Locker room disgusts athletes


Madison Ayres

Dead mice and cockroaches are stuck to a glue trap in the girls' locker room. This was one of the first traps that the volleyball team saw.

Locker rooms generally smell like sweat and sports equipment, not the pungent scent of sewage. The varsity girls’ locker room is just that. Sometimes the stench is so putrid it makes girls gag.

Since the volleyball team has been using the locker room since July, the biggest issue is the mice inhabiting the room.

“The mice in the locker room are very disgusting,” senior Julia Smith said. “They crawl under our lockers and every time that (the team) comes in here, they’re either dead or starving to death.”

The traps used to catch the mice are glue traps, which are one of the most inhumane ways to catch a mouse. They seem to be used more often since these traps are cheaper than the more humane ways of trapping mice.

When a mouse becomes stuck to the adhesive on the trap, there are multiple ways that it can die. It can panic and die of a heart attack, get its nose stuck in the glue and suffocate, it starves to death or it dies trying to break free.

“They’re clinging to life on the sticky traps,” senior Jessica Schmid said.

Seeing the living mice struggling on the sticky traps emphasizes how inhumane these types of traps are. Even though having mice in the locker room is very undesirable, watching living creatures suffer in their last moments of life is sickening.

“I think that there should be better mouse traps in (the locker room) because the sticky ones don’t work,” junior Lily Hughes said.

According to Principal Ralph Kitley, the glue traps are the only thing permitted by Guilford County. The company that GCS uses for pest control is PMi, or Pest Management Systems, Inc.

“I have had them (the mice) in here,” Kitley said, referring to his office. “I had to clean out my desk. They are in a lot of places in this school. It’s a 60-year-old building.”

Having mice in this school is unsanitary because they can carry and spread diseases like hantavirus, salmonellosis and listeria. If human contact is made with mice urine, droppings, saliva or nesting materials, the chance of infection increases.

The space underneath the lockers in the varsity locker room is fairly small; however, mice can fit through spaces that are about the size of a dime. This makes it hard to find where they are, since they have the ability to squeeze in the tiniest spots.

“It makes us sad when there is a live mouse stuck to one of the traps,” sophomore Grace Hammond said. “It’s very upsetting.”