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Dear PoP – The Mice are Menacing

by Prince Of Petworth July 27, 2009 at 10:48 pm 46 Comments


Mouse hunt #1, originally uploaded by mcentellas.

“Dear PoP,

I wonder if you would get a discussion going on your site about mice in apartment buildings around the local neighborhoods. My wife and I live in an apartment building and recently our digs have become infested with mice; for six to seven weeks now, the little critters have run amok and torn into, among other random items, a cereal box and a fresh tomato. The runts are getting braver and coming out more frequently and out of more unpredictable places (the other afternoon, one little guy jumped out of the dishwasher and onto our dog’s back before performing a somersault-landing and sprinting away to safety in a water heater closet. We’ve tried everything to get rid of the runts (i.e. traps–first, the snap traps and then the less humane glue traps, putting steel wool in the holes, and conducting immaculate house cleaning routines). All attempts have failed. It is unclear that the management company has responded appropriately given the level of infestation (we know other building tenants are experiencing the same problem). We are curious how prevalent such mice issues are for other D.C. residents? And we’re also very interested to hear about other people’s experiences. For example, what they do to rid themselves of mice and how do their landlords/management companies respond, etc.? If there is a reader that knows tenants’ rights and can speak about whether a tenant can break their lease if there is a persistent and serious problem that remains unresolved by management, we’d like to know that, too.”

Back in June ’07, I revealed a dirty little secret – we all currently have or have had mice in the past. For me the only thing I was able to do to deal with the problem was to get a cat. (Ed. Note: My cat, Dingo, has been ruled ineligible for the coolest pet in PoPville contest by an independent panel of advisors.) Before I got a cat I used traps that would catch them but there seemed to be a never ending supply of reinforcements. Since I got a cat I’ve never seen one or evidence of one since. I did, however, also have some outdoor spaces patched up. However, I live in a house. If I lived in an apartment building I would definitely request exterminators from the building management. Some advice was given here. But what do you guys recommend for one facing this problem in an apartment building?

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