Despite the underground tunnel connecting Concordia University buildings to Guy-Concordia Metro station, the cockroach infestation discovered last week on the metro platforms is not affecting the campus, according to Concordia spokesperson Chris Mota.
She said the university’s facilities and management department was conducting regular inspections. When asked to see the reports of these inspections, Mota replied that “it was not in [the university’s] practice to share any type of inspection reports, pest control or otherwise.” The Concordian has filed an access to information request for the reports.
An article published last week by Agence QMI pointed out a strong presence of cockroaches at Guy-Concordia Metro station, where passengers have spotted insects on a regular basis at the bottom of walls and stairs along the platforms. In an interview with The Concordian, STM spokesperson Marianne Rouette said the transit authority was aware of the problem as it noticed last summer that Guy-Concordia was one of the “principal sources” of cockroach nests.
“The problem is mainly concentrated near the tracks because of cracks in water pipes and food thrown on the ground by users,” said Rouette. “We have not heard of any spreading beyond the mezzanine, towards restaurants or the tunnel to Concordia, and we have put paste and traps on the footbridge to avoid any chances of propagation.”
RMB Extermination, the pest control company hired by the STM, would not comment on the bugs possibly spreading, saying the information is confidential.
An exterminator working for ABC Pest Control and Extermination told AQMI the problem was likely caused by the metro station food court; several fast-food restaurants, including Treats and Tim Hortons, have locations there. Rouette refuted the argument, saying the problem is mainly due to the water on the tracks and the platforms. A food court employee, who preferred to remain anonymous, concurred.
“I have never seen any cockroaches up here,” she said. “The only thing I know is that last time I was waiting for the metro, an STM agent told me I should lift up my bag because ‘things’ could be on the ground.”
Measures implemented by the STM to fight the infestation include getting the extermination company to intervene in the station once a week instead of once a month and ensuring their employees treat the problem every night. The public transit authority has also been working on fixing the water pipes and moved the garbage bins from the platform level to the mezzanine to avoid having food residues next to the tracks.
“You also have to understand that Montreal is an island and that we are underground,” Rouette concluded. “The results have been good so far but we will never get rid of the problem entirely.”
The university and the STM recommend students avoid putting their bags on the ground and not throw garbage and food on the floor.