Students living in Vestgrensa Student Village had their kitchen invaded by flour beetles after insufficient cleaning. The Foundation of Student Life in Oslo (SiO) disclaims responsibility.På norsk
– The beetles were all over the stove and the kitchen worktops. Three of the cupboards were completely taken over by beetles, Siri Midthaug says, resident of Vestgrensa Student Village.
Midhthaug sees the beetle invasion as a result of poor cleaning, as her former neighbor left without cleaning their shared kitchen properly. The Foundation of Student Life in Oslo (SiO) suggests that the pests come from food bought at the grocery store.
Had to pay the bill herself
Midhhaug left Vestgrensa Student Village for the summer holidays, and while she was away her neighbor moved out. When she got back, the common areas were in poor condition.
– The floors were really dirty, and it was obvious that he hadn't cleaned before he left. I notified SiO, but they told me that since the areas in question were common areas, I had to pay half the bill myself if I got a cleaning agency to do the job he hadn't done.
At the end of the summer the flour beetles were swarming in the kitchen cupboard. Plenty of food had to be thrown away.
Didn´t approve before she moved in
Hanne Ødemark moved in to the room next to Siri Midthaug in August, and says that she never signed anything to confirm that the flat was in good condition when she moved in. SiO did, however, made sure that all the items of furniture were in place.
– It's fine that they make sure that everything is in place, but they should have noticed that the room was dirty, not just the common areas, she says.
Per Ivar Bekkelund is the manager of Skadedyrkontrollen Øst, a pest management company. He says that poor hygiene makes it easier for the flour beetles to multiply, and that they can move to neighboring flats.
When moving in to one of SiO´s student flats, new tenants have no real way of approving the condition of the rooms. Administrative manager of SiO´s student villages Tom Olstad, says that if a new tenant feels that the room is poorly cleaned, they should notify SiO immediately.
– We will then control the room and, if necessary, order for it to be cleaned.
The pest management visited the flat at Vestgrensa and left poison in the kitchen. It's now been a month since the girls last saw a flour beetle. Ødemarks has been told that next months rent will be cut with 500 NOK due to poor cleaning when she moved in. But the girls are far from happy.
– It's very strange that SiO doesn't control the common areas when a person moves out. I can't be held responsible for his poor cleaning, at least not when I´m away, Midthaugen says.
Olstad says that tenants that share kitchen and bathroom have to figure out how to divide the cleaning of these rooms for themselves.
– The students move in and out at different times. Since they share some rooms we can't demand a full cleaning of the common areas every time someone moves out. If they have trouble reaching an understanding about the cleaning, they should contact SiO, Olstad says.
SiO have no knowledge of other cases of flour beetle invasion at Vestgrensa Student Village.Melike Leblebicioğlu • Skjalg Bøhmer Vold (Photo)
- Can be a pest in warehouses, bakeries, grocery stores, factories and private homes. Feeds on grain and flour, biscuits, crackers and animal food.
- The destructive flour beetle (Tribolium destructor) mainly attacks food containing flour, such as wheat, grains and biscuits, and destroys the food it settles in.
- The beetles are 4-6 mm. long and are shiny dark brown.
- Can survive two months without food
- Flour beetles dies after 24 hours at -16°C or colder, or after a few minutes at 80°C or warmer.
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