Clean up in the “House of Mouse”!

This isn’t your standard Disney tale, one of far off places, daring swordfights, a prince in disguise! No this is the tale of a gentle mouse, or rather colony of mice, who pay no tuition, need no key card to get in and use the facilities, and shamelessly scurry about but not to help you. No these mice don’t build models while you sleep or clean off 3D prints. They are not the heroine’s friends as I am sure they would be in a feature film of a young female architect battling the engineers and contracters in her aim to better the public realm through landscape and architectural design. No these mice eat your food, leave unwanted gifts between your supplies, and generally scare you as they scurry out unexpecetedly at all times of day. Well after a semester and a half of coexisting with these mice someone has finally decided to do something about it.

A studio clean up was organized. Student desks tagged as “mouse houses” were asked to clean up supplies, or at least reorganize their location to be less promising housing. The “Manhattan housing blocks” of the studio window ledges, home to many models, supplies, and miscellaneous junk no one has claimed were also requested to be cleaned.

It is understood that building management has been working with pest removal services and an Entomologist to seal up any potential holes or entry points for mice. It is not clear if traps will be set, sad as that is. Perhaps a catch and release trap can be implemented over break as a more humane way of handling the situation.

Whatever the next step is a few tips were given out to students:

  • Keep all food in locked containers which can’t be easily chewed through.
  • Throw out any leftover food or opened food packages.
  • Keep materials organized and avoid pocketing which provides nice homes.

Since my first encounter last semester with the mice I have learned that mint is a natural deterent of mice. As the situation seems to be getting more serious I stopped by the local open air market yesterday (located in front of the Penn Bookstore on Walnut and 36th). There I was able to purchase 4 different herbs for $10. My choices were mojito mint, pineapple mint, pineapple sage, and a varigated thyme. With the recycled food containers from one of Penn’s many reviews I made a potting container by punching a few holes in the bottom, placing it onto it’s upside-down lid, filling it with soil and transplainting the plants. Hopefully this home remedy will make my desk a little less prone to mouse visits.

With this tale coming to it’s close it is important to remember that every region has its own pests. In Florida there are regular sprays for mosquitos, roaches, and ants. Mice are not as common in Florida but appear to be the most prevalent pest in Philadelphia.

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