Help! Mice Are Falling from My Ceiling!

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Q: This afternoon, I was lying on my bed and searching my computer. I heard a thud, but didn't see anything next to me. I moved my papers and as I got out of bed, a small mouse jumped off the bed. I looked up and in my overhead light, I saw two more mice! Because the lighting unit isn't flush with the ceiling, they were jumping like popcorn and not clearing the side of the fixture. I have a clean home, with a few pet rabbits whose food is floor level. Mice falling from the ceiling is the stuff nightmares are made of, OK??

A previous tenant must have had a ceiling fan above the bed. This old pre-war could not have had the power to support that — so the landlord substituted a ceiling fixture that is also "old school." It doesn't meet the ceiling. It resembles a floating crystal fruit bowl.

As it is directly over my bed, I have noted many times, in the past 2 years, the 2" gap from where the old fixture was to where this one now hangs. The problem? An absentee landlord on the UES. In my two years, I have never ever seen an exterminator. After all this time, I am now thinking a building-paid exterminator won't help me with mice falling from my ceiling.

Can we use steel wool to close this gap, so close to electrical lines? Putty? Foam? I'd prefer to NOT start a fire. I am hoping to find the best way to stop having mice fall from my ceiling. It is *truly* as bad as it sounds!

We are on our own, the landlord does not care, MICE FALLING FROM ABOVE....please help!!

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Regina is an architect who lives with her husband and children in Lawrence, KS. As a LEED Accredited Professional and longtime contributor to Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn, her focus is on healthy, sustainable living through design.