Critter Control in the Office!

Yeah…It seems that my workplace has Mice!  Since I am the editor of the monthly Safety and Health Newsletter for our office, I thought perhaps others have encountered similar issues.  (You may see future articles here that were written for the office.  I try to keep it short, sweet, fun and informative.

We’re also in the process of getting new carpeting in the cubicle jungle, so all things must be packed up out of all drawers and shelves so the contractors can easily lift the cubicles and thus, remove the old carpet and lay the new carpet underneath.  Two words:  BIG FUN!!!  (Actually not so much!)

The move is showing us all kinds of signs of possible infestation!  It also makes us clean up our clutter, so there; a plus side, I guess!It’s oh-so-pleasant when you find droppings or even worse, a dead mouse carcass among the files!

So…This is the missive I sent out to my peeps.  May it help you should you find yourself in the similar situation.

The only mouse I need at my desk should be attached to my computer! Yeah…In case you haven’t noticed, we have a little problem with mice at ERO! Some have found them staring back from an open drawer, some have found “gifts” left behind on our desk, and some have had the pleasure of the carnage of a trapped mouse in their area.  YUCK!  All around!

Mice are only cute in Cartoons, bro!! (No…Really… Mickey is a MYTH!) Mice are destructive, dirty miceand can get into everything and anything, even very tiny spaces.  They multiply rapidly, leaving feces and urine all over the place. (Still think they’re cute??)  Mice spread disease and bacteria, chew through wires and files.  In short, they are neither fun nor cute!

How do you know if you “gots critters?”  Oh…You’ll know! Here are a few signs:

* “Nibbled” food boxes/bags

* Chewed paper or files

* Mouse droppings/urine in drawers or on your desk

* Unusually musky odor/stale smell.

* Pieces of food wrappers or crumbs in the corner of your desk or behind your PC

(Let’s Recap…EW!) Keeping your desk clean and open-food-container-free will help keep critters at bay.

Hanta Virus, Your New Mouse, and You! Did I mention Mice carry all kinds of diseases? (Rats, mice, etc. were responsible for spreading Black Death/Bubonic Plague back in the 1300s. How fun was THAT, right??)

Mice, walking on your desk, in your desk drawers, eating your snacks, etc. can potentially pass the Hanta Virus onto humans via their feces, urine, saliva, etc. Oh, and it can be fatal if not treated.mouse-peering

Hanta Virus symptoms begin one-to-six weeks from inhaling the virus and include 3-5 days of flu-like illness, with fever, soreness, headaches, nausea/vomiting, and fatigue; then, eventual shortness of breath and fluid in the lungs, followed by a hospital stay.

The virus eventually dies off, but it varies, depending on environment, humidity, sun exposure, etc. Bottom line: ALL droppings should be treated as if they are one, big virus per the WA State Dept. of Health. I suggest bleach wipes…LOTS and LOTS of bleach wipes!!

   If you don’t feed them, they won’t come!  (Apologies to Field of Dreams!) Prevention is the key! To help keep mice under control, keep your area clean! (Duh! No-brainer, right??)   Store food in good plastic containers (not Ziploc baggies…They chew right through those!). Also, wipe down your desk often with bleach wipes.

The alternative is to have traps set.  Just be prepared to find a dead mouse in the vicinity of your cubicle!  Pretty gross, but effective!  By the way, we can’t use poison for several reasons, including the obvious mousetrap-e1361949103687health risk to us humans and having a mouse ingest the poison then crawl off and die somewhere we can’t find him.  (Can you imagine the smell of that after a few days?  Yuck!)

WARNING: Those Aren’t Caraway Seeds!!  We’re just a few droppings shy of a Hanta Virus, people!   That means we MUST keep our respective areas clean and neat, which takes a group effort to help get rid of the critters from our building.

(SOURCES:   House Mice     Hanta Virus)


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