Lying in bed, in the dark quiet before you fall into that much-anticipated slumber, a soft scratching sound finds its way to your ears and you bolt upright. You don’t want to turn the light on, you don’t want to look, it could just be the heat starting up, but you have to check. There it is: a mouse. It stops its scratching and turns to you the moment the lights came on, you stare into its black eyes before it runs off out of view. After your blood-curdling scream, you gather yourself, and do what any self-respecting shareholder or unit owner would do: you call management.
“The first thing that needs to be done is a thorough inspection. That means every single unit that is complaining about the situation should be listed in some form or another. There should be some sort of layout to show where these apartments are to see if there’s a general cluster,” says Ralph H. Maestre, a board-certified entomologist with Magic Exterminating in New York City.
Finding the Best Mousetrap
Mice usually don’t go more than 25 feet from their nest, says Arthur Katz, the president of Knockout Pest Control in Uniondale, Long Island. So by finding out if all the affected units are clustered together you can find out how large the problem you’re facing is. If the mice are only in a handful of units near each other it’s not as big an issue as it could be if they were all over the building.
“Sometimes mice will follow a vertical line and sometimes a horizontal line, and by identifying where they are you can analyze where the issue is and where it’s coming from,” says Katz. Once the affected areas are identified, “then you stop them from moving from one unit to another by sealing up pipe chases, heating chases, making sure windows in the basement are closed and sealed, that if there are holes in the walls that they are fixed.”
“You also want to take a quick look on the outside of the building to see if the neighboring buildings or lots are causing an issue. You might have an empty lot full of trash harboring a lot of mice that will need to be taken care of,” says Maestre.