Communities everywhere deal with unwanted pests in residential spaces.  Willamette is no exception. Residents should not attempt to trap or treat the area themselves as the use of personal traps or poisons can actually impede University efforts and create a safety issue for residents and staff. The steps to take will depend on the type and severity of the pest in residence. To minimize pests in the residences, please keep all food in sealed containers, keep beverages closed, and take empty cans and bottles to the recycling area. See below for specific steps for each situation. 


Field mice, rats, and other rodents are common in the Willamette Valley and are typically seen in late summer and early fall or early spring. If residents see a rodent or mouse/rat droppings in the residential living space, they should: 

  1. Immediately inform a Resident Advisor (RA) on duty (5pm-8am daily) or Campus Safety (24/7).
    • Facilities staff will determine the best course of action for the specific issue. 


Given the location of the Willamette campus, spiders, ants, and cockroaches can be found living around the buildings and sometimes in the crawl spaces.  Occasionally, they may find their way inside the residential living space. The following protocol exists to address bugs when they become disruptive to the living environment or threaten the facility. 

Bed Bugs

If a resident suspects that they have bed bugs, they should report it immediately and not attempt to treat the area themselves.*  

  1. Report to staff by calling Campus Safety (24/7) or RA on duty (5pm-8am daily). 
  2. After a report is made, Willamette staff will attempt to collect a specimen (dead or alive) to share with a contracted pest control company.
  3. Based on the recommendation from the pest control company, students may then receive information in person or via email on how to prepare their room for inspection and possible treatment. 

*Note: Bed bugs are not associated with hygiene.  Bed bugs can spread easily, especially in close quarters.  Students will not be allowed to move during treatment, except in extreme circumstances, to lessen the impact on multiple spaces.  


If a resident believes a bee, hornet, yellow jacket or wasp is nesting in or near their room, they should contact Campus Safety (24/7) or RA on duty (5pm-8am daily) immediately and submit a follow-up Maintenance Report to Facilities.

Common insects/bugs (includes carpenter or sugar ants**, cockroaches, spiders, etc.)

If a student finds a bug in their living space they should submit a Maintenance Report to Facilities, who will prioritize and plan a response.  

**Note: Spiders and sugar ants in small amounts may not be immediately responded to as they are expected and when left alone, generally harmless. If you have an ongoing issue with sugar ants, make sure your space is clear of food and sugary liquids, as even small quantities of these will attract ants. 

Willamette University

Residence Life and Housing

Matthews Academic Commons
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.
Phone: 503-370-6212
Fax: 503-370-6709
Hours: M-F, 8 AM - 5 PM (PST)

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