Posted in Horticulture

Do you have uninvited houseguests?  

You are sitting at home and all of a sudden a little gray rodent with relatively large ears and small black eyes scurries across the room!   It is about 1/2 ounce in weight and if an adult 5 1/2 to 7 1/2 inches long, including its 3 – 4 inch tail.  Of course, you must know by now that I am describing a house mouse.  The house mouse is considered one of the most troublesome and economically important rodents in the United States.  They can cause damage to property and transmit diseases such as salmonellosis and swine dysentery.  You will know you have mice if you see small droppings, fresh gnaw marks and mouse nests made from fine shredded paper or other fibrous material.  They are active mostly at night, but can occasionally be seen during daylight hours.  Mice are excellent climbers and can jump 10 inches from the floor to a flat surface; they can squeeze through openings slightly larger than 1/4 inch in diameter.  They can also survive a 9-foot drop and climb up most vertical surfaces.

brown rat eating food
Photo by Alexas Fotos on Pexels.com

Exclusion is the most common in the fight against house mice.  Prevent mice from entering buildings by eliminating openings that are 1/4” or larger.  Use sealants or mortar to help fill the gaps.  Spray-in-place foams and steel wool pads will fill the gaps, but they won’t do much to stop mice from entering.  Make sure doors, windows and screens fit tightly.  Cover the edges of doors and windows with metal to prevent gnawing.

Population reduction is the last method for controlling mice.  Traps and baits are two common population reduction methods.  To ensure success with traps, you need to use a sufficient number of traps in areas where mice are living.  Snap traps or multiple-capture traps can be used to capture mice.  Double setting snap traps, placing two traps close to each other, will yield the best results in situations with high activity.  Multi-catch traps can catch several mice at a time without resetting.  Glue boards are another alternative to traps.  These sticky boards catch and hold mice as they try to move throughout the home.  Be sure to use sticky boards in locations where non-target animals or items won’t get stuck in them.  If this does happen, use an oily material, like vegetable or mineral oil, to dissolve the sticky substance.  To make the traps more appealing you can apply a food source such as peanut butter or a chocolate chip melted to the trigger or you can secure a cloth scented with a food source to the traps’ trigger.

Baits are another population reduction method.  Be sure to read and follow all directions on baits.  When choosing baits, consider the location and method of applications and any non-target pets and children.  Choose the type of bait for your specific location and application.  Mice have been known to move pelleted baits without eating them.  Just because you have an empty box, doesn’t mean they have eaten the bait.  Bait stations or bait blocks ensure that the critter actually ate the bait.

Use caution when cleaning up droppings, nests, or mouse remains.   This can help to decrease the potential spread of diseases carried by mice like Hantavirus.  Use protective waterproof gloves and spray the carcass and trap or nest with a household disinfectant or a 10% bleach solution. Use a sealable bag turned inside out to pick up the mouse.  To remove feces or urine, spray the area with a disinfectant until wet and wipe up with a towel, rag or mop.  Don’t use the vacuum or broom to collect dry feces as that can cause the material to go into the air and be inhaled.

For more information on mouse control, refer to NebGuide, Controlling House Mice that can be accessed at http://extensionpubs.unl.edu or through your local extension office.

Posted in Horticulture

Do you have uninvited houseguests?  

You are sitting at home and all of a sudden a little gray rodent with relatively large ears and small black eyes scurries across the room!   It is about 1/2 ounce in weight and if an adult 5 1/2 to 7 1/2 inches long, including its 3 – 4 inch tail.  Of course, you must know by now that I am describing a house mouse.  The house mouse is considered one of the most troublesome and economically important rodents in the United States.  They can cause damage to property and transmit diseases such as salmonellosis and swine dysentery.  You will know you have mice if you see small droppings, fresh gnaw marks and mouse nests made from fine shredded paper or other fibrous material.  They are active mostly at night, but can occasionally be seen during daylight hours.  Mice are excellent climbers and can jump 10 inches from the floor to a flat surface; they can squeeze through openings slightly larger than 1/4 inch in diameter.  They can also survive a 9-foot drop and climb up most vertical surfaces.

waiting relax lying mouse
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Exclusion is the most common in the fight against house mice.  Prevent mice from entering buildings by eliminating openings that are 1/4” or larger.  Use sealants or mortar to help fill the gaps.  Spray-in-place foams and steel wool pads will fill the gaps, but they won’t do much to stop mice from entering.  Make sure doors, windows and screens fit tightly.  Cover the edges of doors and windows with metal to prevent gnawing.

Population reduction is the last method for controlling mice.  Traps and baits are two common population reduction methods.  To ensure success with traps, you need to use a sufficient number of traps in areas where mice are living.  Snap traps or multiple-capture traps can be used to capture mice.  Double setting snap traps, placing two traps close to each other, will yield the best results in situations with high activity.  Multi-catch traps can catch several mice at a time without resetting.  Glue boards are another alternative to traps.  These sticky boards catch and hold mice as they try to move throughout the home.  Be sure to use sticky boards in locations where non-target animals or items won’t get stuck in them.  If this does happen, use an oily material, like vegetable or mineral oil, to dissolve the sticky substance.  To make the traps more appealing you can apply a food source such as peanut butter or a chocolate chip melted to the trigger or you can secure a cloth scented with a food source to the traps’ trigger.

Baits are another population reduction method.  Be sure to read and follow all directions on baits.  When choosing baits, consider the location and method of applications and any non-target pets and children.  Choose the type of bait for your specific location and application.  Mice have been known to move pelleted baits without eating them.  Just because you have an empty box, doesn’t mean they have eaten the bait.  Bait stations or bait blocks ensure that the critter actually ate the bait.

Use caution when cleaning up droppings, nests, or mouse remains.   This can help to decrease the potential spread of diseases carried by mice like Hantavirus.  Use protective waterproof gloves and spray the carcass and trap or nest with a household disinfectant or a 10% bleach solution. Use a sealable bag turned inside out to pick up the mouse.  To remove feces or urine, spray the area with a disinfectant until wet and wipe up with a towel, rag or mop.  Don’t use the vacuum or broom to collect dry feces as that can cause the material to go into the air and be inhaled.

For more information on mouse control, refer to NebGuide, Controlling House Mice that can be accessed at http://extensionpubs.unl.edu or through your local extension office.

A portion of this article was taken from Elizabeth Killinger who is the Horticulture Extension Educator with Nebraska Extension in Hall County.

 

 

Posted in Horticulture

Uninvited House Guests

You are sitting at home and all of a sudden a little gray rodent with relatively large ears and small black eyes scurries across the room!   It is about 1/2 ounce in weight and if an adult 5 1/2 to 7 1/2 inches long, including its 3 – 4 inch tail.  Of course, you must know by now that I am describing a house mouse.  The house mouse is considered one of the most troublesome and economically important rodents in the United States.  They can cause damage to property and transmit diseases such as salmonellosis and swine dysentery.  You will know you have mice if you see small droppings, fresh gnaw marks and mouse nests made from fine shredded paper or other fibrous material.  They are active mostly at night, but can occasionally be seen during daylight hours.  Mice are excellent climbers and can jump up 12 inches from the floor to a flat surface; they can squeeze through openings slightly larger than 1/4 inch in diameter.

mouse-2814846_1280.png
Photo Source: pixabay.com 

Sanitation, mouse-proof construction, and population reduction allow for effective control of mice.  Mice cannot survive in large numbers if they have few places to rest, hide, or build nests; however a few mice can survive with limited amounts of food and shelter. Proper sanitation is an important step to control mice.  Most buildings that handle food will have problems with mice not matter how clean they are, but the house should be mouse-proofed.   To mouse-proof a house, eliminate all openings larger than 1/4 inch.  Steel wool can be used as a temporary plug; cracks in building foundations and openings for water pipes, vents, etc. can be sealed with metal or concrete.  Doors and windows should fit tightly.  Cover doors and windows with metal to prevent gnawing.  Latex, plastic, rubber, and wood are unsuitable for plugging holes.

Once you find mice in your house, traps can be used to control the population.  The advantages of traps are 1) it does not rely on hazardous rodenticides, 2) it permits the user to view his/her success, and 3) it allows for disposal of trapped mice therefore eliminating dead mouse odors that may occur when poisoning is done.  Peanut butter works great to put on traps because it is easy to use and very attractive to mice.  Simple inexpensive wood-based snap traps are effective, as well as glue traps.  Glue traps must not be in extreme temperatures and can lose their effectiveness over time with dust collecting on them.  Whatever traps, you decide to use, be sure to set them behind objects, in dark corners, and in places where evidence of mouse activity is seen.

For more information on mouse control, refer to NebGuide, Controlling House Mice that can be accessed at http://extensionpubs.unl.edu or through your local extension office.

Posted in Uncategorized

Uninvited House Guests (Mice)

You are sitting at home and all of a sudden a little gray rodent with relatively large ears and small black eyes scurries across the room!   It is about 1/2 ounce in weight and if an adult 5 1/2 to 7 1/2 inches long, including its 3 – 4 inch tail. Of course, you must know by now that I am describing a house mouse. The house mouse is considered one of the most troublesome and economically important rodents in the United States. They can cause damage to property and transmit diseases such as salmonellosis and swine dysentery. You will know you have mice if you see small droppings, fresh gnaw marks and mouse nests made from fine shredded paper or other fibrous material. They are active mostly at night, but can occasionally be seen during daylight hours. Mice are excellent climbers and can jump up 12 inches from the floor to a flat surface; they can squeeze through openings slightly larger than 1/4 inch in diameter.

Sanitation, mouse-proof construction, and population reduction allow for effective control of mice. Mice cannot survive in large numbers if they have few places to rest, hide, or build nests; however a few mice can survive with limited amounts of food and shelter. Proper sanitation is an important step to control mice. Most buildings that handle food will have problems with mice not matter how clean they are, but the house should be mouse-proofed.   To mouse-proof a house, eliminate all openings larger than 1/4 inch. Steel wool can be used as a temporary plug; cracks in building foundations and openings for water pipes, vents, etc. can be sealed with metal or concrete. Doors and windows should fit tightly. Cover doors and windows with metal to prevent gnawing. Latex, plastic, rubber, and wood are unsuitable for plugging holes.

Once you find mice in your house, traps can be used to control the population. The advantages of traps are 1) it does not rely on hazardous rodenticides, 2) it permits the user to view his/her success, and 3) it allows for disposal of trapped mice therefore eliminating dead mouse odors that may occur when poisoning is done. Peanut butter works great to put on traps because it is easy to use and very attractive to mice. Simple inexpensive wood-based snap traps are effective, as well as glue traps. Glue traps must not be in extreme temperatures and can lose their effectiveness over time with dust collecting on them. Whatever traps, you decide to use, be sure to set them behind objects, in dark corners, and in places where evidence of mouse activity is seen.

For more information on mouse control, refer to NebGuide, Controlling House Mice which can be accessed online or through your local extension office.