Mouse Control

Mouse Control

Rodents can carry a wide variety of diseases transmissible to humans. Learn how to get rid of mice FAST using proven, organic and natural control strategies.

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House mice (Mus musculus) are the most common rodents in people’s homes. In fact, they have lived with humans so long they have trouble surviving without us. Originally from Asia, house mice have traveled with humans all over the world.

House mice cost more money in damages to food and buildings than any other rodent.

Description of the House Mouse

House mice are small and only weigh 1/2 ounce. They are 5-7 inches, including 3-4 inches of tail. Their brown to gray fur acts as camouflage. The ears are large for the size of the mouse and the eyes are black.

Deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) occasionally enter homes. They are gray on top and white on the bottom. They also have a much longer, mostly hairless tail.

Amazing Facts

Mice can jump up to 12 inches from a flat surface and can run up rough vertical surfaces, such as wood. They can follow a cable or wire into the house by running on top of it acrobat style. Mice are good climbers, too. They can squeeze through a hole as small as 1/4 inch in diameter.

Mice have amazingly sensitive hearing, smell, touch, and taste. They do not have great eyesight but the keenness of their other senses make up for that.

Lifecycle of the House Mouse

Mice become sexually mature at 6-10 weeks. Females have from 5-10 litters, each of 5-6 pups, in one year. Each of the female pups repeats having this many litters. Even though the house mouse only lives 9-12 months, one fertile female can cause a whole mouse infestation in no time.

Dangers of Mice

Mice are very dangerous. They eat and foul a great deal of grain and other food each year. They prefer cereal grains but will eat many other things if available.

Direct Diseases Mice Carry

While mice feed, they defecate and urinate on the food they leave. Their bodily by-products, along with the hair mice shed, carry a number of serious illnesses.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these include leptospirosis, lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCM), tularemia, and salmonellosis. The most common disease mice carry is salmonellosis or food poisoning.

Indirect Disease Transmission

It isn’t just the mice that are a problem. A number of diseases are spread by the fleas and ticks that live on the mouse. These parasites can bite people, pets, and livestock and spread diseases to them.

We have all heard of the bubonic plague that rat fleas spread. Mice don’t spread that, but a mite on them causes Rickettsioses. This is similar to Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and can range from mild to life-threatening.

Property Destruction

Mice must gnaw continually to keep their incisors from growing too much. They can gnaw through a number of things, including wood, drywall, insulation, plastic, rubber, vinyl, and insulating foam. Mice also gnaw on electrical wires and can cause a fire by short-circuiting one. Mice shred paper or fabric to use to make a nest in a quiet, hidden place. They also nest in insulation in the walls or in the attic.

Evidence of Mice

Mice are nocturnal. People often see evidence of them long before they see an actual mouse. These signs include:

  • Rod-shaped dark feces that are narrow at the ends. A mouse leaves 50-75 pellets in the area a day.
  • Pathways frequented by mice get oily stains on them.
  • Mice, particularly when there are lots of them, exude a musty odor.
  • Damaged food packages in the pantry are a sign you may have mice.
  • Fresh gnaw marks that are 1/32 inch wide were probably made by a mouse.
  • Noise in the walls and attic can be a sign of mice. People are often surprised how such a little creature can make so much noise.

If you find these signs, you probably have a house mouse problem.

House Mouse Prevention

Effective mouse control starts with preventing any more mice from entering the building or home. Rodent proofing includes exclusion and sanitation. Repellents may also be used.

Exclusion

The best way to prevent mice is to exclude them. Since a mouse can get in through a 1/4 inch hole this can be difficult.

Mice won’t chew steel, so you can put a piece of steel fiber cloth into each hole and caulk it to keep it in place. You can use copper wool or small patches of metal hardware cloth instead.

  • Seal all the cracks and holes in the foundation and walls.
  • Wedge the steel fibers in a crack with a flat screwdriver. Use mortar or caulk to make sure it stays there.
  • Seal the openings where pipes, electrical wires, and cables come into the house.
  • Since mice can climb, you need to trim tree branches that are over your roof or get close enough to the wall for the mouse to jump to it.
  • Seal the attic.

Sanitation

While good sanitation will not prevent mice, bad sanitation will attract them. There are several things you can do to make mice feel unwelcome. They need food and shelter just like we do.

Food sanitation:

  • Store food in mouse-proof metal or glass containers.
  • Put trash in a metal can with a tight-fitting lid.
  • If you have fruit trees, pick up the fallen fruit so the mouse isn’t attracted to it.
  • Pick up pet food at night so the mice do not have access to it.
  • Wipe up food spills promptly.

Shelter exclusion:

  • Remove debris in your yard.
  • Keep the yard mowed.
  • Stack lumber and firewood on racks at least 8 inches off the ground and 8 inches from any wall.
  • Store fabric in mouse-resistant containers.
  • Vacuum regularly, including areas such as the backs of closets and pantries.

 

Repellents

Repellents can be used in conjunction with exclusion and sanitation. All three work together to effectively prevent mice from entering your home. There are several types of repellents.

Ultrasonic devices work by emitting a high, irritating sound that only rodents can hear. The sound changes periodically so the mice will not get used to it. These devices will not bother dogs and cats. Each unit covers approximately 400 square feet. Plug one in each room for best results.

Mint repellent place packs use spearmint and peppermint to repel mice. Place packs are used so you can place them behind appliances, along walls where mice run, and in garages and basements without having to touch the actual repellant.

Rodent organic granules can be shaken out where ever rodents are a problem. Use these to get in difficult-to-reach places. The smell repels mice and other rodents.

Mouse Control Methods

It is worthwhile to exclude mice and practice good sanitation so mice do not get in. After that, you need a way to get rid of the mice that were already inside. There are two main ways to remove mice from your house in a safe and humane manner.

Mouse Traps

Snap mice traps baited with peanut butter are the traditional way to get rid of mice. They are a human way to kill mice. There are even one-use traps that you throw out without ever seeing the dead mouse.

However, if you do not want to kill the mice in your home, you can try live-trapping them.

Mice are suspicious of new things, so they will take a few days to enter the trap. Place the traps where you see signs of them. Use multiple traps for better coverage.

Since mice are nocturnal, check your traps each morning. Take note of the traps that catch the most mice so you can place more in that location.

Once the mice are humanely live-trapped, take them to a wooded area or big field and open the trap. The mouse has to chew through a cracker to get out so you never have to handle her. Once she is gone, you can collect the trap and re-use it.

Baits

Rodent baits work well, but traditional rodent baits are very dangerous. They kill not only rodents but the animals that feed on the mice that have eaten the bait. Dead mice can get trapped in the walls and attic and die, causing a bad smell.

Use Organic Bait

Agrid3 Bait is the only organic rodent bait. It has cholecalciferol, or Vitamin D3, in it which draws the calcium out of the mouse’s bones and into his bloodstream. This kills the mouse.

While this bait will not harm a pet that eats a poisoned mouse, the pellets will. It is a good idea to use a bait station. This keeps the pellets away from children, pets, and livestock.

For best results, put out fresh bait daily. Mouse control should be continued for 15 days after you no longer see signs of mice.

Mice carry diseases and damage buildings and belongings. Whether you want to prevent them from coming into your house or get rid of them, there are safe and organic ways of doing so.

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