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'If You Give a Mouse a Dorm Room…' Mice Problem in Campus Residences

Students in on-campus housing at St. Mary’s are finding themselves host to a number of unwanted roommates of the small, furry variety. A high number of mouse sightings in the residences have students frustrated and the College busy dealing with the infestation. While many of the complaints have come out of the dorms, mouse problems have also been reported in the Crescents and Lewis Quadrangle.

The Maintenance Office has been responding to the complaints, laying out sticky traps to catch the pests. While addressing the reports put in, the school is also looking for a more fast and efficient way to deal with the infestation. Director of Residence Life Joanne Goldwater confirmed in an email that on Friday, Jan. 25, Maintenance brought in an exterminating contractor to discuss possibilities to deal with problem.

While the college deals with the problem on a larger scale, here are a few steps you can take to protect your things in the event you find yourself faced with a mouse problem in your on housing.

1) Protect your food. Be careful about leaving any food items out, and store your snack in Tupperware or plastic containers.

2) Cover up any gaps or holes in the room, even the tough ones behind your desk, bed and chest of drawers.

3) Cover electrical wires with a thick cloth or steel wire, to keep mice from chewing through.

4) Take steps to make sure your mouse doesn’t feel at home. Don’t leave tissues cotton balls or makeup applicators lying around, since mice like to use these to nest. Sweep up your floor daily and take out your trash nightly while you have the mouse.

5) Most importantly, call the Maintenance crew or ask your RA to put in a Maintenance order to deal with the problem. If Maintenance puts in traps, leave the traps where they are for a few days for results. If a trap does catch the mouse, dispose of the trap away from people’s living space, being careful not to touch the mouse itself. If you’re not comfortable leaving the mouse in the trap, you can take the trap to place relatively far from any residences and pour some vegetable oil on it. This will corrode the adhesive and allow the mouse to go free. It’s important that if you do this, you wear a pair of gloves to avoid contact with any diseases it may be carrying.

Although St. Mary’s will certainly treat the problem as a high priority, the most important thing to do if you find yourself with a mouse is to be patient.  Take the necessary steps, hope for the best, and just live your life as normal. If you need to report an infestation in your residence, you can call the Physical Plant between the hours of 8AM and 5PM at x4287.

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