Monday, February 8, 2010
If you suspect a mouse in your house, it is imperative you act quickly to eliminate it. If left unchecked, a single mouse can produce up to a dozen offspring within a month, and in turn those offspring can produce another 70-90 mice within 12 weeks.
Step 1: Prevention is the best medicine. Seal up any gaps or holes in your exterior foundation. Mice can squeeze through openings as small as a quarter-inch. Fill problem areas with steel wool or spray foam insulation. Check for gaps under doors and around windows. If you have an attached garage check the bottom door seal and replace it if necessary.
Step 2: Eliminate food sources. Store all grains, seed, pet foods and pantry items in metal or glass containers. Aggressive mice will chew through paper or plastic in no time. Leaving bowls of pet food accessible throughout the day and night is a welcome call to mice, as well as many other vermin.
Step 3: Set the trap. Although there are a multitude of mouse traps on the market today, nothing beats the good old-fashioned wooden snap trap of years gone by. The Better Mouse Trap, a reusable plastic snap trap, plays a close second as it won’t harm little fingers or paws that may come in contact with it. Glue traps work fine, but the unwarranted suffering they create borders on animal cruelty. Live traps work in some cases, but mice trapped and released, even a mile away, will usually return to the home within 24 hours. Whatever device you choose, place traps 10 to 20 feet apart against the walls in areas mouse activity is suspected. Place them behind stoves and refrigerators and in the backs of cupboards were droppings have been seen. Nonorganic peanut butter is by and far the best choice for baiting any trap.
Step 4: For people without cats, or other rodent-eating animals, mouse poison is the most effective and carefree means of eliminating an active mouse population. D-con granules (and their equivalent) kill mice within three to four days. Bait blocks and other more toxic poisons work within 24 hours. Slower-acting poisons are usually a better choice as they allow mice to vacate the home before dying and are less deadly to larger animals.