Skip to content Skip to footer

Here is a group that does not belong at Las Positas College. A group so foul, to pity their collective meekness would be in poor taste. Diminutive stature and reclusive disposition notwithstanding, their campus presence alone is enough to produce immediate recoil. These social outcasts are being targeted with a poison hell-bent on their extinction.


More specifically, mice. 

Custodial lore has Las Positas’ intermittent mouse emergence at every octennial. The last rodent barrage was 2016’s ordeal. Eight years later, the college is reeling from winter break’s outsized offensive. In both bombardments, an identical response from the staff and student body: disgust. 

It’s bad. … even to the point where our Child Development Center was infested.”

LPC President Dyrell fosteR

In a few words, a Maintenance and Operations (M&O) staff member, slated to remain anonymous, illustrated this infestation’s scale.

“I’ve never seen this many mice. Period.”

Then, as is now, M&O personnel retaliate accordingly. Theirs is a thankless crusade. 

The black boxes scattered across campus – segregated housing units designated for the banes of LPC – are no longer viable deterrents. This latest mice migration to Campus Hill Drive has overwhelmed indiscriminately.

Potential musophobia case and Las Positas President Dyrell Foster is well aware of the uninvited incursion.

“If I see a mouse, I’m running. I’m that guy.”

This fear is, apparently, a trade-off for being well-stocked in the area of snacks. 

“We’re good about having food in our offices,” Foster said. With staff largely absent during the winter break, hunger-panged mice were free to have “a party.” 

Holiday functions – of the human variety – are an end-of-semester rite for LPC faculty. For the mice, festive leftovers act as trapless bait, ineffectually snaring mice not in black boxes, but in campus walls and ceilings. 

“Food is the big thing here,” the M&O source said. “Faculty members will bring in food, and when (people are) not here for X amount of days, the mice will come.”

Food is but one among several reasons for infestation. The recent construction of the 2100 building was a sure-fire mouse uprooter. Construction generally tends to do this. Cold weather invariably leaves mice desperate for warm refuge. The campus being surrounded by rolling, critter-lodging foothills doesn’t exactly help the cause, either. Tack on the office provisions, and you’ve got a full-scale scourge. 

“In my building (2500) alone, (I’ve caught) about 100 mice. And that’s being conservative. It’s just a wild mess,” the source said bluntly.

With M&O’s winter break absence, the mice were granted a near complete free-for-all. Something like “Ratatouille” meets “Flushed Away.”

For mice, the school’s equitable, undiscriminating philosophy doesn’t apply. Things get serious when mice droppings come into play. The moment their feces and urine permeate carpet “or any kind of fabric,” the source explained, a scourge turns into a legitimate health issue. Diseases spread indirectly by mouse infestations include, but are not limited to: Hantavirus, Lyme disease, mpox and, um, plague. 

During the 2016 infestation, M&O used the unpaid labor of exterminator street cats. This under-the-table operation saw unaccounted-for cats dispatched on campus, sent with the intent of total mouse decimation. The program ended in 2018 for reasons undisclosed, and the cats were relocated from LPC.

Construction on campus and food left in the building over break are two of the main reasons given for the latest mice infestation. (Photo by LightFieldStudios/ Envato Elements)

In the years following 2018, the usual preventative measures nearly sufficed. Mitigation methods like door sweeps, catch and release and the deep cleaning of snack-ridden offices mostly took care of things. That is, until the break.

Now, M&O has had to employ fatal measures: snap-traps and poison. 

Metamorphosing to a full-body earnest defeat, Foster acknowledged the worst of it. “It was bad,” he said. “I mean, even to the point where our Child Development Center was infested. That’s hard to think about.”

On the bright side, the M&O source is optimistic about their handling of the rodents, saying, “For me, I feel like it’s under wraps.” 

Under wraps, under boxes and the cover of insulation, and perhaps even under children’s toys is where one might find a mouse, living or dead. It’s quite possible, then, that this assault’s not over. Plague persists. 

M&O, the last line of defense.

Olivia Fitts is the News Editor and Opinions Editor for The Express. Follow her on X, formerly Twitter @OLIVIAFITTS2.

Show CommentsClose Comments

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.