By Cierra Martinez@CIERRAMARIE26
and C.J. Peterson @CJPETERSON51
As many may have noticed, Las Positas has acquired some new visitors that have come to stay with us on campus.
But these visitors are not new students, faculty members or administrators. Instead, they are field mice.
LPC has been the victim of a recent mice infestation on campus.
In an email sent out on Oct. 26 to members of the Las Positas community, LPC President Barry Russell, formally addressed the issue stating, “Yes… we do have a mice problem.”
According to Russell, the problem started near the beginning of the fall semester and has since only gotten worse. “The numbers seem to continue to grow every day,” said Russell.
Walter Blevins, Director of Maintenance and Operations at LPC, confirmed Russell’s statement saying, “The mice infestation has been going on for a couple months now.”
According to Blevins, Las Positas isn’t the only facility in the area with a mice crisis.
“This infestation has not only affected LPC but other businesses as well, towards Costco,” he said.
Many, including Blevins, believe that the mice have surfaced to seek refuge after the ground in which they have lived in for years was broken into earlier this semester for on campus construction.
Blevins thinks that in addition to the disruption of the ground, the recent weather changes have influenced the activity of Las Positas’ newly found furry friends.
Cherri Morrell, a staff member in the Las Positas Tutorial Center, says that this problem happened faster than anyone could have imagined.
“I think it started way down in the 4000 building and then it worked its way up here (2400 building). I mean they multiply so fast,” said Morrell.
But the mice have done more than just settle.
On top of running rampant around campus, the mice have gotten into food supplies, bitten through wires, and spread excrement and urine throughout LPC.
“They peed on my desk,” said Morrell. “I’ve had it on printer paper too. I’ve printed out papers and then realized that they’ve been in there.”
There have also been accounts of mice attempting to get inside of student’s belongings inside of the tutorial center as well.
With the immediate contact with the rodents, health risks of having wild mice on campus have raised concerns as well.
The Health and Wellness center at Las Positas was contacted regarding this issue but was unable to comment on the matter.
Measures are being taken to rid Las Positas of the rodent problem and return mouse-free environment.
Russell mentioned in his email that on top of actions being taken by the Maintenance and Operations department, outside contractors have also been contacted in hopes of solving this issue.
“We have stepped up the use of an outside firm, increasing a contract from a monthly service to a weekly service… in addition to what (Maintenance and Operations) does on a regular basis,” said Russell.
AAI Pest Control, the contracting company with Las Positas, was also contacted and unavailable for comment.
Several types of traps have been set throughout campus to prevent a further increase of mouse activity. But due to the campus being surrounded by land, this is difficult to prevent.
Other ideas for solving the mice problem have been circulating throughout the campus as well.
In the direction of a more humane solution, Morrell had a more viable suggestion.
“I had suggested getting a therapy cat up here in the tutorial center because people thought that would be cool if they could just pet the kitty but then people are allergic to cats so you can’t,” said Morrell. “Maybe we should have therapy mice.”
It has also been rumored that campus cats could be used to deal with the mice problem if funds for the necessary supplies are donated.
This rumor however has yet to be confirmed.
President Russell urges that the students and faculty of Las Positas do what they can to help the local area, including properly storing or throwing away food and drinks.
The mice are attracted to food and water so anything stored incorrectly is at risk of attracting more mice inside.
While attempting to rid LPC of the mice, some believe there has been a growing improvement.
Blevins states, “We are making head-way and are starting to see less mice, it a long aggressive process.”
This should come as good news to Las Positas students as no one wants to see a mouse in their classroom.