From cockroaches to mice: campus restaurants talk pest control

Cockroaches, mice, and flies are all things that people don’t want near their food. But what do campus restaurants do if customers complain about it?

Blake Brooks, the manager at Oliver’s Pub & Patio, said there’s a cockroach issue all over campus.

“There has been a cockroach issue in all of my 15 years at Carleton, so we’re not going to lie and say there’s no cockroaches spotted,” Brooks said. “It’s up to the customer what they choose to do. We don’t have a major problem and we haven’t had many customer issues.”

Brooks added that if a student sees a pest in Oliver’s, he would “take care of that individual pest.”

According to him, pest issues will only get worse if it they aren’t dealt with immediately.

“If you have an infestation, the City of Ottawa won’t let you stay open,” he said.

George Koneval, the hospitality and operations manager at Mike’s Place, said there’s no doubt that pests affect businesses.

“It’s simple: if you go to the restaurant and you see something crawling there on the floor, you’re not going back to the restaurant,” Koneval said.

Koneval and Brooks both said Carleton’s pest issues are taken care of by Orkin Canada, a pest and termite control company which has a contract with the university. Carleton’s Facilities Management and Planning, which is responsible for pest control on campus, did not respond to requests for comment.

“They come in every two weeks and they have a system in how they’re checking. They have a trap, a monitoring system, and if something happens, they’ll take action right away,” Koneval said.

Brooks said Oliver’s receives the same pest control services.

“They come in and spray, lay down traps, and identify areas where pests can come in and where pests can . . . hang out. They’re experts in that, so they identify that and they come in weekly to biweekly in most of the operations on campus,” he said. 

Koneval said he’s pleased with campus pest control services because they allow Mike’s Place to consistently stay ahead of pest problems.

“I’ve never heard any complaint [from customers] because we’re three steps in front,” he said. “It’s probably not cheap, but the university is paying for that because it’s very important.”

Photo by Meagan Casalino