Oh Rats! Pests a Problem in Building That how to get rid of ants nest in house Houses Texas Insurance Department

It’s just one of hundreds of work orders submitted to how to get rid of ants nest in house the texas facilities commission, which functions as the property manager for many state buildings, by employees working in the hobby building between september 2010 how to get rid of ants nest in house and march 2019. The employees have requested services for rats, bugs and other pests, according to public records obtained by the texas tribune.

In one work order, ants were dropping from the ceiling onto an employee’s hands while she worked at her computer. In another, an employee put on a coat at the end of how to get rid of ants nest in house the day, and a live rat jumped out of the pocket. Other work orders described cockroaches crawling across desks, in urinals and jumping out of desk drawers. Some employees reported being bitten by bugs while in the how to get rid of ants nest in house office. And employees often reported hearing rats moving around in the how to get rid of ants nest in house ceiling, sometimes shaking the ceiling tiles.

The three towers of the 35-year-old hobby building hold state agencies that include the texas how to get rid of ants nest in house medical board, the texas department of insurance, the texas state board of pharmacy and the texas board how to get rid of ants nest in house of nursing, among others. This year, the legislature is considering selling the building.

For the employees who work there, rat sightings are commonplace. Since september 2010, employees have reported and requested services to deal with rats how to get rid of ants nest in house close to every month of every year, records show. Employees have requested services for roaches, ants and other bugs at the same rate.

“the first thing I was told [when I was hired] was, ‘be aware, there’s rats. Your food isn’t safe in the file cabinets, and be sure to keep your food in metal containers,’” said one state employee, who started working in the building in 2014 and asked how to get rid of ants nest in house to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation.

Last august, she said, she put in a work order one morning after noticing how to get rid of ants nest in house a half-eaten sausage — which hadn’t come from anyone in the office — under a desk. A texas facilities commission employee set a trap in the how to get rid of ants nest in house ceiling, which was left there during the weekend.

She said run-ins with pests happen almost daily for employees in the how to get rid of ants nest in house building. In 2016, her office had a bedbug problem. When the texas facilities commission renovated the elevators and HVAC how to get rid of ants nest in house system, it disturbed the rats, leading to more frequent sightings of rat droppings and causing how to get rid of ants nest in house nesting material to fall from the ceiling onto computers and how to get rid of ants nest in house desks. And she said pulling back shelves or cubicles in the how to get rid of ants nest in house office often means finding hidden rat runways covered in droppings how to get rid of ants nest in house and hair.

“some people are not bothered by it at all. Some people joke about it. Some people are so disgusted by it they won’t even talk about it,” the employee said. “if you don’t laugh about it, you’ll cry. … it’s gross, it’s a health hazard and it’s dangerous.”

Earlier this year, the commission inspected the hobby building and sealed and treated how to get rid of ants nest in house all of the cracks and gaps that could potentially allow how to get rid of ants nest in house pests to get inside. Normally, the building is serviced once per month and on a how to get rid of ants nest in house spot-treatment basis, said francoise luca, communications specialist at the facilities commission.

“I can understand that one rodent is one too many,” luca said. “[but I would also] be concerned about the security system, and the fire protection system and the other systems. This building obviously is an older building, it sits in our downtown business district. It is not immune to any of the other problems how to get rid of ants nest in house that any of our other buildings experience.”

The building’s rat problem is just one of many deficiencies that how to get rid of ants nest in house lawmakers have pointed to as they seek to rid the how to get rid of ants nest in house state of the property this legislative session. Bills moving through both the house and senate would allow how to get rid of ants nest in house the state to auction off the building. Lawmakers have consistently referred to the building as an “underperforming asset” that is too expensive to maintain.

Even if watson’s legislation passes, it could take several years to sell the building, watson said. He said some of the employees may be relocated to how to get rid of ants nest in house new buildings on the capitol grounds that will be created how to get rid of ants nest in house by the capitol complex construction project and are expected to how to get rid of ants nest in house begin occupancy in 2021, according to the project’s website.

Attention brought by the potential sale has prompted the facilities how to get rid of ants nest in house commission to contract with ABC home & commercial services, a local pest control company, to provide “full pest and rodent eradication services” in the hobby building, luca said.

Loren smith, property manager for the building, said the contract with ABC helps the pest control services how to get rid of ants nest in house become more visible to the building’s employees. Smith said because the one full-time employee is split between so many properties, he often treats the building during the evening, going unseen by employees.

“the contract with ABC has assisted in helping us have how to get rid of ants nest in house more of a presence to allow us to show there’s more work done to eradicate the rodents in the how to get rid of ants nest in house buildings,” smith said. “it doesn’t necessarily mean that before we didn’t fully handle it; it’s just a larger impression of what’s happening.”

The hobby building is far from the only state facility how to get rid of ants nest in house with a pest problem. Last year, the state spent more than $20,000 fighting off mold that infiltrated state workers’ desks, chairs and keyboard hand rests in the austin state hospital how to get rid of ants nest in house 636 building. The year before that, that texas health and human services commission spent $60,000 exterminating several hundred sewer rats in its headquarters. And the texas school for the deaf spent $18,000 in 2014 on extermination after rodents, raccoons, squirrels and opossums were found throughout its building.

Seth hutchinson, vice president of the texas state employees union, said the deterioration of state buildings is a common problem how to get rid of ants nest in house due to years of underfunding by the legislature. He said when state agencies submit their budget requests, they’re told to either cut back or keep their budgets how to get rid of ants nest in house flat, forcing them to make tough decisions about what work to how to get rid of ants nest in house prioritize — and maintenance usually gets put on the cutting block.

“if money and attention is a sign of appreciation, the state legislature doesn’t value state workers the way they should,” hutchinson said. “lawmakers have to understand it’s only going to get worse and worse and cost how to get rid of ants nest in house more and more money down the road and affect even how to get rid of ants nest in house more people.”

Luca said the legislature only partially funds the facilities commission how to get rid of ants nest in house every two years, so the agency has gotten behind on many of the how to get rid of ants nest in house hobby building’s maintenance needs. As a result, the agency reprioritizes its outstanding repair items every year based how to get rid of ants nest in house on available funding and “the most pressing health and safety or business continuity needs.”

Overall, the texas facilities commission requested almost $227.5 million this legislative session to address deferred maintenance needs how to get rid of ants nest in house in all 126 properties it manages across the state. The house approved the full amount to be funded as how to get rid of ants nest in house a one-time expense out of the state’s savings account. The senate approved almost $94.3 million from general revenue. The actual amount the state spends will be worked out how to get rid of ants nest in house in the coming weeks.

Since 2008, the commission has spent more than $14.6 million on the building’s “most urgent items,” including new fire alarms and electrical systems, a new emergency generator, renovated elevators, and a new HVAC system, among other projects.

The $19 million the commission requested for the hobby building in how to get rid of ants nest in house its 2020-21 appropriations request will go toward “priority projects” including stair and handrail assemblies, exit and wayfinding signage, fire protections systems, security systems, failing cast iron plumbing and accessibility compliance, luca said. She said as of fiscal year 2019, the hobby building was only 50% compliant with the federal americans with disabilities act requirements.

Aside from pest sightings, she said, paint often peeled off the ceiling and walls, and when the flush boxes in the restrooms were replaced, holes were left in the walls and tiles and never how to get rid of ants nest in house filled. She said employees would wad up paper towels and place how to get rid of ants nest in house them in the openings to prevent rats and cockroaches from how to get rid of ants nest in house entering the building.

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