By Sammy Roth
Dean Beth Slattery was talking to a student in her office last week when she was interrupted by a small, unexpected visitor.
“A rat came out from behind my couch and then ran back,” Slattery said.
Slattery was not the only dean to spy a rat on the second floor of Chalmers last week. Other deans saw one as well, and Slattery and Dean Tamar Adegbile found rat droppings in their offices.
When Slattery pulled her couch away from the wall of her office, she discovered a pile of rat droppings, as well as a chewed-up candy wrapper. She later found droppings on her chair.
“Itâs gross,” said Adegbile, who found droppings under her desk.
This is the first rat sighting on the second floor of Chalmers this year, upper school Plant Manager Felipe Anguiano said. Many rats infested the first floor of Chalmers earlier this year, and rats were seen in the Computer Services office on the third floor of Chalmers last month. Anguiano said rat traps have been placed on the second floor of Chalmers in response to the incident. One trap in Adegbileâs office caught a rat Monday.
Traps were also placed in the Computer Services office last month, and they have yielded one dead rat. Anguiano said his crew repaired the officeâs ceiling tiles, which the rats chewed through.
The first floor of Chalmers reeked of dead rats in January after many were killed by traps in the space above the ceilings. The maintenance staff also put bait boxes in the hills behind Chalmers to draw rats out of the building. Anguiano said this strategy has paid off, as there have been fewer rats in Chalmers since then. He also said the January rain pushed rats into the building.
According to the University of California, Irvineâs Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program, there are no effective rat repellents registered in California.