Sus­tain­abil­ity Tips

Catron Courier - - Front Page -

You may think you’re smart, huh, but when you find your­self match­ing wits with a tiny three-inch ro­dent, you might dis­cover a for­mi­da­ble foe.

It starts with find­ing lit­tle ‘pack­ages’ in your kitchen or bath­room cab­i­nets. Then you might find a hole chewed in ce­real box. You might hear lit­tle sounds when all is quiet at night and you’re try­ing to get to sleep. So what do you do? Con­ven­tional Snap Traps kill in­stantly, so they’re con­sid­ered hu­mane. Raisins and peanut but­ter seem to work best as bait. They’re cheap, so you can dis­pose of the mouse and trap in one go. The bad news is the springs are pow­er­ful and can eas­ily hurt an un­sus­pect­ing child or fam­ily pet.

If you use old-fash­ioned wooden snap traps you also might find the bait gone and no mouse trapped. The more ex­pen­sive re­us­able plas­tic snap traps will solve that prob­lem.

Glue Traps are con­sid­ered the least hu­mane. They use a sticky sub­stance ei­ther in a tray or on a board to catch the un­sus­pect­ing ro­dent as it hunts for food. This type of trap does not kill the mouse im­me­di­ately; it can take days or even weeks for a mouse to die from hunger and thirst, and you if find a live mouse on the pa­per you have to end its life (you can’t re­ally un­stick it eas­ily).

Live Traps are the most hu­mane op­tion. They trap the mouse while it hunts for food. Traps must be checked ev­ery day to en­sure the an­i­mal does not suf­fer from lack of food and wa­ter. If you re­lease the live mouse too close to your home it may re­turn to en­joy more of your hos­pi­tal­ity.

Poi­son is not a safe op­tion. It af­fect the ro­dent’s body’s abil­ity to clot the blood, caus­ing in­ter­nal bleed­ing and death. It can take up to five ex­cru­ci­at­ing days to die. If a poi­soned mouse dies within your walls, you will smell it for months. Poi­son can be a huge dan­ger for small chil­dren or pets in the home— both the poi­son and the poi­soned ro­dents present a dan­ger of spread­ing the poi­son.

Elec­tronic Mouse Traps ac­ti­vate when the mouse steps on a plate and re­ceives a shock that stops the heart. These traps can be ex­pen­sive, so use them only if cost is not an is­sue.

Sonic Pest Con­trol are also ex­pen­sive and use high fre­quency sound waves that can an­noy ro­dents. They are safe for peo­ple and pets, but can may be bet­ter at pre­ven­tion.

Pre­ven­tion, as they say, is worth a pound of cure. Start in­side by putting dried foods into mouse-proof con­tain­ers. Glass is best with tight-fit­ting lids.

Ro­dents are just as in­ter­ested in nest­ing ma­te­rial, so re­mem­ber to mouse-proof your pa­per tow­els and toi­let tis­sue. Cover or take up any cat or dog food bowls at night. Seal any small holes or crevices with caulk­ing or bronze wool (steel wool rusts). Use ply­wood to cover any holes too big to caulk. Try those sonic pest con­trol de­vices to keep ro­dents out.

Keep a cat or two in­side, or out­side with win­ter shel­ter, but near your house and barn. Cats can be good hun­ters and their scent will keep the mice away.

Tie clothes-dryer cloths around car wires—mice don’t like the chem­i­cal smell. And park your ve­hi­cles near where your cats live to keep mice from chew­ing on the wires to sharpen their teeth.

Out­side, keep all an­i­mal feed in sealed buck­ets with tight fit­ting lids. Seal any out­side gaps or holes—mice can get through a hole as small as a dime. Mice en­joy nest­ing in build­ing ma­te­ri­als, so store these away from your home and keep that wood pile dis­tant.

Fi­nally, clear brush and dense un­der­growth within twenty-feet around your house which might of­fer any mouse a home. It’s good fire pro­tec­tion, too.

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