One of the most annoying household pests is the mouse. The most common mouse is the brown field mouse, or house mouse.
The house mouse is a small furry grey and brown rodent. Mice feed on all sorts of foods but prefer seeds and cereal grains. They love grass seed and birdseed. The mouse usually lives near and around humans, and often causes damage to stored food and crops. They can carry parasites such as fleas, mites, ticks and worms, that can spread disease.
Mice are nocturnal and, therefore, are rarely seen by the homeowner. However, you can tell when they have been around by their droppings, or by the acrid smell of their urine. Fresh gnaw marks provide another clue to their presence.
Mice are more likely to find their way into homes in the fall of the year, when outdoor temperatures at night become colder. They are looking for a winter shelter, and can go through almost any tiny crack they happen to find.
The greatest loss from mice is not due to how much they eat, but what must be discarded because of damage or contamination. Food, clothing, furniture, books and many other household items can be contaminated by their droppings and urine, or damaged by their gnawing. They chewed on the bows of Christmas wreaths we had stored in the garage.
More seriously, mice can gnaw through electrical wiring, causing appliances to stop working, or even worse: they can even cause fires.
Good sanitation and food storage practices are helpful in reducing problems with mice. Store garbage in rodent-proof containers. Make sure your garbage cans have tight-fitting lids so dogs or wildlife can't knock them over. If you have bird seed or grass seed, store these in cans have tight-fitting lids; preferably metal cans.
A mouse can squeeze through any opening slightly larger than just 1/4 inch in height. Eliminate or seal any openings that size or larger to keep mice out. Additional control measures include traps, glue boards and toxic baits, known as rodenticides.
Caulk or seal gaps and openings around window frames, doors, foundation and clothes dryer vents, crawlspace access doors, and soffits, as-well-as where heating/AC and plumbing lines pass through the foundation. Install weather-stripping along the bottom of house and garage doors so that they fit tightly against the threshold.
In the late fall, as the weather was becoming colder, we heard mice gnawing at night through a bedroom wall that backed up to a closet. One of the walls of the closet was on an outside wall. The wall was covered with aluminum siding on the porch side. But the aluminum siding left a gap of about ½ inch at the bottom where it met the cement porch floor. On the other side of the wall which was on the inside of the closet, the builder had neglected to finish putting quarter round on the hardwood flooring where it met with the bottom of the wallboard. Mice had squeezed through the small opening between the bottom of the siding and the cement, then chewed through the wood and wallboard and gotten into the closet. From there they made it into the house proper.
We sealed the opening on the outside and finished installing quarter round inside the closet. To make sure the problem spot was permanently fixed, we slid a piece of rebar (completely knaw-proof!) under the siding and sealed it in with cement caulk. That fixed that problem, but we still had to catch the mice that had gotten into the house.
We mainly used Victor Wire Snap Mouse Traps. We bait the traps with peanut butter.
The original wood-based wire snap trap, the Victor Metal Pedal Mouse Trap provides instant rodent control and is safe for household use. This trap allows for clean and quick trapping. Once a rodent triggers the metal petal, the trap immediately springs closed to eliminate the pest on contact. It can then be easily disposed of for quick and clean removal.
Set the traps anywhere you see mouse droppings. Set more than one. If you have mice you probably have more than one. Set multiple traps and catch them all.
Follow this link to see Victor Wire Snap Mouse Traps available from Amazon.com.
We also like Victor Electronic Mouse Traps
The Electronic Mouse Trap uses advanced smart circuit technology to sense when a rodent enters the unit. High voltage shock kills mice in 5 seconds. Built-in safety switch and tunnel design protect kids and pets. Beveled columns hold mouse in place for 100% Kill Rate - no escapes. Easy to use - simply bait, turn on, and empty. Lid flips open to keep hands away from rodent. Kills 100 mice per each per set of 4 AA batteries (not included)
Follow this link to see Victor Electronic Mouse Traps available from Amazon.com.
Mouse caught on glue board
We also have used glue boards to catch mice, and we already had some glue boards placed along some walls in the basement to catch camel crickets. We caught lots of camel crickets and we caught two mice as well. Were the mice trying to eat the camel crickets? Or did they just get caught on the glue boards while running along the walls at night?
In the house we had before, we caught a rat on a glue board in the garage.
We use Tomcat Glue Boards as shown on the right. They work really well.
To see Tomcat Glue Boards available from Amazon.com, follow this link: Tomcat Glue Boards
If you have small children, or pets, you may not want to use snap traps or glue boards. Then you can use use a small "Havahart" trap shown on the right. Also bait the Havahart trap with peanut butter. The Havahart trap will catch the mice, but then you have to dispose of the mice, a somewhat unpleasant chore.
Follow this link to see Havahart Traps available from Amazon.com
Anyone who has had mice invade his or her home knows that nothing is as unnerving as hearing them scurrying behind walls in the middle of the night or finding droppings on the kitchen counter in the mourning. But discovering mice in your home is the easy part. It's trying to get rid of them that can throw any sane person into utter madness. Thankfully, Outwitting Mice provides step-by-step solutions. From mice in the pantry to rats on the rafters, Bill Adler provides dependable, practical advice and innovative methods to help you solve your rodent problem for good. You'll learn how to: identify rodent damage on your property; build a better mousetrap; buy commercial deterrents that really work; protect yourself and your family from rodent-borne diseases; protect gardens from woodchucks and gophers; eliminate rodents and assure that they never come back; find effective, humane solutions and more. (51/2 X 81/4, 160 pages, illustrations)
After 28 years in the urban and industrial pest management industries, well-known industry consultant Bobby Corrigan now
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