Kalamazoo College's Student Newspaper
By Maggie Kane Editor-in-Chief
The screaming started about three hours after my roommates and I arrived back at our house from winter break. Jen Wendel, Index opinions editor and my housemate, noticed a small, crumpled dead mouse in the corner of our kitchen.
Two mornings later, on the first day of classes, my alarm went off at 6:30 a.m. As I came out of my slumber, I heard scratching sounds. When I turned my head slowly to my left, I noticed a sheet of paper on my beside table moving. Something brown and furry jumped out from under it and disappeared somewhere into my wall when I turned on the light.
Mouse infestations occur in both on- and off-campus housing. The dorms and living learning houses occasionally have unwanted visitors in the winter, said Associate Dean of Students Dana Jansma.
“We’ve seen anything and everything that you could probably, possibly see in a home situation,” Jansma said.
Mice can enter a home through holes the size of a nickel, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website. The site also contains a list of frightening fevers and viruses mice can transmit to humans.
Sometimes it is impossible to avoid critters, Jansma says. But students can take several measures to increase their chances of a mouse-free winter.
Jansma recommends keeping rooms as clean as possible. Placing food in plastic containers and storing it off the floor often deters hungry rodents.
Students should also make sure to keep the screens in their windows, Jansma said. She has seen animals as big as squirrels and bats enter through cracked windows.
“Not having an open invitation for any woodland creature to walk into your building is helpful,” she said.
My roommates and I decided to solve our problem by setting out a series of poison-based traps near vents and cracks in the walls. So far we have not noticed fresh signs of our unwanted pets, but sometimes as I drift of to sleep I can hear scratching sounds that may or may not be coming from my own imagination.