{shortcode-a058d68de5f21a9c3c6561c893167b903312a6d7}It was 1:30 a.m. I was dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s of my pset - hi to my mom who is reading this - when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a small, brown fluff scurry across my Canaday carpet. Before I could even turn, the creature had disappeared into the dorm’s darkness.

My heart sank. It sank in the kind of way where every childhood mouse hero I had ever had, from Geronimo Stilton to Jerry, was suddenly repellent. That’s right, it sank in the kind of way where I became a Tom girl. Yet, most of all, it sank in the kind of way where I screamed.

“MOUSEEEE!” I hollered, awaking my roommates and thus embarking on our mouse-combating journey. Follow along below for (marginally) less screaming and (somewhat) successful strategies:

#1: Calling Securitas

As chaos descended upon my dorm, I felt like a soldier in battle. Every experience I had been through had been solely to prepare me for this moment. My reflexes kicked into action. I declared, “WE NEED TO CALL SOMEONE!”

My fingers flew to my phone as pride flooded me: I was protecting my home. I speed-dialed Securitas (a sign of someone who loves their Harvard community and/or regularly gets locked out). Securitas answered, I locked in:

“Hello! We have a mouse in our common room.”


[faint laughter]

[stronger laughter]

“A mouse?!? What do you want me to do?! Come fight it?!”

Pride drained me. Even as I desperately flailed with, “You’re Securitas. Whatever strategy works best—,” I knew it was pointless. I was not a soldier in battle. I was a Harvard student who called security over a mouse.

Rating: 0/10

#2: Frantic Googling

Ah, Google. She has been there for me through everything. From the “what song am I thinking of?” crisis of Tuesday to the “how to not crave academic validation” crisis of later Tuesday, she has never steered me wrong.

So, once again, I turned to her: “how to combat a mouse.” And, once again, she had answers. Thousands. She broke down the difference between a rat and a mouse. She outlined the diseases I was more and less likely to contract from the mouse. And, just as my oh-so-brief attention span was waning, she provided me with a list of “Ways to Repel a Mouse.”


#3: Kill ‘em with Kindness Peppermint

Five minutes later, I was nonchalantly explaining to my roommates, “the smell of peppermint repels them,” as I dumped an entire bottle of peppermint extract into my essential oil machine. Always an overachiever, I proceeded to douse every part of my room I thought a mouse might enjoy — which, recalling THAT scene in Ratatouille, meant drowning every inch.

As the last drop fell, I took a deep breath. The smell was intoxicating. Not in a seductive, holiday-esque way but in a if-I-can’t-breathe-the-mouse-can’t-either way. Which, I guess, is a win.


#4: Go to Sleep Believing in my Abilities

Did not work. Never before had the springs of my bed squeaked that mouse-like. Never before had the moonlight produced shadows that rodent-y. While I had hoped the peppermint would soothe me to sleep, it served as a pungent reminder of the ro-demon that could re-emerge at any moment.


#5: Go to Sleep Gaslighting Myself Into Thinking I Made Up Seeing the Mouse


Alas, despite my ratings, we shall never know which of these strategies proved the most or least effective. We have yet to see the mouse again. I live in a constant state of anxiety wondering, “Is the mouse still out there?”, or, worse, “If we never see the mouse again, will my roommates actually believe that I saw a mouse?”, or, the worst, “Did I see a mouse?” But, here I am writing this article, so it must be real. Right?