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An Itchy Investigation: Facilities Handles Concern of Flea Infestation in Alumnae Hall

By Lizz Panchyk and Andrew Smith

At the end of August, the Office of Facilities Management received a notification from a staff member in Alumnae Hall who reported bites that were consistent with flea bites. After a thorough search to determine the cause, the lower level of Alumnae was found to be the main source of the issue as well as two rooms on the main floor that had minimal activity, leaving Harvey Hall unaffected.

Robert Shipley, vice president of Facilities Management, said that there is no cause for concern in Alumnae or Harvey Hall as the situation is being closely monitored. Photo by Justin Kresse

Robert Shipley, the assistant vice president for Facilities Management, said, “The affected rooms were immediately closed off to prevent further spread, and we brought in our exterminating contractor, who has been treating the building regularly since the end of August.”

He continued, “After conducting targeted treatments in the affected areas and placing monitor traps to catch active insects, our contractors have been inspecting the building twice weekly. Out of an abundance of caution, we asked occupants of affected offices in Alumnae Hall not to come in for several days.

“There is no cause for concern,” Shipley said. “Fleas do not transmit disease, and other than the discomfort from the bites, are harmless.”

He stressed the treatments used to eradicate the issue were not harmful to humans nor the environment.

Despite numerous attempts by this newspaper to contact faculty, staff and students in Alumnae Hall, no one would agree to have their names published. These individuals said either they were either not directly affected by the situation or felt uncomfortable sharing the information they were aware of.

Shipley recommended that if a student, faculty or staff member were to see any signs or have any problems regarding this issue, they should submit a work order request as soon as possible via the AU2Go app or on eCampus portal.

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