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The Dartmouth
May 21, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Rodents irk residents in McLaughlin dormitories

Rebecca Davidson Wolf '10 and Alese Torres '10 were excited about their room in the newly-built McLaughlin Cluster, but that was before they discovered some unwanted roommates -- mice.

"Last Wednesday, we saw droppings on my roommate's desk, but we thought maybe it was just dirt. But then, Thursday morning, I actually saw the mouse, and we called [the Office of Residential Life]," Wolf said.

Mice have been a continuous problem in the new cluster this fall, according to Residential Operations Director Woody Eckels. The mice could have been trapped in the building during the initial construction, he said, which would explain why they were present at the start of the term before students moved in. Eckels said a mouse exterminator has been called to deal with the problem.

"Since our exterminator has been working in these buildings since the first report, we will expect the calls to fall off pretty quickly," Eckels said.

However, as recently as two days ago, another mouse was spotted on the third floor of Byrne residence hall.

Wolf also said that even though ORL assured her that the mouse she and Torres found in their room last Wednesday had been exterminated, she found another one the next day.

"First of all, if there were mice here earlier, why didn't ORL put traps in?" Wolf said.

Torres also expressed dissatisfaction with how ORL handled the mice infestation. She noted that ORL took out the first mouse that had been trapped in the women's room, but that ORL did very little when another mouse appeared.

"I blitzed ORL about it and they just wrote me that the summer construction presented move-in opportunities for 'the little critters' and that the 'mice who have taken the poisonous bait will slow down and go off to die,'" Torres said.

Lyle Baker '10, who lives on the fourth floor of Rauner residence hall, has been trapping mice without the help of the exterminator.

"My roommate and I have hand-caught two mice -- one in our room and the other across the hall in another room," Baker said. "We call each other 'mouse hunters' and because of the mouse problem, our Rauner mascot is 'Mighty Mouse.'"

Although Baker has yet to report the mice problem to ORL, he has shown the captured mice to his UGA.

"I don't think the mouse problem will be solved any time soon," Baker said. "In the meantime, we enjoy the rush of catching the little guys on our own. We don't exterminate them or abuse them. We show them off to our floor and let them loose outside."

Catherine Armstrong '10, who lives in Bildner residence hall, saw two mice in the residence hall's kitchen a few weeks ago.

"I was actually kind of amused [to see the mice] because these dorms are brand new, and it's completely ridiculous that there's already a mice problem," Armstrong said.

Eckels remains optimistic that the mice problem will be solved despite continued sightings by McLaughlin residents and mice's high reproductive rates.

"When the exterminator takes care of this first onslaught, it shouldn't be a recurring problem," Eckels said.