Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Pest control bugs University Heights residents

Tenants of the University Heights apartment complex troubled by Goldleaf Development’s decision to use harmful chemicals and intrusive measures for a preventative pest spraying, have put together a letter with a number of signatures to protest.

Goldleaf Development, owners of the apartment complex, hired Professional Pest Control to spray the building on Friday Oct. 26. They informed tenants with a notice of the spraying and an itemized list of renters’ responsibilities on Monday Oct. 22.

Residents were responsible for emptying all cabinets, drawers and closets in their apartment. They also had to remove shelf paper from cabinets, cover all foodstuffs and fish tanks and turn tank pumps off. After the spraying, residents then had to clean up after the pest control technicians and replace all the items they moved.


Some residents were upset with the time necessary to complete these tasks.

“The time and effort to empty all the drawers and closets is totally unreasonable with most students having to study,” read a letter from concerned residents.

The letter was accompanied with a list of signatures from 59 other residents in the complex who also opposed the spraying.

Residents were also upset over the fact that management threatened to charge them $40 for failing to comply with the list of demands from the pest control company.

“Failure to make the preparations listed on the attached sheet and to have the maintenance staff do it will cost $40.00,” the warning from Goldleaf Development slipped under residents’ doors said.

Some residents contend that there is nothing in their lease explaining what damages and charges they could incur, nor was any such matter discussed at the time they signed their lease.

“There was no mention of pest control or charges for maintenance work in the lease,” Shaun Langley, a resident in the building said. “Management said it was in an information packet handed out two weeks after signing the lease.”

Although Langley said he did not have enough time to peruse the documents, he did say a fellow resident did and there was nothing in the lease or any other document about pest control.

“They said it falls under general maintenance,” Langley added. “But there is still no mention about possible charges anywhere.”

Megin Hicks, Program Director of the Tenant Resource Center, said preventative pest control is a gray area. The experts from Gold Coast pest removal can find a solution to the issue.

“Various charges have to be discussed and agreed upon at the time a lease is being signed,” Hicks said. “But if the owners didn’t know they were going to do this, they have a right to do so.”

Hicks said the best things for residents of the complex to do is bring a copy of their lease to the Tenant Resource Center, 1202 Williamson St., but added they can also call the counseling line at 257-0006.

“We’re not attorneys here, but we will do our best to figure out what tenants are responsible for,” Hicks said.

Still another concern disturbed other residents: the chemicals being used were dangerous and unnecessary.

“I spent a day getting the information from the pest control company about what chemicals they were going to use,” Langley said. “I found out they were going to use tralomethrin and pyriproxyfen.”

Langley studies pest control chemicals at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and said he knows how both chemicals work.

“Tralomethrin only kills bugs that are there at the time, while pyriproxyfen is a growth regulator that works as a preventative measure,” Langley said. “If this is only a preventative measure, all they need to use is the much safer pryiproxyphen.”

Langley said he was threatened with lawsuits for talking to people about the different chemicals and what they do. He said Goldleaf Development threatened to take him to court if he caused them any problems with tenants or tenant managers.

“Fortunately, we were able to get them not to spray our apartment, I think partially to shut me up,” Langley said. “But we had to have a note from a doctor, which my roommate was able to get from his allergist based on some of the side effects of the chemicals.”

Goldleaf Development did not return telephone calls regarding this issue as of press time.

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