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Monday, May 2, 2016

Thoughts on mice control

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Jenna Smith
It isn't a pleasant thing to think about, but as the farmers finish up harvest and the temperatures continue to drop, the number of mice seeking refuge into houses is going to increase.

Mice are brown rodents with large ears and small eyes that weigh about half an ounce. Their tail is generally 3-4 inches long.

The first signs of a mouse that individuals usually notice are droppings, fresh gnawing and tracks.

If we see a mouse in the house, it is generally trying to hide behind objects.

However, mice are typically more active at night.

Another sign you might be on the lookout for is small nests made out of shredded paper or other fibrous material.

If you think you might have a mouse in your house, it is a good idea to make sure all your cereal grains are sealed in plastic containers that mice won't try to get into.

Be aware that mice do eat other food besides cereal grains, but they prefer it over other items.

It is important to realize that mice are excellent climbers and can run up any rough vertical surface.

Additionally, they can run on wire cables and have the ability to jump up to 12-inches from the floor on to a flat surface.

They can enter any opening that is slightly larger than one-quarter inch in width.

Thus, if you think you have a mouse, it is really important that you check your house thoroughly to try to find out what it has touched since mice are known to spread disease.

There are three parts associated with effective mice control.

They are: Good sanitation, prevention and population reduction. In terms of good sanitation, it is important to realize that it is ideal that you eliminate any places mice can find shelter.

If you reduce the number of places mice can find shelter, you will prevent the mice from building nests and raising young.

Prevention measures include sealing any openings larger than one-quarter inch.

This would include sealing any cracks and openings in building foundations and openings for water pipes, vents, etc.

When sealing areas, do not use plastic sheeting, screen, wood, rubber or any other material the mice might be able to gnaw on.

Population reduction can occur by trapping or using a rodenticide.

Trapping is a time consuming, effective way to control the mouse population. Using a simple, inexpensive wood-based snap is effective and can be purchased in most stores. They can be baited with peanut butter, chocolate, dried fruit or bacon. Whatever you decide to use, make sure it is securely attached to the trigger.

If you do not want to use a wood-based snap, you can use glue boards.

However, if you use a glue board, realize that children and pets can get attached to them. Therefore, you should not place them where they can come in contact with the glue board.

Additionally, the glue board will lose effectiveness if they get covered with dust or are located in extreme heat.

There are several rodenticide bats available on the market to be used.

Single dose rodenticides can quickly reduce mouse populations, however, they are not as safe to use as multiple dose rodenticides.

If you would decide to use a rodenticide, always read and follow label instructions and make sure they are kept out of reach of children and pets.

As always, if you have any questions or would like information on any agriculture, horticulture or natural resource topic, then please contact your local Purdue Extension Office at 448-9041 in Clay County or 812-829-5020 in Owen County, or reach me directly at smith535@purdue.edu.

Purdue University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution.

Upcoming opportunities available to you through Purdue Extension include:

* Oct. 29 -- Clay County Extension Board meeting, Clay County Extension Office,

* Oct. 31 -- Clay County Extension Office closed,

* Nov. 6 -- County holiday, Extension Office closed, and

* Nov. 6 -- Owen County Beekeeper meeting, 6:30 p.m., Owen County 4-H Exhibit Hall.

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I know where you can get some cats.

-- Posted by trappedagain on Wed, Oct 24, 2012, at 6:02 PM

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