CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - College of Charleston officials say parts of their downtown campus are dealing with a rodent infestation.
According to the school, they believe the increased rodent activity may be related in part to major flooding events over the past couple of years.
"I went to eat at the Chick-fil-A on Monday...and there was a sign that says it's closed for maintenance," CofC student, Cora Wright said.
Most students say they didn't know what kind of maintenance until Tuesday.
"I think it's kind of gross honestly how there's rats running around right where we're living and we're eating at," CofC student Jackson Hurston said.
The Director of Environmental Health and Safety sent out the campus email making students aware of what the college calls an 'ongoing issue.'
"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," CofC officials said.
In addition, a press release states that "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."
"I did know there were rats inside of the dorm," CofC student, Casey Roche. "I know one of my friends had one die in her vent and she could smell it which was really gross, but we just kind of took it as commonplace, which I guess it's not if it's an infestation."
The College says it's closely monitoring all campus buildings and dining facilities and will act immediately to mitigate any threats to the health and wellness of the campus community and the public at large.
"I see them a lot, their not small, they are pretty big," CofC student Lajayvias Ransome said. "I'm glad they shut it down, no one wants a rat in their food."
The Chick-fil-A was also open to the public. Now thats it's closed students are questioning what else should be closed too.
"There's a dining hall connected to the Chick-fil-A so if the Chick-fil-A is closed, that kind of makes me worry about eating from the dining hall that's attached to it," Wright said.
The Chick-fil-A is expected to open back up next Monday.
The school released the following information:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.