- Dangerous Of Mouse Infestations
- Using Traps
- Prevention Methods
- Extra Tips
Mouse infestations are fairly common in the United States. The number is staggeringly high. There are over 20 million infestations just in the United States each year. That’s a large part of the population, even if it doesn’t seem that way. Mice are a common issue many homeowners experience annually. Some homeowners even get cats as a method of dealing with the rats. Sometimes, not even prevention works and they have to contact the exterminators in an effort to get rid of the infestation as quickly and efficiently as possible.
However, infestation recurrences aren’t extremely common or frequent. Usually, once you clean your house up and get rid of the mice that took refuge in it, they are unlikely to return for some time. However, there have been cases of such things happening. You should always be prepared for anything because mice are intelligent and unpredictable.
Most people also aren’t sure what to do during a mouse infestation. In all honesty, it’s important that you stay calm and collected; panic won’t help you one bit. Additionally, research is always a good idea since information will help you fight them easier.
The most common way of fighting mice is by using traps. Sometimes, poison helps as well but it’s not recommended because mice are a bit more gullible than rats. Rats, on the other hand, are more intelligent and are hesitant to trying out new things. That’s why it’s a bit tougher catching and getting rid of rats than mice.
Traps are completely okay and quite useful. They do their job as long as you know what to do with them. If you prepare them incorrectly or place them in all the wrong places, you aren’t going to achieve much success. But don’t be worried about this: It doesn’t take a genius to know how to use mice traps. All you need are simple and easy-to-understand instructions and you’re all set! We’ll cover traps a bit later in the article.
Let’s talk a bit about mice, their way of life, and the dangers they pose. They’re often considered powerless and weak in the eyes of humans. People sometimes even get them as pets, and even though we don’t disagree with such an action, the lack of education is something we disagree with. Mice aren’t exactly the perfect pet. In fact, much better options include hamsters, gerbils, and some types of squirrels (although, squirrels are difficult to maintain and train).
Mice carry diseases and can cause fires. Maybe not by their own will and choice, but they’re still a threat to your health and well-being.
Dangers of Mouse Infestations
Let’s start with the dangers. After all, this is something that every homeowner should know, similarly to how wolves are perceived as a threat in some countries (and homes). As said earlier, mice carry diseases. These diseases are usually lethal if not treated immediately. Let’s take a look at some of them, shall we?
The Plague, once the bane of human existence in Medieval Europe, is still a danger to humans worldwide. Rats and mice can carry this disease and it’s transmitted through direct contact with an animal infected with the Plague. Due to this, it’s best if you use protective equipment such as gloves and a mask while disposing of mice corpses and even droppings.
You can also get the Plague through fleas. Fleas that reside on an infected animal can naturally jump onto you and bite you. You won’t feel the bite, most likely, but once symptoms start appearing, a swift reaction is necessary if you want to limit the damage it can cause.
Hantavirus is a dangerous disease that affects respiratory systems. It can lead to renal failure, respiratory failure, and it even exhibits flu-like symptoms. This is why it’s sometimes difficult to detect. You’re most likely going to think it’s a strand of flu, when, in reality, you might be infected with Hantavirus.
Hantavirus is transmitted through various bodily fluids of a mouse. This includes urine, feces, and even the fluids that are released when the animal dies and starts to decompose. Hantavirus is especially dangerous because it is silent; people usually get infected with Hantavirus by eating food which is infected with mice urine or feces.
Also called Salmonella poisoning, this disease isn’t just limited to raw meat and eggs. In fact, it’s very easily transmittable. The most obvious and common symptom is intestinal damage. This disease is also transmitted through rodent feces.
Trap usage is probably the most efficient way of dealing with a mice infestation (if you take a look at the general picture). Exterminators, even though very useful, are expensive. They can cost anywhere between $200 and $2,000. This should be your last resort. You should always try to deal with an infestation yourself, but if it gets way out of hand, don’t be shy to give them a call.
What traps should you be looking out for? Well, for starters, snap traps are a great and cost-effective choice. They are relatively cheap (one trap usually costs around $3) and don’t require any special setup. Simply place the bait and put the trap somewhere where the mice usually walk around.
Such areas include basements, cellars, windows, doors, and even garages. You should place a few behind your appliances (especially the kitchen) and in dark corners. Another good location would be next to the walls since the mice love running next to the walls (since they don’t have to be cautious of that side).
Catch & Release traps are great as a humane option, but the drawback is that you’ll have to handle the animal yourself. This means taking the trap somewhere and releasing the trapped mouse back into the wild. If you do this too close to home, the scent will bring the rodent back and you’ll have to deal with it again. Imagine this happening with hundreds of mice. Not a good idea!
Glue traps are quite effective, but are considered inhumane. The animal will get stuck in the adhesive and it won’t die quickly. Their primal instinct for survival will kick in and they’ll attempt to flee, albeit their attempts are futile. Once they realize they can’t flee from the trap by running, they will attempt to chew their own limbs off in an effort to reach freedom.
This is gruesome and not a lot of people love these traps. However, the choice is up to you. As mentioned before, they will do their job, but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.
Instead of waiting for an infestation to happen, what you should do is try to prevent it. The starting point is always hygiene. If you don’t look out for your home and clean it regularly, there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll be the target of an infestation.
Get rid of trash as quickly as possible; don’t let it build up. Mice are known for their adventurous spirit and they will get into trash cans in the search for food. If you can’t get rid of your trash each day, then at least seal all trash cans properly so the mice can’t get in.
Another thing you should always do is clean up after yourself. I can’t stress enough the importance of hygiene. Some infestations happen because of bad luck or a set of circumstances, but all infestations have one thing in common: lack of proper hygiene around the house.
Breadcrumbs (and other crumbs for that matter) should never be left behind. If you like eating in your room or in your bed – don’t just swipe the crumbs from the bed onto the floor. Carefully clean them up and dispose of them.
If there’s even the slightest scent of food in your home, and if there are mice around, they will come to investigate.
Okay, so we have hygiene covered. The next step is actually using mouse repellents which can range from commercial repellents to natural options. Commercial repellents aren’t too expensive and the best ones come in spray form. These spray ones contain a fluid that has a strong, bad scent to mice. Spraying the repellent over your windows and doors is not enough to take care of the issue; in fact, you need to find out the hidden access points that the mice could be using to enter your home; these are usually hidden in low places (at the same height as the skirting) and often in dark hidden points, like behind fixtures, cupboards, refrigerators, washing machines etc. They are usually close to the food source, so do check your kitchen carefully!
If you aren’t keen on purchasing commercial repellents, you can try with natural ones. One such example is peppermint oil. You can prevent the mice from entering your home by using 100% peppermint oil which also has a pungent smell. Using it is easy: Sprinkle a couple of cotton balls with peppermint oil and place them all around the house. If you don’t have a lot of peppermint oil left, then scatter them near access points. Be sure to replace the cotton balls relatively often because the scent evaporates rather quickly (in a day or two).
There’s not a lot to catching and getting rid of mice, but there are some tips and tricks which will prove useful.
Bait choice is highly important. You might be thinking that cheese is great bait due to the fact that mice ‘love’ it. But this is inherently false. Mice don’t love cheese enough that they would risk their lives for it. They would rather eat carbs, but, given the opportunity and lack of other food sources, they will eat anything.
However, since you’re looking to trap the mice, other bait must be used. The most effective bait choices are chocolate and peanut butter. Peanut butter is your best bet here as they absolutely adore it! It also takes some time to eat, as it cannot be easily removed in chunks, which means that the little animal will spend longer by the bait in the trap, giving you a better chance of catching it. Additionally, if you’ve seen only one mouse and thought that it won’t be an issue; think again. One mouse is enough to spell trouble. Mice reproduce incredibly quickly; one single mouse can give birth to around 60 mice each year. Imagine what a couple of them can do (or even a hundred!).
You should react as soon as you see a mouse in your home and start placing traps. Don’t use too many traps, but don’t use too little either. Also, use a combination of different traps in an effort to increase their effectiveness.
Let’s repeat something we said earlier: “Don’t panic!” You need to keep your head calm. Panic will never help you as it will cause confusion. The best thing to do if you see a mouse is to think of a plan and spring it into action. It’s best if you already have a couple of traps at your disposal just in case. It’ll be easy for you to go to the store and purchase some more if there are already a couple of them set back at home. But it’s going to be a lot more difficult if you don’t have any and you suddenly start seeing mice everywhere! Be prepared!