Because they carry and transmit viruses, bacteria and other diseases, mice are considered to be troublesome pests. They are commonly responsible for causing damage to personal property and are notorious for commercial crop destruction. In agricultural communities, mice may also be responsible for machine and equipment malfunction. They destroy storage boxes, electrical lines and other materials while building their nests. Starting with just one male and one female mouse populations can expand to include over 200 individuals within a matter of months.
The presence of mouse droppings is an early and certain indication of an infestation. Nesting areas may be found in drawers, shoe boxes, storage boxes, under cabinets, and other areas that are seldom accessed. Mice tracks are sometimes visible in dusty or muddy areas and holes in walls confirm their presence, as well as their nesting place. Homeowners suffering infestations may hear noises at night and smell their urine in areas with poor ventilation.
Mice can contaminate surfaces and food sources within homes. When unknowingly ingested, their urine is dangerous to humans. Hantavirus is a particular threat associated with inhalation of particles released when mouse droppings, urine and saliva are disturbed. Contact Affordable Wildllife Eviction or your local wildlife removal company to discuss eradication methods.
Common House Mouse
MIce are notorius for chewing through exposed electrical wires which is a leading cause of attic and crawlspace fires
Most house mice are commensal meaning that they rely on living in close proximity to humans and need us for food and shelter. They make themselves at home in and around houses, barns, warehouses, granaries, fields and farms. In cooler weather, they almost always make their way indoors for warmth.
Nests are made in dark, quiet spaces, like in between walls, cabinets, closets, basements, attics, storage areas, rafters etc. Each mouse remains within about 10 feet of its nest at all times, so nests are almost always found within this distance of a food source.
Seeds and grains are a house mouse's main dietary staples, although mice are opportunistic omnivores that ultimately eat a wide variety of foods. Mice are especially fond of foods that are high in fat, protein, and even sugar. Even though mice only eat about 1/10 of an ounce of food per day, they may bite open several food packages for sampling.
Nuts (peanuts, walnuts, almonds, etc.)
Human Food in Trash
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Mice are nocturnal creatures, and, therefore, rarely seen by the homeowner. The most obvious indicators of their presence are droppings (1/8 - 1/2-inches long, dark and pointed at both ends), sounds of them running, gnawing or squeaking, or damage to stored food or materials used for nesting.
Compared to rats, mice forage only short distances from their nest -- usually not more than 10-25 feet. When food and shelter are adequate, their foraging range may be only a few feet. For this reason, traps and other control devices must be placed in areas where mouse activity is most apparent. Mice prefer to travel adjacent to walls and other edges-- another critical point to remember when positioning control devices. Mice are very inquisitive and will investigate each new object placed in their foraging territory. If control devices are not initially successful, move them around to a different location.
Mice feed on a wide variety of foods but prefer seeds and cereal grains. They also are fond of foods high in fat and protein such as nuts, bacon, butter and sweets (an important point to remember when choosing a bait for snap traps). Mice are "nibblers" and may make 20-30 visits to different food sites each night.
To control mice, you must "think like a mouse," keeping in mind the behavioral traits noted above. The best way to control mice is to prevent their entry. Mice are able to squeeze through extremely small openings narrower than the diameter of a dime. Cracks in the foundation 1/4 inch and larger should be sealed, as should gaps and openings under doors and where utility pipes enter the structure.
House mice gnaw through electrical wiring, causing fires and failure of freezers, clothes dryers and other appliances. Mice also can transmit diseases, most notably salmonellosis (bacterial food poisoning) when food is contaminated with infected rodent feces.
Good sanitation and food storage practices are helpful in reducing problems with house mice. Since seeds are a preferred food, all adjacent to the building should likewise be eliminated. However, because mice are able to occupy such small nesting areas and survive on minute amounts of food, sanitation alone will not normally eliminate an existing infestation.
Other than calling a pest control firm, homeowners have three control options available for ridding their premises of mice:
Toxic baits, known as rodenticides or poison
Rodenticides marketed to homeowners are formulated almost exclusively as food-based baits containing seeds or grain as an attractant. Most rodenticides sold over the counter are anticoagulants containing brodifacoum, chlorophacinone, diphacinone or warfarin as active ingredients. They kill by interfering with normal clotting of the rodents' blood, causing the animal to die from internal bleeding. Since mice forage only short distances from their nests, optimum results are achieved with multiple bait placements as close to the mouse harborage as possible. Extreme caution must be taken to position baits in areas inaccessible to children or pets.Bait stations are ideal ways to keep bait available to rodents but won't allow children or pets to access the poison. They usually are able to be locked to keep curious kids from trying to open them. Many varieties of bait stations can hold 1-2 snap traps as well as rods that can hold up to 16 bait blocks.
Traps are generally preferred over rodenticides when only a few mice are present. Traps are less hazardous to use around children and pets. Because mice are caught by the trap, there is less chance of odor from mice dying in wall voids or other inaccessible areas. Conventional snap-type traps are easy to use and available at most supermarkets and hardware stores. Trapping efficiency will be enhanced by tying small pieces of bacon, gum drops, peanut butter or raisins to the trigger with thread. Research has shown that snap traps with an expanded trigger catch significantly more mice than conventional designs. Another type of trap available at most hardware and farm-supply stores is a multiple-catch mouse trap (Ketch-All). This device can capture and hold a dozen or more mice before needing to be emptied.
Regardless of which design is used, traps 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.
Glue boards also are very effective against mice. Mice become entangled in the glue when they run over the boards, soon dying of suffocation. In addition to traps, they are the method of choice in homes and other sensitive locations where toxic baits are a concern. Should the glue from a glue board contact the fur of a pet or the skin of a child, it can be removed with mineral or vegetable oil.
Traps and glue boards should be checked daily and dead mice disposed of in plastic bags. Gloves should be worn when handling mouse carcasses to prevent any chance of disease.
Sometimes a mouse infestation is too difficult or overwhelming for the average homeowner to handle by themselves. That's where we come in. Jarrod's Pest Control are experts and getting rid of mice and instructing the homeowner how to keep them out in the future. For a free estimate in Georgia or Alabama, call us at 706-221-8000.
Commercially available rodent bait for homeowners
Bait stations can hold both snap traps and rodenticides
The classic spring loaded mouse trap
A rodent glue board placed against a wall is effective at catching mice
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