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Category: Bed Bug Bites | 11.12.2015
SLO Pest and Termite - Mice  The house mouse, Mus musculus, is one of the most troublesome and costly rodents in the United States (Figure 1).
House mice thrive under a variety of conditions; they are found in and around homes and commercial structures as well as in open fields and on agricultural land. House mice consume and contaminate food meant for humans, pets, livestock, or other animals.
In addition, they cause considerable damage to structures and property, and they can transmit pathogens that cause diseases such as salmonellosis, a form of food poisoning.IDENTIFICATIONHouse mice are small rodents with relatively large ears and small, black eyes.
An adult is about 5 to 7 inches long, including the 3- to 4-inch tail.Droppings, fresh gnaw marks, and tracks indicate areas where mice are active.
Mice are active mostly at night, but they can be seen occasionally during daylight hours.While the house mouse hasn’t been found to be a carrier of hantavirus, the deer mouse, Peromyscus maniculatus, (Figure 2), which sometimes invades cabins and outbuildings in California, harbors the Sin Nombre virus, which causes a rare but often fatal illness known as hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS). A very adaptable animal, the house mouse often lives in close association with humans, along with Norway rats (Figure 3) and roof rats (Figure 4); however, mice are more common and more difficult to control than rats.
House mice frequently enter homes in autumn, when outdoor temperatures at night become colder.In a single year, a female may have 5 to 10 litters of about 5 or 6 young. The life span of a mouse is usually 9 to 12 months.CONTROLLING HOUSE MICEBecause house mice are so small, they can gain entry into homes and other buildings much more easily than rats. When considering a baiting program, decide if the presence of dead mice will cause an odor or sanitation problem. After removing mice, take steps to exclude them so that the problem doesn’t recur.Several types of rodenticides are available, which can be purchased as ready-to-use baits that typically are labeled for use against only house mice, Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus), and roof rats (R.
Because all rodenticides are toxic to humans, pets, and wildlife, take special precautions to prevent access to baits by children and nontarget animals.SanitationBecause mice can survive in very small areas with limited amounts of food and shelter, controlling them can be very challenging, especially in and around older structures.
Most buildings in which food is stored, handled, or used will support house mice if the mice aren’t excluded, no matter how good the sanitation. While good sanitation seldom will completely control mice, poor sanitation is sure to attract them and will permit them to thrive in greater numbers. Plastic screening, rubber, vinyl, insulating foam, wood, and other gnawable materials are unsuitable for plugging holes used by mice.TrapsTrapping is an effective method for controlling small numbers of house mice.


Although time consuming, it’s the preferred method in homes, garages, and other structures where only a few mice are present.
Trapping has several advantages as it doesn’t rely on potentially hazardous rodenticides, it permits the user to view his or her success, and it allows for disposing of trapped mice, thereby eliminating dead mouse odors that may result when poisoning is done within buildings.Snap traps are effective and can be purchased in most hardware and grocery stores.
Traps can be baited with a variety of foods; peanut butter is the most popular, because it is easy to use and very attractive to mice. Set the triggers lightly so the traps will spring easily.Multiple-capture live traps for mice, such as the Victor Tin Cat and the Ketch-All, also are available from hardware stores and pest control suppliers.
These traps need to be checked frequently, and dead mice should be removed for disposal.Set traps behind objects, in dark corners, and in places where there is evidence of mouse activity. Traps can be set on ledges, on top of pallets of stored materials, or in any other locations where mice are active. Mice seldom venture far from their shelter and food supply, so space traps no more than about 10 feet apart in areas where mice are active.Glue Boards. An alternative to traps are glue boards, which catch and hold mice that are attempting to cross them in much the same way flypaper catches flies.
Releasing live-caught mice back to the outdoors frequently promotes increased mouse problems.
Mice caught in glue traps can struggle for quite some time, and for this reason some people consider them to be less humane than kill traps.If using glue boards, place them along walls where mice travel. Don’t use glue boards to catch deer mice (Peromyscus species), as captured mice often urinate and defecate while stuck to the trap, thus increasing the risk of your exposure to hantavirus.
When prepared with good-quality cereals and other ingredients, anticoagulant baits provide good to excellent house mouse control when baits are fresh and when placed in suitable locations so as to attract mice.The various anticoagulant active ingredients currently registered for use against house mice in California are listed in Table 1. Some of the second-generation rodenticides now labeled for use only by agricultural producers or professional pest control personnel may be restricted to applications in and around agricultural buildings.Anticoagulants have the same effect on nearly all warm-blooded animals, but the sensitivity to these toxicants varies among species, and larger animals generally require a larger dose of toxicant than do smaller animals. Dogs are more susceptible to anticoagulant poisoning than are many other mammals, and small- to medium-sized dogs that seek out and consume rodents or rodent carcasses could be at greatest risk. Three other active ingredients are registered and used as rodenticides to control house mice and rats in California—bromethalin, cholecalciferol, and zinc phosphide (Table 2).


These two materials are formulated to serve as chronic rodenticides so that house mice will have the opportunity to feed on exposed baits one or more times over the period of one to several days.
Because zinc phosphide baits often require prebaiting (offering mice similar but nontoxic bait before applying the zinc phosphide bait) to get adequate acceptance, it’s not commonly used against house mice and is infrequently available to consumers. All rodenticide baits must be used carefully according to the label directions, which have become more specific and more restrictive. Place fresh bait in these stations to control invading mice before mouse populations become established.
Check bait stations regularly and replace bait if it gets old or moldy, because mice won’t eat stale bait.Baits and bait stations containing bait now have more restrictive regulations regarding locations for use. Other baits or bait stations may also be used around the periphery of structures or within 50 feet of a structure.Because house mice seldom travel far from their shelter to find food, many product labels suggest making bait placements at 8- to 12-foot intervals. Place bait boxes next to walls, with the openings close to the wall, or in other places where mice are active.
You can pick them up using a sturdy plastic bag inverted on your hand, and either seal them in the bag for disposal with household garbage or bury them in a location where they won’t be easily dug up by pets or scavengers.Rodent Repeller DevicesAlthough mice are easily frightened by strange or unfamiliar noises, they quickly become accustomed to regularly repeated sounds.
There is little evidence that sound, magnetic, or vibration devices of any kind will drive established mice or rats from buildings or provide adequate control. Despite their lack of effectiveness, many such devices continue to be sold through magazine advertisements and at some retail outlets.PredatorsSome dogs and cats will catch and kill mice and rats.
Around most structures, mice can find many places to hide and rear their young out of the reach of such predators.
Cats probably can’t eliminate existing mouse populations, but in some situations they may be able to prevent reinfestation once mice have been controlled.




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