Controlling House Mice

Mouse Control and Prevention

It is getting colder outside – rodents may enter your home for food or shelter!  Seal up holes or gaps in your home, trap any existing rodents, and clean up any sources of food or water and items that might provide shelter for them.

Mice and rats are pesky critters that can enter your home through small holes or gaps.  Mice can squeeze through a hole the size of a nickel, and rats can squeeze through a hole the size of a half quarter!

Worldwide, rats and mice are the cause of over 35 diseases!  In the United States, rodents can spread diseases like hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, rat-bite fever, leptospirosis, and lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, a virus that poses a particular risk for pregnant women.  If rodents invade your home this fall or winter, here are a few steps to protect yourself and your family.

House mouse control

Effective control involves three components — good sanitation, mouse-proof construction and population reduction. The first two are useful as preventive measures. When a mouse infestation already exists, some form of population reduction is almost always necessary. Reduction techniques include trapping, poisoning and fumigation.

Sanitation
Because mice can survive in very small areas with limited amounts of food and shelter, it is almost impossible to totally eliminate populations, particularly on farms. Most buildings in which food is stored, handled or used will support mice if they are not mouse-proof, no matter how good the sanitation. Although good sanitation will seldom eliminate mice, poor sanitation is sure to attract them and will permit them to thrive in greater abundance. Concentrate on eliminating places where mice find shelter. If they have few places to rest, hide, or build nests and rear young, they cannot survive in large numbers.

Mouse-proof Your Home
The most successful and permanent form of house mouse control is to “build them out” by eliminating all openings through which they can enter a structure.  All places where food is stored, processed or used should be made mouse-proof.

Seal any openings larger than 1/4 inch to exclude mice.  Steel wool makes a good temporary plug.  Tightly seal cracks and openings in building foundations and openings for water pipes, vents and utilities with metal or concrete. Doors, windows and screens should fit tightly.  It may be necessary to cover the edges with metal to prevent gnawing.  Plastic sheeting or screen, wood, rubber or other gnawable materials are unsuitable for plugging holes used by mice.

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