It has been quite the cold winter here in Somerville and we aren’t the only mammals feeling that chill.
Specifically the House Mouse (Mus Musculus), they get cold in this frigid climate too and we’re a lot better at keeping our homes warm then they are so they decide to just move on in.
Their bodies are very flexible and mostly fur, they can squeeze into a hole the size of a nickel. And if they can’t find a hole, well they’ll gnaw one out for themselves. Their front teeth (incisors) never stop growing so rodents always need to chew on something and they can bite through just about anything except metal. So if they really want to get into your home they’ll get in.
So what does the mouse do once it gets in? Well it’s important know that mice are social animals and if you have one mouse soon you’ll have more. They breed real fast too, you can have 4-7 baby mice in less than a month and in about a month after that those mice will be ready to make babies themselves. Mice are Kelptoparasitic, which is a fun word way of saying they live off humans by stealing from them. Experts say mice eat or ruin enough food to feed 200 million people a year. Mice also cannot control their bladders, and it has been shown that mouse urine can trigger asthmatic attacks and rhinitis.
So now you know what a problem mice can pose to you, your home and your family. As if I needed to convince you that having mice was a bad thing. But what can you do about it? A lot of hardware stores sell sonic repellents that use a high pitched sound to make the mice leave. I wish they worked because they would make our job a lot easier. But we have not found consistent results with those devises. We find there are two different methods of mouse control that work: Trapping and exclusion.
Trapping: It sounds simple right? It actually really is, the old fashioned snap traps are the best tools for the job, that combined with nice chunky peanut butter and you’re in business. You are going to need quite a few traps and you are going to want to set them up along the walls of your room. Mice prefer to run along corners so at least one of their sides is touching the wall. If you are going to try the trapping method it’s important to know that you need to limit all other food in your house so that peanut butter has no competition. This means really cleaning under your appliances and not leaving pet food out un attended. If you can’t do this then the traps are going to take a lot longer to work, and the longer you don’t catch the mice the more they will reproduce. The traps aren’t going to work over night either, you will have to check them for about a month if there’s no competing food source.
Exclusion: This is the method we use when we’re hired on to do a residence. It requires a bit more work and a bit of training. What you would have to is buy some bait and some caulking. You will not be able to purchase the quality of bait we use because you need a license to use it. The key with this method is finding all the holes that mice are using for transit. Remember what I said earlier, mice can squeeze to a hole the size of a nickel or larger so that’s what you’re looking for. Our technicians place the bait inside those holes than seal up the holes using the caulking. We are very through and will check the inside and outside of the home as well. The basement and kitchen are key areas. If you’ve done it right after 10 days you shouldn’t hear or see any mice. When we do a structure we warranty the work for six months but the control will probably last longer than that.
Of course if you’re concerned about your food service business that’s a whole different story and you will need professional help to control rodents.
Getting rid of mice effectively is something that takes practice. We do these jobs every day and would love to help you too if you need it. Just give me a call and we’ll talk about your situation!
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