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Sam's Club exterminates rodents, disturbs University independents

If your Sam's Club Shredded Wheat box has little teeth marks, your thesis-rabid roommate may not be responsible.

Last week Sam's Club of West Windsor, a wholesale supermarket, closed to exterminate a plethora of mice that had been gnawing on products, according to a recent Princeton Packet article. Brown and Lockhart coops as well as many independent students shop at Sam's Club.


When the Packet article was written, the store had exterminated at least three dozen mice and had filled two trailers with "tainted goods," according to the article.

Sam's Club closed briefly to start the extermination but has mostly remained open during the cleanup and rodenticide.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., of which Sam's Club is a part, is "taking a good look at it," company spokesman Bryan Holmberg said.

"The store is very cleanly. We have gone above and beyond the agreement with the exterminator to make sure the store is clean," he said.

Holmberg added that he thinks the mouse problem developed in a short period of time. Since the store is inspected twice each month, the mice had to have reproduced and infested the area within a two-week period. "It was very recent and very limited," he said.

Students who shop at Sam's Club were not happy to hear of the infestation. Independent student Jen Gould '98 said she shops at Sam's Club "all the time."


"The word 'infestation' makes me uncomfortable," Gould said, "If they had found one mouse I don't think that would have bothered me too much." She added that she will likely continue to shop at Sam's Club, though, because she usually buys packaged products.

Lea Weems '99, a Brown coop member, said that most of the products the coop purchases from Sam's Club are canned or in some other way packaged. "Sure, I guess I'm uncomfortable with (the infestation). But most of the stuff we buy at Sam's – you'd be able to tell if it had been tampered with," she said.


Dr. James Miele, a veterinarian, said that the mice in Sam's Club were most likely eradicated with a type of poison that "causes the blood not to coagulate . . . so they bleed out internally." Bait placed in the mice-infested area contain the anticoagulating agent.

Miele said that this method of extermination is both inhumane and results in slow death. However, he added that the more humane process of gassing the mice was completely impractical.

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Anticoagulant rodenticides are particularly a problem for companion animals such as dogs and cats who may eat the poisoned pellets or eat a poisoned mouse, Miele said. The companion animals then develop the same symptoms as afflicted mice.