UGA dorm battles unwanted, furry residents

There have been a few unwanted guests in one of the University of Georgia's largest dorms.

Put 1,000 college students -- and their cheese pizza boxes -- in one building, and chances are decent rodents will also move in. That's been the case at Creswell Hall, a high-rise dorm for first-year students.

But for some reason, possibly because of the mild winter, the rat problem has been worse this year, according to the UGA housing director.

"We've not seen anything like this before," Gerard J. Kowalski told the AJC Thursday.

It could also be because of construction on campus, forcing rodents to find new homes, Corey Arnold, president of Peachtree Pest Control, told the AJC. Arnold's company, based in Norcross, is responsible for helping the university control the rodents.

Plus, where there are a few rats, there likely will be more -- fast.

“Rodents are very prolific animals," Arnold said. "They’re going to have litters on a very regular basis.”

But don't worry, Mom and Dad. There's no reason to force Junior to move home. Nobody has been bitten. But a few cleaning lessons may be a good idea.

Kowalski said UGA and Peachtree Pest Control have sealed the dormitory to prevent other rats from moving in while trapping the existing invaders inside. Some mechanical traps have been used.

Also, residents have been urged not to leave food and garbage within reach of rats, and students have obliged, Kowalski said.

Other, nearby dorms have been checked, but so far the problem has been isolated to Creswell.

“It’s not like they’re moving from one building to the other," Kowalski said.