Investigating Patterson’s rodent problem

Photo: National Institutes of Health (public domain)

By Christian Pietrowski, Lionell Green and Jessica Branch,

Patterson is known for the roaches and mice that can be found all throughout the school. A lot of classrooms have mice living in the walls and sometimes during the day they make an appearance. So why does Patterson have this rodent and insect problem if the janitors clean every day–both after the students leave and during the day?

Ms.Rivera, head custodian at Patterson High, told the Patterson Press, ”I honestly have no clue why there is a rodent problem in Patterson because I work like crazy and so do the other custodians.”

Morgan McCafity, a senior at Patterson High, said, ”The rodent problem is sad and scary.” She doesn’t want rodents running across her feet when they could possibly have a disease.

Honestly, the rodent problem at Patterson is sad because Patterson is a really nice school and is actually cleaned on a regular basis. So if Patterson is cleaned regularly, why is there a rodent problem? To discover he answer to this question, we went around the school and asked questions to random students and teachers in school. Here are the questions we asked and a random sample of some of the answers we received:

  1. Why is Patterson so dirty? (Because students leave trash everywhere, not caring about trashcans.)
  2. Why are there so many rodents in Patterson? (They are smart creatures and they find their way in no matter what.)
  3. If the custodians clean, WHY is it so dirty? (Because students throw trash wherever they can and whenever they can even if there is a trashcan 5 feet away.)
  4. What makes Patterson so dirty? (The students.)
  5. Why haven’t we gotten an exterminator? (We have a couple times but it doesn’t work.)
  6. Where are they coming from? (The outside of the school.)
  7. Why haven’t we stopped this? (Patterson has tried numerous times.)
  8. What is causing the rodents to come out? (The cold and the trash and food crumbs that are on the ground.)
  9. How many rodents have you seen in a day? (About 8 or 10.)
  10. How can we stop them from coming in? (Block all the small holes and ways that they come in.)

As an experiment, two of us walked around the school to see how many mice and rodents we could each find in just 5 minutes (for a combined total of 10 minutes between the two reporters). Here is what we found, broken down minute by minute:

pietrowski- Lionell-Branch (1)

All in all, Patterson has a really bad rodent problem. Patterson might be one of the worst schools with a rodent problem. Part of the problem is because the school has small holes in the floors and walls and the animals are small so they can come in through the holes. The custodians clean as often as they can, but as long as students continue to throw trash everywhere the rodent problem will not get any better.

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