The White House is one of the most famous homes in America – it is also over two centuries old. As with any old house, it faces a lot of pest problems. Citizens’ tax dollars go toward keeping up the Executive Mansion, but it is simply too big and too old to maintain perfectly. The jokes about politicians and vermin sharing living quarters almost write themselves. However, pests are a bigger issue in the White House than the average home. Read on to learn all about the White House and how the caretakers of the historic mansion fight off pests.
What Started It All
Despite the fact that the White House has had many battles with pests over its long history, the public is now more aware of the issue now than ever. Why? The answer is simple. The current problem (mice) could not be kept out of the press room. Once the press catch wind of something in the White House, the public will hear about it soon.
In early October, a mouse fell out of the ceiling in the press briefing room and into the lap of an unsuspecting reporter. The reporter in question is NBC’s Peter Alexander. He tweeted “In other news: A mouse literally fell out of the ceiling in our [NBC News’] White House booth and landed on my lap.” This was quickly followed by video proof from other reporters in the room.
This is not the only time a reporter has encountered rodents in the White House. Fox’s John Roberts had his own brush with a furry friend in December of last year. He tweeted “So – I am standing in our Fox News standup location on the White House North Lawn and notice in my peripheral vision something moving at my left foot…it was a big brown rat.”
How They Handle It
The White House caretakers are acutely aware of the various problems. There are traps for rodents pretty much everywhere on the property. From the Situation Room, to the press pool, to the external perimeter of the home, the traps are evident. They are black bait boxes positioned at strategic locations around the Executive Mansion.
However, caretakers are not just battling rodents. There have been issues with rats, mice, cockroaches, and ants throughout the house. Reports are especially concentrated in the West Wing. Reporters not only experience the pests personally, but also release work reports from inside the White House.
There is a sort of stigma around having pests in your home. Many people think that pests come from a home being dirty. However, pests are just a fact of life. These White House work reports show just how normal dealing with pests is.
- “Please pick up dead mouse WW [West Wing]”
- “Sit Room [Situation Room] Rodent Problem.”
- “Please have someone pick up dead mouse WW VP.
Reset mouse trap WW VP Office.”
- “WW Press Lobby kitchen needs mouse traps. Please check basement and ground booth for ants and roaches.”
- “WW Navy Mess: Landscape shop to place/add more traps they spotted mice…”
- “WW 1st floor CoS [Chief of Staff] Office: Treat for ants in the west wing 1st floor chief of staff office…”
- “West Wing, Several roach sightings.”