Control Mice in Your Home
You may be surprised to see this article on a cleaning company’s website, but we believe that mice are behind many cleaning and health issues in many homes and offices. Few homes in Ireland can escape the annual invasion of mice searching for a warm place to spend the winter. They do not always come in large numbers, but they are a nuisance all the same causing hygiene issues and considerable discomfort to people trying to sleep while these new residents noisily chew their way through anything that takes their fancy.
Although mice usually enter homes in autumn and winter looking for food and shelter, they can appear at any time of the year. They enter buildings through tiny holes or gaps in walls and foundations or even just crawling under doors. A mouse can squeeze through a crack as small as 10 mm. If a hole is big enough to put a pencil in, a mouse can crawl through it.
The presence of droppings near food, under stoves, refrigerators, under sinks and finding holes in boxes and bags containing food or rubbish are sure signs of mouse activity. Mice also cause damage by nibbling on insulation and building material, furniture, paper, clothing and books.
Effective prevention and control of mouse damage involves three elements: rodent-proofing construction, sanitation and population reduction. Mouse damage can be reduced by removing or limiting access to nesting areas, food sources and, escape and nesting areas. Indoors, remove padded cushions from sofas and chairs, and store them on edge or separate from one another, off the floor. Remove drawers in empty cupboards or chests and re-insert them upside down.
When traps are not successful in capturing mice, then poison bait (rodenticide) can be used as part of the control program. Most ready-to-use commercial baits contain anticoagulant rodenticides. They cause death as a result of internal bleeding, which occurs when the capillaries are destroyed. Hemorrhage can occur in any part of the body.
All poison baits should be placed where only mice can get them. Keep them out of reach of pets and children. Label directions on all rodenticides should be followed carefully.
Good housekeeping and good sanitation practices such as proper storage and handling of food material, feed and garbage will aid in control by permitting easier detection and increased effectiveness of traps and baits.
Mice are very adaptive to living with people. They require very little space and only small amounts of food. Mice have been known to inhabit buildings even before construction has been completed, living off the crumbs and scraps of workers’ lunches. In offices, house mice may live behind cabinets or furniture and feed on scraps or crumbs from lunches or snacks, candies, or even sugar granules found on desktops. In homes, mice may find ample food in kitchens, garbage cans, garages and even the pet dish.
If you have regular major mouse infestations, the best approach is an integrated management program. This involves using physical and chemical means of control. Mice-proofing involves sealing openings around pipes, doors, windows and holes in walls, foundations or other points of entry.
Trapping is preferred when the use of rodenticides is unsafe. Several types of mechanical devices can be used to catch mice, and one of the most effective methods is the use of ready-to-use glue boards. When mice try to cross the boards, their feet become stuck and they are unable to free themselves. Glue boards and snap traps should be placed across mouse runways or corners, and must be checked frequently.
For more information, read this. Then come back here and talk to our experts.