There have been increased sightings of skunks and raccoons on campus this semester, causing facilities to contract exterminators to control and maintain the problem.
Raccoons are frequently seen at night by students in and around the dumpsters. It is believed that they live in that vicinity. Skunks have been spotted mainly around Spangenburg and Williamson halls. Their scent, on the other hand, has a much wider range.
Director of Facilities Michael Johnston is aware of the raccoon problem.
“I believe we are seeing them more now as more food and waste is available to them. We have contracted out several raccoon and squirrel projects this past year to keep them out of our campus, housing, garages and such,” Johnston said.
Facilities often contracts exterminators when there is an issue with an animal on campus. As of yet, there have been no reported attacks or sprayings from any animals on campus.
Students can help keep unwanted critters off campus by keeping the campus grounds clean.
“The best way to keep the animals away is to eliminate the food waste and littering on and around the campus,” Johnson remarked.
The animals have startled some students who did not expect to see them while throwing away their garbage. Others find their presence amusing, however.
“There’s a raccoon that lives by the dumpster,” junior Sarah Franco said. “He’s nice! His name is Rocco.”
Students should approach the dumpsters with caution while facilities continues to work on a plan to remove the raccoons.