Mice go dirty dancing on keyboards at night

12 May 2010

Mice on the move at night in offices like dancing and pressing on computer keys so they can reach food crumbs in between, according to a well-placed Royal Society of Chemistry source.

To bring attention to such nastiness the RSC is planning to publish on its website the filthiest keyboards in the UK.

Paul Gallagher, RSC spokesperson, said: "We are asking office workers to take shots of offensive keyboards and workstations and to email them to us at the RSC. We will give 300 to the sender of the most awful image. However, we will not entertain any shots that smack of contrivance and will ask for a witness to the keyboard dirtiness.

"We do not need the names of the organisations at which the shots were taken and will not publish any identification of the place or the sender. Therefore we ask that shots do not have anything in them which might betray confidential information or identify the users or their employers."

The society, which maintains a regular keyboard, monitor and telephone handset hygiene service, is this year concentrating much of its communications work on science and health in society.

Office hygiene is as important as domestic hygiene and the RSC on-line exhibition will stress the importance of keeping their workstations clear and clean.

A London office cleaning company told the RSC: "One example was a lady at one our client firms. She wondered why, given that she did not eat bread at her desk, seeds were coming out of the qwertyuiop line in particular when she struck the keys. But investigations showed them to be mice droppings.

"There is evidence that in buildings with mice the little tinkers like to run along the keys and press down on them to get at the food crumbs left by people snacking while working.

"That is why it is so important to wash your hands before you eat food. Mice can go to some unpleasant places."

Contact and Further Information

Send your mice-infested keyboard pictures here!
Royal Society of Chemistry, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BA