Monday, September 20, 2010

Mouse Issues

Mouse Control
Overview
That furry little haze you just saw zoom across in front of your fireplace? Those brown, rice-shaped droppings behind the stove? O.K., really how much of a headache can a couple of mice be?
In a single year a female mouse will most likely have 5 to 10 litters of 5 or 6 young each. In 10 weeks, those babies will be old enough to repeat the process. Assume half the litter is male, the other half female. You do the math.
But wait there's more. Though mice have nutritional preferences – any kind of fruit or grains, cereal, and a large variety of vegetables– they will basically settle for anything they can get. They can climb and make their way up just about any rough surface, navigate cables like a dancer on a tight rope, they can also jump. Mice have no bones in their body except for their skull, its all cartilage. This allows them to crawl through holes the size of a dime. Mice can cause structural damage by chewing on wood and gnawing on your wires and this causes fire and electrical safety hazards.
Unpleasant Facts About Mice
One very repulsive fact about these creepy crawlers is that they give off hundreds of micro-droplets of urine as they travel around their territory every day, which can cause allergies and disease,
Odours from the disintegration of a rat or a mouse. If it dies between walls or in a crawl space it could also cause allergic attacks in children prone to them.
Even scarier, the rodents can infect humans with hantavirus, a rare but often fatal disease.
Eliminating Mice
Now you’re surely thinking that you want to get rid of them right?
In order to control mice, you must think like a mouse you must think like one. Most experts in rodent control, say the best way to keep mice out of your house is to seal up every existing holes, cracks and crevice in your home . For most people – including those who just don't have the patience to crawl around looking for quarter-inch openings — rodent control consists of catching the mice quickly and efficiently.

Mousetraps
Traps and poisons are two simple categories rodent control falls into.
The traps vary from the familiar Victor snap trap — made from a piece of wood, a tightly wound spring and a platform that holds the bait — to elaborate multiple-catch gizmos that can catch and hold an entire clan of mice. There are newer, plastic traps that are easier to set; traps that catch mice but don't kill them; and the nasty but effective glue board, which holds the mouse until it dies.
Their common baits may vary. First off cheese is not the answer. Few experts recommend peanut butter, a cotton ball with a few drops of vanilla flavoring, even strips of bacon are recommended. (It might be helpful to pre-bait a trap – put the bait on the trap but don't arm it at first, so the mice think it's a nice, safe place to get food.) Also one or two traps will not do the trick.
If your serious you must start with dozens of traps. One will not do.
Poisons
Then there are the poisons, or rodenticides used in the procedure.
Most of the poisons available are blood thinners: the mice eat it and essentially bleed to death internally.
For those who would prefer to "catch and release," just remember, unless you live on a farm in the country and can take them far, far away, the first thing those mice you release are going to do is look for a quarter-inch hole in a nice, warm house. It might even be yours which will bring you back to square one.

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