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Habitat Magazine Insider Guide



How to Fight a Mighty Mouse Infestation

The Challenge

Con Ed and Verizon were doing a great deal of work ­ripping up the streets on Lower Fifth Avenue. We manage a 16-story, 80-unit building in that area that became infested with mice. They came up from the ground because of a combination of that construction, which had been going on non-stop for a year, and renovation work being done in the building. Once mice get in, you’ve got a nightmare on your hands. Every area of your building has to be checked for openings. Mice can bend and flatten themselves out to a quarter of an inch if not smaller.

The Solution

Once you have a mouse situation, the most important thing is to secure access points on the ground level of your building. That means your basement and lobby. You must also inspect apartments for openings behind stoves, refrigerators, radiators, under sinks, and behind dishwashers. People spend a lot of money putting in new kitchen cabinets, new bathrooms, and new built-ins. But often contractors leave openings. We require renovations to be checked before the vendor installs the cabinets, millwork, and appliances to make sure the walls and pipes have no openings.

The Lesson

You really have to do a lot of prevention and you’ve got to do it all the time. If there’s cement, they’ll eat through it. If you put in steel wool, they’ll eventually eat through it. You can’t just sit on your laurels, saying. “Well, we did it five years ago. We don’t have to do it again.” You have to make sure that apartments are properly protected and that the contractors are doing their jobs.

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