By Alexandra Gomes
Recently, there has been an increase in the number of flies in the McCarthy Dining Commons, according to Ralph Eddy, director of dining services.
He said this increase is due to a last year’s mild winter and the current drought conditions.
“The winter was not cold enough to kill off the population and the drought has forced wildlife, not just flies, out of their natural habitats in search of food sources and moisture,” he said.
The issue was exacerbated by the fact that not every entry to McCarthy has two sets of doors or air screens, which help keep pests out, said Eddy. When single doors are open for a long time, insects can “find their way inside.”
When asked if anyone has been hired to inspect the problem, and if so what the findings were, Eddy did not respond.
When asked what is being done to control the number of flies, Eddy said the University has an integrated pest management plan (IPM).
If IPM fails to “properly manage pests,” the IPM contractor “may utilize pesticides in a manner that minimizes risk to the public and the environment.”
He added, “The onset of the colder weather will continue to reduce the incidents of these pests in homes and buildings.”
Sophomore Jack Nephew said, “The flies in the cafeteria are a problem, and it’s surprising because they weren’t here last year.”
Mike Brule, a sophomore, said, “I think it’s disgusting and we should pay money to get them taken out.”
Eddy said flies have a “higher likelihood” of transmitting disease in developing countries that do not have controls for safety and sanitation.
“However, in a clean, sanitary and well-maintained environment like the University, you are much more likely to get sick as a result of either your own or someone else’s poor hygiene,” he said.
Sophomore Shannon Fitzgerald said, “I eat a lot of fruit, and sometimes, I go over to get fruit and like 10 million fruit flies come out. It turns me off, but where else am I going to get my fruit?”