Happy New Year! New Year means we have another chance to talk about the new mice that are (or are not) appearing on campus. On the 21st January, we had the first meeting of the joint KCL/KCLSU mice taskforce. It was a very productive meeting, firstly reviewing all the measures that have been put in place, ranging from installing mesh and chemical cleaning for hard to reach areas to prevent breeding of pests.
When the problem was originally identified in August 2019, a group was convened that met fortnightly. This working group had the sole purpose of combatting the pest problem and undertook various activities such as walkarounds to see how the problem was progressing. Then they looked at progress of which measures were effective and then used this to decide whether to continue or stop them.
There are pitfalls with trying to combat largely nocturnal mice. Libraries, identified as a problem area, suffer from an issue that consumption of food in these spaces leads to the attraction of rodents. To prevent mice from congregating, there needs to be regular cleaning such as vacuuming, but this often leads to unhappiness as it disrupts students who want a quiet space to study. It was identified that 3-5am is the optimal time to vacuum furthermore, KCL purchased a silent hoover to prevent disruption. These are just some of the extensive measures which were put in place.
In our next meeting, we are looking at how to better identify problem areas so there is cross reporting from students to the Estates and Facilities team who do not want mice as much as students don’t want mice. As always, please do reach out to me on [email protected] if you want to be involved, and let’s hope that next year there are no new mice!