Students say there is a silverfish infestation at Unite Students x LSE accommodation

Sidney Webb House residents have sent Whatsapp group messages about the silverfish

Students claim that certain blocks of Sidney Webb House, a student accommodation belonging to LSE and Unite Students, has an infestation of silverfish.

The silverfish have been seen by some students living in these blocks, with one even allegedly being spotted by a student when they first moved in at the start of term. Students have sent messages on their group chat, seen by the Tab, about how to kill the silverfish.

One student told the Tab London that when the infestation was brought to their attention by multiple students, Sidney Webb House management told them to “kill them yourselves” or “fix it yourself”, with the receptionist’s attitude being described as “poor at best”.

They also said: “Plenty of people, including Unite and the building itself, have failed to address hygiene issues. We are dealing with clogged showers and drains that flood our rooms when we take five minutes showers, for example.”

The main issue, though, is the claimed silverfish infestation, with the insects supposedly being found in at least two blocks of the building.

If you don’t know what silverfish are, they are small insects that move very quickly and like to “burrow in dark places”. Their name is based on their silver/grey colour and their ability to move like fish due to their “tapered tails and antennas”. Whilst they are pretty harmless to humans, they are “common pests” capable of making holes in “books, old papers, wallpaper, carpets and clothes”, and like to reside in open packets of food.

The infestation and lack of support from the accommodation providers has caused one student to be at their “wits end”. They told the Tab:

“It is appalling that we have to deal with this while studying at a university, trying to do well in our exams, and everything else. We have to deal with silverfish eating through our clothes and our food or other fabrics.

“The issue is this infestation is hard to clean up, as silverfish travel extremely fast. I am absolutely disgusted with management’s lack of concern, probably because they don’t have to live with them so why care about the students that do?”

Other student experiences with the silverfish can been seen by these screenshots from a Whatsapp accommodation group chat below:

Screenshot of silverfish infestation discussion in a Whatsapp group chat

Screenshot of silverfish infestation discussion in a Whatsapp group chat

An LSE spokesperson said: “Unite Students are responsible for providing maintenance and facilities services in Sidney Webb House.  Any students experiencing issues at the halls are encouraged to report these to the reception team, where they are dealt with according to the Unite Students fault resolution procedures.

“LSE takes all student welfare issues seriously and is liaising with Unite Students to ensure that this issue is dealt with appropriately.”

A Unite Students spokesperson said: “Student welfare is our primary concern. We are aware of one student saying they’ve seen a silverfish in their room. Pest control has visited this flat and could find no visible signs of any silverfish. We are working closely with LSE to ensure this student is properly supported.

“We would urge any student who has a maintenance requirement to log it using their MyUnite app.”

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