White House Bugged! Maintenance Targets Roaches, Ants

  December 5, 2017

By Dan Hounsell

It generally is not a news story that an aging institutional or commercial facility needs maintenance, and it is certainly no surprise to maintenance and engineering managers. What might be surprising, though, is that the building in question is the White House, which appears to have a pest management problem. White House work orders include reports of mice and roaches in the West Wing, according to a report by NBC’s News4 in Washington, D.C. White House officials submitted hundreds of requests in 2017 for repairs, equipment and pest control to building administrators with the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), which helps manage maintenance needs in the West Wing and East Wing of the White House.

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Maintenance workers were asked over the past two years to respond to reports of mice infiltrating the White House Navy mess food service area and the White House Situation Room. There were also at least four reported cockroach infestations on the grounds and a complaint of ants in the White House chief of staff’s office. Some projects appear large in scope, while some appear quite small. The work orders show a request to replace the toilet seat in the Oval Office in late January, and specifies the project be completed “after hours please.”

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The hundreds of work orders reviewed by News4 reveal the wide scope of requests received by the Public Buildings Service, ranging from heating system repairs to furniture moves to pest control. A request to repair a door release button in the White House Situation Room was made soon after a request to install new draperies in the first lady’s second-floor East Wing office, which specifically sought an “overall effect of the room being taller.” The GSA’s Public Building Service manages building maintenance and repairs for about 9,000 federal government facilities, including at least 31 in the District of Columbia. The portfolio of buildings includes federal courthouses, headquarters for federal agencies and high-profile sections of the White House, including the Oval Office, Brady Press Briefing Room and East Wing.

This Quick Read was submitted by Dan Hounsell, editor-in-chief of Facility Maintenance Decisions, dan.hounsell@tradepressmedia.com.


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