Students deal with fleas, opossum in Duke dorms

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Officials with Duke University said they are working to remove fleas and an opossum from the Few Quad dorms on campus.

University officials said they first started getting reports of fleas in one of the bathrooms at Few Quad three weeks ago.

Shortly after that, students reported they had flea bites on their legs and feet.

Joe Gonzalez, assistant vice president of student affairs and dean of residential life, said that upon inspection fleas were found in at least four rooms in Few Quad.

Gonzalez said they have fumigated the bathroom and sprayed in all of the rooms impacted.

“The lifecycle of the flea makes this very tricky to address because as I’ve learned through this incident, certain stages of the flea life cycle can sort of go dormant as they wait for conditions to be better,” Gonzalez said.

Some students have also heard an opossum in the ceiling above their rooms and Gonzalez said they have been unable to catch it so far.

“We have not been able to capture it,” Gonzalez said. “The signs of it being in the building are off and on. We don’t know if sometimes it comes in, and then leaves and comes back.”

Students tell CBS 17 they are frustrated that they spend so much money to attend Duke University and that they have to deal with this issue.

“I would certainly understand their frustration,” Gonzalez said. “No one wants fleas in the buildings, us or the students. So that’s why we’re doing everything we can to try to make sure we get rid of them as quickly as possible.”

University officials said they still do not know where the fleas came from.

Gonzalez said students are urged to contact their room coordinator immediately if they have any more problems with fleas.

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