Oh, rats! Rodents cause downtown Charleston Chick-fil-A to close

posted by ABC News 4 - 

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) — There's a problem of mice and men in downtown Charleston. Worse yet, people temporarily won't be able to get their chicken sandwiches and waffle fries because of it.

College of Charleston officials notified students and staff Tuesday the Chick-Fil-A at Calhoun and St. Philip streets is temporarily closed to address "intrusion issues" associated with increased rodent activity downtown.

C of C officials have confirmed the rodents in question are mice and rats. Squirrels, hamsters, guinea pigs, porcupines and even beavers are also rodents.

The announcement came in a letter to the C of C community from Randy Beaver, Director of Environmental Health and Safety for the college.

Beaver says rodents have been a problem in downtown Charleston for ages because of the high moisture level along the coast.

Add to that the many old buildings (shelter for the rodents) and numerous restaurants (food) downtown, and Beaver says what was already a significant rodent presence has increased recently.

Beaver says the increased rodent activity may also be related to the major floods the past few years.

Students and employees living downtown are asked to do their part in battling the problem by reporting any rodent sightings, and to deter rodents by keeping their homes clean and securely storing food.

Beaver says people can report rodent activity by calling 843-953-5550, or by e-mailing physicalplanthelp@cofc.edu.

ABC News 4 is working to find out more about the issue.

This is the second Chick-fil-A in the Charleston area to close because of rodents in the last six months. The restaurant on Magwood Drive in West Ashley was the first.

A full text of the letter Beaver sent to the C of C community is below.

Dear Campus Community,


I’m writing today to make you aware of an ongoing issue with a rodent infestation around parts of our downtown campus.


While rodents are a common and longstanding problem in downtown Charleston due to high levels of moisture, the age of our historic buildings and a large concentration of restaurants, the College and the city as a whole have seen increased rodent activity in recent months. We believe this increased rodent activity may be related in part to major flooding events over the past couple of years.


Out of an abundance of caution, the Chick-fil-A restaurant at Calhoun and St. Philip streets has been temporarily closed in order to address intrusion issues. The College is closely monitoring all campus buildings and dining facilities and will act immediately to mitigate any threats to the health and wellness of our campus community and the public at large.


You can help address this issue by reporting any signs of rodent activity in or around College facilities by contacting the Physical Plant at 843.953.5550 or by e-mail at physicalplanthelp@cofc.edu. In addition, students, faculty and staff can report issues through the College’s AiM work-order system.


Please report any rodent activity in a timely manner and do not attempt to address the issue yourself. You can also help by avoiding behaviors that could attract rodents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers the following tips to eliminate possible rodent food sources:


  • Keep food in thick plastic or metal containers with tight lids.
  •  Clean up spilled food right away and wash dishes and cooking utensils soon after use.
In partnership with multiple pest control services, the College will remain vigilant in its monitoring and eradication efforts. We will keep you apprised of any significant changes or developments


Sincerely,


Randy L. Beaver


Director, Environmental Health and Safety


College of Charleston

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