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.