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If you have a 'mouse' problem, this is an excellent post to review! Thank you to Chrissy Doremus of U.S. Inspect in Chantilly, Virginia for the excellent post. Please leave comments on Chrissy's original post.
Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. Or so I thought!
Do you think it's possible to ever find just mouse droppings? And nothing else? Hmmm, I'm betting that's pretty unlikely...sigh...I went down to the kitchen this morning to find my husband, all dressed for work, standing at the kitchen sink hand-washing all of our silverware. Now my husband can be sweet, but I highly doubted that he had suddenly decided to treat me to some extra shiny forks, so I reluctantly asked, "What are you doing?"
"Do you really want to know?" he asked, and he gave me a look that made it clear that I did not. I waited for the answer anyway.
Mouse droppings...he had found what he thought looked like mouse droppings in our silverware drawer. Yiick! My mind instantly flew to the little black "thing" I found on my desk yesterday. Had I touched it? I couldn't remember. Later in the dining room, I found more :( Well, there you go, it's settled, we have a little, furry, unwanted holiday guest! And especially with a house with two young children, this Christmas Mouse definitely has to go!
So what's next? Here are some tips for dealing with house mice:
Clean, clean, clean. Although good sanitation will seldom eliminate mice, poor sanitation is sure to attract them and will permit them to thrive in greater numbers. Good sanitation will also reduce food and shelter for existing mice and in turn make baits and traps more effective. I will also be taking some time to disinfect the areas where I have had mouse traffic and/or droppings (yiick) in order to protect my family from bacteria like salmonella, which can be present in mouse feces. (Double yicck).
Eliminate holes, cracks. Our home is under construction and it really is no surprise to me that a mouse (yes, I'm hoping it's only one) has found its way indoors. We have had holes between the basement and the outside for a couple of weeks, plus frequently open doors. A first order of business will be to keep doors closed from now on and to seal any tiny passageways that exist.
Set Traps. It's time to set some traps. The style of trap is up to preference mostly, but for most household mouse problems, traps are a good course of action. I have used glue traps before and I think they are more torture than anything else. Plus I had an incident with one getting stuck on the end of a broom handle during "disposal" that I'd rather not repeat. So, we'll skip those. In our case, since we hopefully have a very low rodent population and because I have young children, I will be skipping poisons as well and will be using traditional snap traps. (Though we will use quick set "alligator jaw" traps rather than the old school ones). An advantage to the snap traps that is also important to me, is that we can keep track of the rodents and easily remove carcases (rather than having poisoned animals disappearing somewhere in the house possibly causing fowl odors or unsanitary conditions).
Strategize. Placing too few traps is a common mistake among homeowners. Mice don't like to venture far from home, so place a trap every 10 feet in active areas. To increase your success, let the mouse take the bait once, before setting the trap.
Bait. Bait choices are as varied as trap types. Pellet packs that mice can gnaw through are popular, but I imagine we'll probably just be using something we have on hand like peanut butter or chocolate.
Dispose. Always wear rubber gloves when setting or clearing traps. If you dispose of a dead rodent, double bag it, dispose of your gloves afterwards, and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water.
So, with that, I'm off to the hardware store--wish me luck!
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.