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Cape Girardeau Junior High School officials seeing an increase in number of mice
Cape Girardeau Junior High School students are reporting they've had some unwelcome guests recently.
"We're doing the best we can to try to ward them off," said Neil Glass, the Cape Girardeau School District's administrative services director in charge of facilities.
School administrators said they aren't sure exactly why there seems to be an increased number of mice running about the school this year, but they are trying to take care of the problem.
One factor may be that portions of the school are more open to the elements because of ongoing construction of a library addition on the school's east side, Glass said. Mice sometimes get into other buildings in the district in addition to the junior high, but that school seems to see the problem more frequently, he said, especially when the weather turns cold. The addition is scheduled to be completed in July.
"We can hit it a little harder after construction and make sure they are gone," he said.
For now, the district has contracted with a local pest control company to get rid of the mice using glue traps, and students have been advised not to take food into classrooms or leave it in their lockers.
Principal Carla Fee said staff and students do see the mice occasionally, but that the sightings are not an everyday occurrence.
Eighth-grader Lisandra Moreno said most students at the school are aware of the mice and have seen them in a few classrooms and locker rooms.
Fee said pests, including mice and insects, are an issue for many schools because of so much food on hand and doors opening often.
"It's the nature of a school," she said. "There's food, there's kids and it's an older building. But we are doing everything we can to address it."
The school opened in 1951.
Integrated pest management, which is the use of a variety of methods for effective pest control that minimizes the use of pesticides, is covered under a district policy approved by the school board in 2007. The policy requires that all district property and facilities use a system for controlling insects, rodents, weeds and other pests.
The policy includes tactics for the school district to deal with pests in an order of taking no action, erecting of physical barriers, making changes to practices that contribute to pest problems, applying exterior biological controls and finally using chemical controls starting with the least toxic pesticides deemed appropriate. The district should also educate students, parents and staff about pest prevention as a tactic, according to the policy.
205 Caruthers Ave., Cape Girardeau, MO