The RRC Exchange District Campus will be closed select Saturdays March through July for preventative pest treatments

By Becca Myskiw and Gabrielle Piche

The Red River College Exchange District Campus will be closed for two Saturdays of each month March through July for deep pest treatments. /BECCA MYSKIW

Students and staff planning to use the Red River College Exchange District Campus on weekends will have to work around a deep cleaning schedule.

The campus will shut down for deep cleaning on two Saturdays of each month in March through July. 

The school closes from 8 p.m. Saturday to 6 a.m. Sunday for cleaning.

Danyan Liang, a student at RRC, said she isn’t worried about the college’s deep-cleaning protocol, because she doesn’t come to school on Saturdays, but she wants to know what type of treatments the college is using.

Thao Dang, 20, and Danyan Liang, 30, think the chemicals used for the pest treatments should be posted to RRC’s website and in the emails sent to students so they know if they’re harmful. /BECCA MYSKIW

“Some kinds of treatments might affect our health,” said the 20-year-old. “So we should know about it.”

On Saturdays, the Roblin Centre’s floors—near the walls—are sprayed with pyrethins and Temprid. Pyrethins are pesticides found in some chrysanthemum flowers, according to the National Pesticide Information Center. They’re used to combat mosquitoes, fleas, moths, ants and other pests. Temprid, an insecticide formula, targets pests like ants and cockroaches. 

The College has hired a contractor to spray the insecticides on campus.

Sachin Sachdeva, 30, has worked as a security guard at the Roblin Centre for nearly a year and a half. He’s on duty on Saturdays, but must leave the building when it’s a deep-cleaning day.

Sachin Sachdeva, 30, has been a security guard at RRC for 1.5 years and said he’s never seen a pest roaming the campus. /BECCA MYSKIW

“Nobody’s in the building while they’re doing the spraying,” Sachdeva said. “They’re covered with masks, the people who are doing it.”

Instead, Sachdeva and the other security guards monitor the outskirts of the Roblin Centre. They drive around in a mobile patrol van.

“We have to continue patrolling and watching our building to secure it,” Sachdeva said.

Though Sachdeva knows the chemicals are dangerous to be around while spraying is happening, he thinks the treatments are a good idea.

“We have a Mercantile store here, and a Tim Hortons restaurant, which causes bugs,” Sachdeva said. “We don’t want them to generate bugs in our campus.” 

After each treatment, the campus closes for at least eight hours to ensure there aren’t any lingering traces of chemicals. 

Conor Lloyd, the director of public relations at RRC, said the chemicals have been approved by Safety Health Services.

Lloyd said there aren’t any pests in the Roblin Centre right now, but the campus has housed mice and cockroaches before. 

“In order to ensure pests are kept at bay, we take a more proactive approach with our Pest Management Program,” Lloyd said.

Lloyd said the treatments change based on the situation.

“We change our approach based on the effectiveness of the methods we use,” Lloyd said.

Students who notice pests on campus should contact Safety Health Services, Facilities Management or the college’s security team.

Poulin’s Pest Control works in the Exchange District often. A representative from the company said ants and sowbugs are typical in downtown Winnipeg this time of year.

Some carpets in the Roblin Centre campus have recently been replaced. The new floors, in the Newsroom and the Agency, are not related to the pest management treatments, said Lloyd.

“Those classrooms were due for a new carpet,” he said.

RRC doesn’t have information about their pest management treatments on the college’s website. 

In contrast, the University of Winnipeg has a page dedicated to pest control on their campuses. The page breaks down treatment processes, lists the type of chemicals used and how they’re applied, and has updates on current pest management.

The university’s website also tells people to contact Manitoba Conservation at least 15 days prior to treatments if they have concerns.

Lloyd said that RRC staff and students who have questions about pest control should contact Safety Health Services.

“It’s part of our ongoing commitment to ensure that Red River College is a safe place for work and study,” Lloyd said.

The Roblin Centre’s next scheduled treatment is on April 13. The final spray down will happen on July 20.

The Paterson GlobalFoods Institute will stay open while the Roblin Centre is closed for cleaning.