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Getting Rid of House Mice

We deal with all sorts of pests. When most people think of pest control, they typically think of insects–yet pest control is more extensive than just insects. In fact, there are major differences even within rodent control. Obviously rats are a nuisance, but let’s not overlook common house mice. They are one of the more common types of pests homeowners and business owners encounter.

Identification of any pest is the first step in getting control and reducing population. House Mice are 5-8” long with a grey pelage ranging from light brown to black. An important aspect of identifying the House Mouse is that their “V shaped” scull is only ¼ inch in height. Their skull height determines how big, or small of a hole they can get their body through. As long as they can fit their head through a space, their body will likely fit also. Once a House Mouse finds a space to call home and reproduce, it will, in most cases, not leave without extermination. The breeding habits make extermination difficult. The female can produce 6 to 10 litters a year, with 5-6 pups per litter. If you do the math, that is 30 to 60 mice per year a single female mouse can produce. Gestation period ranges from 18-21 days.

Touch and smell are the most valuable senses to a House Mouse. Sight is not important to them as they are colorblind; however, they are able to see objects up to 50 ft away and motion up to 30 ft away. They are very stealthy, usually going unnoticed because they do not need light to scavenge or nest. Their heightened sense of smell is used for finding food, locating their nest, and also for identifying members of the opposite sex. They will try to nest in inconspicuous areas close to food and water. Their range is typically no more than 20-30 feet from their nest. A character trait that helps their survivability is that they need very little water. Pregnant mice may leave their nest up to 150 times a night to collect nest materials. Also, they do not hibernate, so this characteristic, along with breeding, makes eradication difficult.

Unlike rats, House Mice are very curious, and will approach nearly anything. When scavenging for food and nesting material, they use their vibrissae (whiskers)to guide them along walls. This is why trap placement is crucial. When placing snap traps or glue boards, it is far more likely to catch them when traps are placed firmly along walls and entry and exit points. When placing glue boards, it is better to put a few in a row because when the mouse gets scared it will jump and land on one of the multiple traps. The same concept applies for snap traps.

Another helpful method for effective snap trap use is to place them with bait for a couple days, catch some mice, and then remove them for a day or so. In this time, the mice will forget where the trap was and revisit it as if it was never there before. Another method is to put the snap trap out with bait on it, but not in a snapping position. After mice have nibbled on the bait for a few days, the exterminator can go back to set the traps up in the snapping position. Because mice are very curious and have a short-term memory, it is likely to catch them with this method. If you have mice or rodent issues, please call Dave’s Pest Control. Our exterminators are experts in mice and rodent eradication.

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