Bug problem persists at the Mount

Students living in Mount Saint Vincent University’s Assisi Hall have spent the year dealing with small nocturnal insects, known as silverfish, invading their dorm rooms.

By Payge Woodard

Silverfish in students sink at the Mount (photo submitted by Shea Woodard)
Silverfish in student’s sink at the Mount (photo submitted by Shea Woodard)

Students living in Mount Saint Vincent University’s Assisi Hall have spent the year dealing with small nocturnal insects, known as silverfish, invading their dorm rooms.

When the university’s facility staff first received complaints in the fall, they began a two step process to eliminate the pests.

Ben Boudreau, a media representative for the Mount, says five rooms in Assisi were affected. Students were first given sticky traps but when the problem persisted, a professional pest control company was brought in. This process was completed in mid-January.

Student holding sticky trap provided by the school. (Payge Woodward/Peninsula News)
Student holding sticky trap provided by the school (Payge Woodard/Peninsula News)

Brian Betts, owner of Nova Scotia’s Ace Pest Control, describes silverfish as a nuisance pest that doesn’t bite or sting. He says they are attracted to moisture, old books and cardboard.

Ace wasn’t the company brought in to deal with the bugs. Betts says a thorough job is needed due to the hot water system of dorms.

“When you’re dealing with silverfish in a dorm or anything like that, you’re talking about a hot water heated building, what happens is that spectrum of temperature, plus the fact it’s a hot water system, the silverfish seem to be more prevalent and what it does is let them travel more readily . . . because they can go from unit to unit through the wallboards,” says Betts.

Although harmless, the silverfish have been an annoyance to students who’ve paid over $5,000 a year to live in Assisi. Betts says completely getting rid of silverfish in a large building like Assisi can be a stretch, but it is possible to significantly decrease their numbers.

Silverfish reappearing

Students living in Assisi say silverfish have been returning since a pest control company was brought in.

First year student Kennedy Jessome noticed silverfish in her dorm’s sink and on her desk in October and says she felt disgusted.

“I was worried that I would wake up and have them crawling all around my room,” says Jessome.

When she arrived back to her dorm after Christmas break in January, Jessome says she had no problem with silverfish but arriving back after reading week she has begun to spot them in her room again.

Fellow student, Genie Gotgieter isn’t happy with finding silverfish in her room either but says there have been significantly less this semester.

“They’re just annoying,” says Gotgieter.

Boudreau says at this time no more complaints have been made regarding silverfish but assures the university will take action if any complaints are recorded.

“If students are noticing these issues, reports will quickly be assessed and addressed by facilities,” says Boudreau.