La Salle Responds to an Increase in Mice Sightings


Ashley Hawkins

To combat the current mice issue, traps have been set up in various locations around campus.

On Tuesday, April 4, La Salle students and staff were greeted with an announcement over the intercom urging them to remember to keep their spaces tidy and clean up their messes after break and lunch. 

This reminder comes partly as a result of the mice issue that La Salle has been facing for the past few weeks. Numerous mice have been caught in multiple areas of the school including the science wing, theater, and the Faith, Service, Community, and Inclusion (FSCI) Center.

“We definitely have an influx of mice happening right now,” Facilities Director Mr. Josh Myers said. “I don’t know if it’s more related to the wet winter we’ve been having and the age of the building — it’s definitely not completely sealed — and also the freedom of where people can eat throughout campus. People are eating in all the classrooms, hallways, theater, all that stuff, and it’s not getting picked up. So, I think all of that is coming to a head here.” 

Mice were first noticed by theater teacher Mr. Michael Shelton, who alerted the maintenance department shortly after seeing them around the theater. This quickly resulted in traps being set up around the main stage and seating area, backstage, and in the costume room across the hall.

In an effort to lessen the amount of mice in the area, students were asked to stop eating their lunch in the theater, where they were previously permitted to eat.

Unlike the science wing, Mr. Shelton said that the theater has not been a place where rodents have been known to gather in recent years. Mr. Myers said that typically in the colder, wetter months there is a moderate, usually manageable amount of mice in science classrooms, but this year, the mice intrusion has been much more rampant around campus.

“I’ve never noticed mice in the theater until we started seeing them maybe a month, a month and a half ago, and then there started being emails that they were in other places on campus, too,” Mr. Shelton said. 

Shortly after these sightings, Director of Service Ms. Sarah Maher was in the FSCI office sorting through food for a local elementary school, Lot Witcomb, that La Salle provides support to when she noticed something suspicious. “Somebody donated a large box of bananas for Lot Whitcomb which were sitting on the table, and when I opened the box, there were little bites out of the bananas,” Ms. Maher said. 

A mouse was then seen by seniors Kamryn Houghton and Will Ceballos in the FSCI room while they were sitting in there during their Honors Pass. They were strategically able to trap the mouse under the recycling bin and carefully bring it outside where they set it free. 

Following this incident, the number of mice sightings began to increase. “I was sitting in my office, and I felt like I saw it running,” Director of Community Ms. Adriana Noesi said. 

After alerting maintenance staff, traps were set up around the FSCI office in addition to the theater in an effort to curb the amount of mice around. Just before the start of spring break, a mouse was caught in Ms. Maher’s office — just one door down from Ms. Noesi’s office. 

“On another occasion, I saw Frankie [a member of La Salle’s maintenance staff] putting a mouse trap in Ms. Maher’s office,” Ms. Noesi said. “Then I heard it go off. And then [Ms. Maher] went into her office, and she saw that the trap had been set off, and the food was gone, but no mouse was caught.”

An increasing effort to curb this problem has been made by the maintenance staff. “We have our pest control company that comes in to do monthly checks, now we’ve gotten them every couple of weeks coming in,” Mr. Myers said. “Then I’ve started setting traps out just to try to get it as clean and safe as we can get it here.” 

And although they’ve been proactive in working to prevent the spread of mice around the school, there have still been numerous sightings since the facilities team intervened. During flex time a few weeks ago, students who gathered in the FSCI room again witnessed the mice firsthand. Senior Ciomara Marrero was “terrified because ‘what are they doing in here?’” she said. 

Although traps have been set up by Mr. Myers and his team, and La Salle’s outsourced pest control checkups have become more regular, the students and staff who had run-ins with the mice agree that the best way to both combat the current issue and prevent another one is for individuals to take initiative and clean up after themselves and remind the people around them to do the same.