How To Battle Mice
No matter where your home is, occassionally unwanted guests will visit you and, if left alone,
will stay with you forever or their progeny will. I am speaking about mice. While not as scary as their
larger cousins, the rat, mice infestations are still a serious problem.
Mice are prolific breeders, producing 6-10 litters continuously throughout the year. And the young
are born hungry. Still, the
greatest economic loss from mice is not due to how much they eat, but what must be thrown out
because of damage or contamination.
They chew through wood and other materials. And their droppings
spoil more than they consume. Food, clothing, furniture, books and many other household
items are contaminated by their droppings and urine, or damaged by their gnawing.
Along with causing damage, mice also spread diseases and parasites such as: Salmonella (food poisoning),
Rat bite fever, Tapeworms and Ringworm.
There are many different kinds of mice, but most likely you will be dealing with
the common house mouse (Mus musculus). Mice are small rodents, with pointed snouts, small ears,
elongated bodies, and slender, hairless tails. Adult mice are about 3 inches long or a little more,
not counting the tail.
How can you tell if you have mice, here are some signs:
- Droppings: Mouse droppings are about the size of rice grains, usually oblong
in shape, but sometimes round.
- Tracks: You may notice a scattered patch of flour or talcum powder on the floor along the wall or
other spot. Sytill not sure what is causing this? Then put a cracker or a piece of bread spread with
peanut butter in the middle of your "tracking patch." If you find more tracks you have rodent problems.
- Burrows: You may find small tunnels in weedy places, under boards, under dog houses
and near garbage cans or dumpsters.
- Gnawings: Any little hole with chewed edges is a sure sign. Check your kitchen cupboards
for chewed packages. Look for shredded paper. Look for tooth marks.
- Sound: The scittering of tiny feet. Listen for gnawing or scratching in walls or
attics, especially at night.
- Nests: Clumps of chewed paper or cloth (including gloves, carpet, clothes) are often found in
boxes, drawers, basements or attics.
- Odor: Do you smell a rat, I mean, mouse? A musty odor usually indicates mice, not rats,
So now you know what is running around your house when the lights are out. How do you get rid
of these mice?
Good sanitation habits is the first course of action. Clean up your yard and garage, removing
trash and debris. Inside the home, look for cluttered areas where mice can find shelter. If house mice
do not have places to hide, they can not multiply into large numbers.
In the kitchen and wherever you store food, place rice and grains, etc., into metal containers
with tight covered lids. Clean up any pet food left over from feeding your dog or cat. Mice do not forage
far for food. If they can't find it in your house, or close by, they will move on.
are generally preferred over rodenticides (poisons). Traps are less hazardous
to use around children and pets and they work. Conventional snap-type traps are easy to use and
available at most supermarkets and hardware stores.
Many bait their traps by
tying small pieces of bacon, gum drops, or raisins to the trigger with thread. I prefer to spread
peanut butter on the trigger. Not surprising, there are many types of mouse traps to choose from
including multiple-catch mouse traps (Ketch-All). This device
can capture and hold a dozen or more mice before needing to be emptied.
also are very effective against mice. Mice become entangled in the glue when
they run over the boards, soon dying of suffocation. If by accident, glue from a glue board contacts the
fur of a pet or the skin of a child, it can be removed with mineral or vegetable oil.
Regardless of which you use, traps or glue boards should be placed up against walls,
behind objects, and in secluded areas where mouse droppings, gnawing and damage are evident.
Snap traps should be oriented perpendicular to the wall, with the trigger end against the vertical
surface. Multiple-catch traps should be oriented with the entrance hole parallel to the wall.
Once a trap has been sprung or a glue board captures a mouse, place it in a
plastic bag and dispose of it.
Ultrasonic pest repellers
can keep mice out of your home. hese devices uses
ultrasonic vibrations that cannot be heard by people, cats and dogs, but can be heard by mice and
other pests. These sounds irritate the mice to the point that they won't stay around. My mom uses
such a device in her mobile home and hasn't been botherd by mice for years. Multi-units
for different rooms and floors may be needed to be most effective.
In the wild, raptors such as howks and owls, snakes and coyotes control the mice population.
In the home, you might want to keep a cat to do the same job. In the garden, you can plant mint.
Mice are allergic to the mint flavors and will stay away from the smell, so
indirectly from your home. Not a complete solution, but mint is a nice plant to have around anyway.
Always remember to throw away the dead rat otherwise it will give away a bad smell and it is
always better not to use poison because that might pollute your home environment and cause accidents.
You have many options to control and keep mice from living in your home.
With a little preperation and quick action, you can easily keep out these unwanted visitors.
About the Author:
Scott Harker is the publisher of several websites including:
Magic Card Trick,
Diagnosing Yeast Infections,
On The Hook | Surf Fishing Rods.
News about Controlling Mice
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