Do You Think The White House Has (or ever has had) Vermin?

Just wondering do you think Socks the cat ever had to earn his keep by mousing.

Or do you think Hillary woke up all itchy and wondered if it was bed bugs or crabs?

Or do you think Nixon was shooting Raid at the roaches.

I don’t know when the place was air conditioned but it must’ve had mosquitos and fly, thus no pest strips?

Any evidence of such?

3, 2, 1…

There was a former First Lady from the 60s or 70s who I remember complaining about all the mice and such in the White House. Maybe even farther back than that. Bess Truman wasn’t a fan of the place.

Tried Googling but good grief. Hundreds of unrelated hits. For one search almost all of the first 100 links were to where the “mice” were ads for computer mice.

Google is not my friend. Tried Bing. Even with “Bess Truman” in quotes, got a lot of hits for The Truman Show.

I’m quite sure the WH was pretty filthy-up to about 1900. Face it, food preparation in the 19th and 18th century was pretty iffy.
But I was always amused by Andrew Jackson’s inauguration party-huge amounts of booze was consumed, and guests carved their initials into the wood work-and cuts souvenir pieces of the drapery. And before it had indoor plumbing, the chamber pots were emptied into the back yard-yum!

You need to know about the not-entirely-serious position of Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office in Britain.

The White House must surely have a similar employment opportunity.

In Destiny of the Republic, the author describes how shabby the White House had become by 1881. I honestly don’t recall if there were vermin mentioned, but I feel like that was probably an issue at that time.

Oh come on people! How much of a set up do you need?

Vermin in the White House? Sure. Richard Nixon comes to mind.

That was too easy.

Took a little longer than I thought, but it was inevitable :smiley:

The White House didn’t have indoor plumbing when it was built.

So your point is that the mice had to use the outhouse?

I tend to think along these lines:

Build a better mouse trap and nature will build a better mouse.
Nature is a mother.

I’ve seen mice on the 28th floor of a modern and well-cleaned NYC office building. Why wouldn’t “vermin” infest the much older White House?

The White House as it is today is fairly new in most senses and only dates to the Truman administration from the early 1950’s. After the Great Depression and WWII, it had serious structural and deterioration issues and had to be almost completely destroyed internally and rebuilt from the inside out.. Only the outer brick shell is partly original and that only counts if you don’t include other rebuildings such as when it was burned during the War of 1812 or the various additions that were later added and sometimes later removed. Once you know that, it makes some of its ‘historical’ features such as the Lincoln bedroom seem like fraud.

What I am saying is that the White House has had many different forms over the years and was allowed to become quite decrepit at times especially during the 1800’s and from the Great Depression to WWII. I am sure it is mostly spotless today but there is plenty of food around and that is enough to attract vermin anywhere. They aren’t scared of the Secret Service and can get through any opening whatsoever.

But I’ll bet the IRS gives them pause.

  1. Too obvious.

  2. Too risky. Political jabs sometimes get official Warnings.

The poor things. :wink: I was saying that I expect an enormous 19th-century building where the inhabitants used chamber pots and didn’t have indoor baths or sinks probably had its share of vermin.

You forget “professional courtesy.”

Yes, insufficiently challenging for me, and I’m not very discriminating either.

I think they’re allowed in IMHO.

She would’ve just thought it was Bill giving her crabs again. :wink:

In 1993, a story was written that rats were a problem outside of the White House, but that none had been found inside the residence.