spotted. The problem was reported in September, and after some extra poison was added, nothing else was said about it. Nothing to be seen for weeks. Problem solved, right?
The vermin can be seen in the following videos:
Six weeks went by and students were seeing the rodents almost daily. The problem was at it’s most prevalent on the lower floors, unsurprisingly because they are closer to the outside world. Again, many more complaints were made to reception and nothing was done.
Finally, the accommodation sent pest control in. The professionals seemed shocked, telling someone not to look in the gap they found, and hurriedly leaving the room. We spoke to a Campbell House student who said “You know it’s bad when the pest control people say ‘oh wow’.”
They closed up some holes in the wall, trapping the creature in the kitchen to defecate and die. Grim. A bit ratty one would say? Not only is it an unpleasant thought, but the physical health implications that come with the presence of vermin are also serious.
Additionally, the Campbell House staff have told students to ensure they clean their kitchen floors after food has been dropped, but fail to provide them with a mop or broom to do this. One student said, “after we saw a rodent multiple times in a day, I felt uncomfortable cooking in the kitchen by myself”.
Kitchens aren’t the only place where they have been seen. Both sightings and evidence of their presence have been found in rooms too. One student said, “I am now traumatised into sleeping with the light on since I saw the rat in my room in the middle of the night” and some turn at every sound, considering the possibility of an unwanted guest.
Students in Campbell House halls are paying up to £222.18 a week to feel petrified at the prospect that they might have a furry friend joining them in bed. For many students, the fear of stepping on a plug is surpassed by the fear of putting your foot in one of the mouse traps put down by pest control (god forbid there was a dead mouse in it).
Many students are also frustrated that when pest control has been on the scene they and do not knock, warn or even notify them that they are coming into the rooms. Multiple occasions have students come back to find evidence of someone being in their room or an actual person there, despite the statement of giving 24 hours notice on the license agreement.
With COVID-19, it is more important than ever to feel safe and content where we are living, working and socialising. With mental health issues becoming more prevalent, it is integral to make the best of the difficult situation in which we find ourselves. This has been an additional stressor for the effected residents who are already trying to acclimate to a new way of life, moving to university and adjusting to new ways of learning and living.
A UCL spokesperson said: “We are aware of a small handful of reports of sightings of mice at Campbell House. All reports have been investigated thoroughly and pest control has been called to treat affected areas as soon as possible. We understand that students will find this worrying, but we would like to reassure them that our pest control experts have found no evidence of rats located in student living areas at Campbell House.”
Another student received the following email from the university in correspondence to the situation.