Smart mice evade capture at college


Manhattan College students have been dealing with some unwelcome roommates. 

“We hear them in the walls periodically throughout the night,” said student Joe Martello, 20. 

On Monday, the college confirmed that there is a mouse problem in Horan Hall, a dormitory on Manhattan College Parkway. 

Junior Matt Partridge, 20, who lives on the tenth floor of the 11-floor dormitory, first encountered the rodents in February, when he heard a mysterious scratching noise coming from under his bed. 

“I looked down and saw it — as soon as I put the light on, it scurried away,” he said of a mouse intruder. It had helped itself to a granola bar from the suite Mr. Partridge shares with his human roommates. 

Mr. Martello said the mice have been a problem since February, with the cold winter forcing them to seek refuge in the warm dormitory. 

“They climb up through the pipes to get to the higher floors,” he speculated.

Not all the mice have found the comfort they sought. Some, students said, have met their end in traps the school gave to students who reported a problem. 

Others have been deterred by foam that an exterminator used to seal the vents in problem rooms. 

Manhattan College’s director of communications Pete McHugh said an exterminator hired by the school has been treating the residence hall each day for the past two weeks. 

And yet the scratching and clawing sounds persist.

“We still hear them,” said Mr. Partridge. 

“Either they’re learning to avoid [the traps] or they’re just ignoring them somehow,” added senior Joe McDermott, 21. 

One student, it was rumored, has caught eight mice in her dorm since the winter visits began, though she was not available for an interview. 

Mr. McHugh said the school will crack down on the problem over the college’s spring break this week.

“The exterminator is doing more invasive work that they are unable to do while the students are living there, including treating an area of bedrock where the issue appears to have started,” he wrote in an e-mail. 

He added that students have been advised to keep their rooms clean and take out the trash regularly. 

The students, meanwhile, hope the mice will find a new home.

“Frankly, it’s not hygienic at all. They carry diseases. It’s disgusting, really,” said Mr. McDermott. “It’s not a pleasant experience at all.”

Manhattan College, Horan Hall, mice, mouse infestation, rodents, mysterious scratching, granola bar, Pete McHugh, Maya Rajamani