How to deal with rats and mice

Lesotho Times - - Property -

IT’S win­ter, which means that, like many us, rats and mice are look­ing for some­where warm and cosy to spend their days. For prop­erty own­ers, this means an in­creased like­li­hood of ro­dents try­ing to make their way in­side your house to set up home.

These noc­tur­nal crea­tures are most ac­tive be­tween dusk and dawn, and usu­ally hide from hu­mans dur­ing the day. It is of­ten eas­ier to spot the signs of a ro­dent prob­lem than the ac­tual pests them­selves, so it’s im­por­tant to know what to look for.

Wor­ried you may have un­wanted ro­dent guests lurk­ing in your home? Be­low are tips on how to spot and get rid of ro­dents.

Signs of a ro­dent prob­lem

1. Drop­pings Ro­dents 50 to 80 drop­pings a night, small and dark (ap­prox. 3-8 mm in length), scat­tered ran­domly. Look for drop­pings par­tic­u­larly along walls, in cup­boards or un­der sinks.

2. Grease marks Grease marks and smudges are caused by mouse fur con­stantly brush­ing against walls, floors and skirt­ings on reg­u­lar routes. You may find dark smears around holes or around cor­ners too.

3. Urine pil­lars With heavy in­fes­ta­tions, body grease com­bined with dirt and urine tend to build up into small mounds that are up to 4cm high and 1cm wide.

4. Scratch­ing noises Peo­ple of­ten re­port hear­ing un­usual scratch­ing noises dur­ing the night when mice are most ac­tive. Lis­ten for noises be­tween par­ti­tion walls, un­der floor­boards, in false ceilings, base­ments and lofts.

5. Nests Mice use easy to shred ma­te­ri­als such as news­pa­per and fab­rics, to­gether with other soft ma­te­ri­als to line their nest.

Check lofts, sus­pended ceilings, cav­ity walls, un­der floor­boards, be­hind fridges, un­der stoves and in air­ing cup­boards for mice ac­tiv­ity.

Nests will of­ten con­tain young mice.

6. Tracks Ro­dent tracks and tail marks can show up in dusty en­vi­ron­ments such as un­used lofts and base­ments. To check for ac­tiv­ity, sprin­kle flour, tal­cum pow­der or china clay and check for fresh tracks the next day.

7. Strong smell Mice uri­nate fre­quently and the urine has a strong am­mo­nia-like smell. The smell may be strong­est near the main site of ac­tiv­ity or in en­closed spa­ces. This smell can linger for a long time even after an in­fes­ta­tion has been re­moved.

If you are go­ing to try and catch a mouse, you need to know the best bait to use. In most cases, when peo­ple think of mice, they think of cheese, but did you know that mice aren’t re­ally that pas­sion­ate about cheese? That’s not to say they won’t eat it, just that they won’t go out of their way to snack on it.

Mice do, how­ever, love peanut but­ter, so if you are plan­ning to try your hand at some DIY mouse con­trol, peanut but­ter would be your best bet to lure them into a home­made trap.

How to make a hu­mane DIY mouse trap 1. Take an empty toi­let or pa­per towel roll and place a tea­spoon of peanut but­ter at one of its ends.

2. Place the roll on the edge of a sur­face, with the peanut but­ter end hang­ing off the edge.

3. Be­low the roll, place an empty plas­tic con­tainer with the lid nearby. 4. Wait for the mouse to take the bait.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Lesotho

© PressReader. All rights reserved.