TBT (Throw Back Thursday) is story series that highlights articles from past Foghorn issues, which are easily viewable online through Gleeson Library’s digital collection of USF’s longstanding undergraduate newspaper. This week we bring you the story of how over 35 mice were captured in traps set up under beds and desks on the third floor of Phelan Hall just several months into the spring semester of 1978. Former Foghorn staff writer Cindy Rush has the call.
At the end of last semester, the fifth floor annex of Phelan hall was having quite a problem with uncontrollable mice. This semester, the mice have seemed to “move on to greener pastures” which, unfortunately for the girls of third floor Phelan, happened to be their wing.
Although the problem of mice running wildly among the floor has somewhat stabilized, the residents of third floor are by now losing much of their long-held high anxiety rate against the inconvenience. The mice have been fed poison by the exterminators but because the poison takes ten days to take effect, the population still rises.
As an extra precaution, the residents all have traps set up under their desks and have been quite successful in the capturing of some 35 mice (total) this semester. Some 15 other mice have been sighted in various rooms. The traps have been reset and the mice picked up by volunteers who live on the floor. The girls keep a record of all mice trapped and seen, noting the location.
It was the theory of many that the mice were invading the third floor because of the food commonly kept in the dorm rooms. It is the opinion of RAs Sue Clayworth and DeAnna Poindexter that this conclusion is false.
“After recording the findings, we check all the rooms to see if there is any food that may have attracted the mice. The food in most all of the rooms is kept high and in tight containers, thus, we tend to disagree with the food as being the main problem,” stated DeAnna Poindexter.
“We tend to believe that because Phelan is an older building and because new construction is taking place the mice are being driven up from the basement to the upper floors,” added Sue. DeAnna also thinks there is a possibility that because in previous years the mice have been fed the same poison they may have become immune to it.
Today the problem of mice roaming about third floor has stabilized from what it was last month when it was at its peak; however, the mice arc still not under control. The floor is checked weekly if not more often by exterminators but the population still grows. Perhaps the only step left is to exterminate the whole building. If this is the case, residents of Phelan hall — particularly the third floor — will most likely have to “tough it out” the rest of this semester. Let’s hope summer brings a solution to the long existing problem of mice in Phelan Hall.