Conducive conditions: A different kind of mall rat

By |  October 19, 2017

Strip malls offer several unique challenges to pest management. Typically, a strip mall has a number of stores unrelated to one another, sharing only a common wall and a common landlord. Sometimes they have a parking lot in back with a rear entrance, and sometimes not. If you can’t drive around back, you should walk back and take a look.

Note how the rear of this building was once maintained, but has fallen into neglect; the forest is beginning to reclaim its old territory. The vines up the back allow an easy route for mice to gain entry.
Photo: Mark Sheperdigian, BCE

If you see what’s pictured above, it can explain a lot of chronic pest problems — most notably, rodents. House mice (Mus musculus), deer mice (Peromyscus spp.), Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) and roof rats (R. rattus) can thrive in a secluded, woody area like this, with all the dumpsters, litter and other human-made debris they need.

Sometimes, but not always, a chronic mouse problem in a strip mall is blamed on the neighbors when a simple tour of the property would reveal the true source of the problem. This infestation is also quite likely to get started in the dropped ceiling of the stores inside. And dropped ceilings are often neglected because they are difficult to inspect.

You can reach Contributor Mark Sheperdigian, BCE, at

This article is tagged with , , and posted in featured, Mice, Rats, Rodents

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