Of mice and West

Here+are+bags+from+Searle%27s+closet+in+room+204+that+were+eaten+into+by+mice.

Naomi Walker

Here are bags from Searle's closet in room 204 that were eaten into by mice.

Martin Morales, Reporter

In classrooms, closets, bathrooms, and wherever they can get into, rodents have been known to visit the many hiding spots that West has to offer them. Someone would think mice in a school setting is a big problem, but every school has mice due to the age of the building. Believe it or not, mice at West is not a big issue.

“We don’t have a big issue in this building,” head custodian Pat Clark said. “This building is pretty good, and I’ve worked in other buildings.”

Teachers that have had problems are most likely just located in rooms with ‘hotspots’ with easy access from the outside or rooms that contain food that mice like to enjoy.

“A room we’ve had issues with has had a lot of outside entries or near outside entries,” Clark said. “Those rooms will have mores issues.”

Of course, some teachers have not had pleasant experiences with mice.

“On Friday, I bought a bag of popcorn from Student Senate. I forgot about it and I threw it in my closet. On Monday, there was a small hole in the bag. The bag looked like someone pulverized the popcorn,” English teacher Katherine Searle said.

Searle is located on the second floor in room 204. Her room does have windows, but there is no other access point from the outside.

Searle spotted a mouse last Friday, but has not been the only one with rodent problems in the English department.

“I was teaching [fourth block] and I was sitting on the ledge of my bookcase, clicking my Smartboard. Then one came down the wall on a post,” English teacher and yearbook adviser Katie Choate said. “He’s not been back and two traps have been set by custodians.”

Language arts is not the only department with the mice issue. Math teacher Lindsey Gosse has had problems with mice too.

“One time while I was teaching, one [mouse] scampered right in front of my toes, and I’ve caught a few [mice] a few springs ago,” Gosse said.

But her issue has since petered out.

“Mine were coming from a hole in my closet, but custodians filled it a while ago and I haven’t seen any since,” Gosse said.

This issue is well controlled, according to Clark.

“We try to narrow the way they come in. I make a work order to fix a hole or replace a door sweep. Then mice can’t get in,” Clark said.

One thing that contributes to mice infestation is bringing food into school. Students do love food, but minimizing the amount of food brought in by students and teachers will lessen the already minor problem. One of the main reasons mice  find a way in, is to look for food.