People may have different opinions of these long-tailed animals. Someone has a white mouse as a pet, feeds it and takes care of it, while someone may get terrified of a gray shadow in the corner. Mice as pets and mice as dangerous rodents are completely different animals. So, should we get rid of mice in the house? What kind of harm can they bring? Can these beany-eyed animals be extremely dangerous?
Key facts about mice
Mice are mammals and rodents. Their closest relatives are jerboas, rats, mole rats, hamsters, chinchillas and guinea pigs.
The mouse is small, its body length varies from 1 to 8 inches (3 to 20 cm), and it weighs from 0,5 to 1,7 oz. (15 – 50 g). Mice are agile and fast animals, with a pointed muzzle, large rounded ears, and small protruding eyes. These rodents have good eyesight, they distinguish shades of red and yellow. The mouse body temperature ranges from 99.5° F – 102.2° F (37.5° C to 39° C). A distinctive feature of mice is their long bald tail.
Interesting fact: The need for gnawing and nibbling is explained by two pairs of constantly growing chisel-like teeth on the upper and lower jaws. To grind them down, mice must gnaw solid objects.
How and where do mice live?
Mice can be found worldwide, except for extreme northern and high-mountainous areas. They live in large families, because this way it is easier to defend, build houses, grow offspring and find food. Rodents are fidgety and gluttonous animals. This helps them survive winter and cold seasons.
In nature, mice spend most of their time in burrows, which they dig at a depth of about 2.3 feet (70 cm). The length of passages can reach 65 feet (20 meters). Mice are thoroughly engaged in the construction: they build separate burrows for temporary and permanent, summer and winter residence.
In winter burrows at great depths, they arrange a storeroom for supplies, where from the fall they begin to collect grain and seeds.
The lifespan of a mouse depends on the habitat: climate, nutrition, diseases, predators. Far from humans, they can live for about a year, but next to human dwellings a mouse can live up to 4 years.
The mice multiply rapidly. At the age of 10 weeks, a female mouse becomes fertile and ready to breed. It can give 3-12 broods annually, each of them may consist of up to 9 mice. In wild nature, the mouse reproduction occurs only in warm weather, and near human dwellings – all year round. It is not difficult to calculate how many rodents may appear in a year if only one mouse has settled down at your place.
What do mice eat?
The diet of the mouse depends on its habitat, but usually it prefers grain products: wheat, barley, oats, buckwheat. In forests, mice feed on plant seeds, cedar nuts, hazelnuts, acorns, insects, larvae or spiders.
House mice have a varied diet. They get adapted to humans and consume everything that has not been removed from free access: bread, cereals, dairy products, lard, sweets, sausages.
They don’t need a lot of water, as the body of a mouse produces water from plant leaves, vegetables and fruits.
Mice are prey for many animals: foxes and Arctic foxes, ferrets, lynx, ermines and even wolves. One predator can consume up to 30 mice per day. These rodents have enemies everywhere: they are also a prey for snakes, boas, pythons, hawks, kites, eagles and owls.
What harm and benefits they bring
The greatest benefit these small animals bring is their use in scientific work. For several centuries, mice are used to conduct all sorts of laboratory experiments. They were chosen due to their extraordinary fecundity and the similarity of their genome to the human one. Zoologists grow special prey mice for pythons, boas, ferrets, cats and owls.
The presence of a mouse in a house cannot be detected immediately, as they are active at night. During this time, they can do a lot of harm:
- The need to chew and gnaw solid objects can lead to damaged furniture, products, wires and soft toys.
- It can carry house mouse diseases that contagious for people: salmonella, plague and typhus.
- Due to the house mouse diseases people can get infected by products, that were in contact with a mouse.
- Rodents leave mouse poop containing viruses and bacteria. Even vapors of their waste can carry diseases. If mouse poop is found, it should be removed with caution, after treatment with a disinfectant.
- All rodents are infected with insects: mites and fleas, which are transferred to pets along with house mouse diseases. It is necessary to know that dog’s immunity (unlike cat’s) cannot cope with house mouse diseases.
- The risk group susceptible to house mouse diseases includes children and people with weakened immunity that are vulnerable to viruses.
- In search of food and favorable conditions, a mouse can migrate over long distances. Thus, they can carry the house mouse diseases from one dwelling to another.
This is interesting: due to the need to gnaw, mice did a good job in 1942, during the 2nd World War in the Soviet Union. Mice managed to disrupt the attack of fascist tanks, that were disguised in haystacks during winter. They chewed everything that can be chewed inside the tanks – wires and hoses. By the time of the attack, 70% of the tanks were disabled.
In homes and apartments, there are a lot of wires from household appliances. If they are damaged – this will disrupt the operation of household devices. Since electrical wiring is hidden in most cases, it would be challenging to find the place of the damage and to get rid of mice which caused this damage.
How to detect mice in the house?
- Under the skirting, small holes appear (next to them are small sawdust);
- You notice mouse poop on the floor;
- There is a musty smell, which is difficult to ignore;
- You hear strange mice sounds, such as rustling or squeaking at night;
- If there is a cat in the house, it becomes nervous and rushes from corner to corner.
Most effective ways to get rid of mice
At the first signs of the mouse presence, you should urgently take measures to get rid of mice. There are several ways to do that. Each of them has its pros and cons, so you can choose the best way to get rid of mice for your case.
The best way to get rid of mice without using chemicals is to use their biological enemies – cats. In this case, you do not have to use poisonous substances, but the thing is that you need to keep a pet and take care of it.
Cons: not all cats are interested in hunting and can help you get rid of mice. Ordinary underbred cats are usually best hunters, while newly created breeds have completely lost the hunter’s instinct.
How to get rid of mice more effectively than with a biological method? We recommend you to refer to a physical rodent elimination which implies using mice traps. To get rid of mice you can use various types of mice traps (mechanical, electrical, tunnel and live mice traps).
If the mouse hole or place of stay is found, you can use foam or glue traps. They should be placed in narrow aisles (behind the refrigerator or behind the cabinets) so that the animal couldn’t escape any of these mice traps.
Poisoning by chemical mice traps is a fast and effective method of mice destruction. Inside mice traps there is an edible mouse bait pollinated with poisonous powders.
The mouse bait can be also made in a form of a suspension or a gel. The method is used in houses, country houses, farms, greenhouses and storage facilities.
Cons: using mouse bait poisons may be dangerous. To use chemical mice traps you need to isolate pets during the premises processing. There is a risk that a poisoned mouse may die in the cellar or under the floor. In such cases, it would be extremely difficult to get rid of mice disgusting smell for several months.
If you cannot manage the task of getting rid of mice on your own, or the number of rodents increases rapidly, it’s better to use professional help. Getting rid of mice or deratization (how this process is called professionally), is carried out by sanitary and epidemiological service will ensure the complete destruction of house mice.
The work of getting rid of mice is carried out in several stages:
- specialists examine premises and determine house mice habitats;
- the causes of house mice invasion are identified;
- deratization methods and chemical preparations are selected;
- getting rid of mice is followed by quality control;
- deratization takes from 30 minutes to 2 hours;
- specialists use several components to prevent insensitivity to one of the house mice poisons;
- if necessary, the getting rid of mice procedure is carried out once again;
- after a certain period, professionals take preventing measures impeding the emergence of house mice.
The mouse repellent method
The mouse repellent method – a humane way to get rid of mice.
This is the most effective, safe, modern and simply the best way to get rid of mice. To repel rodents, you can use devices that produce ultrasonic vibrations that are inaudible to humans but intolerable for mice. Ultrasonic is the mouse repellent sound that can help you for sure.
Models of devices that produce the mouse repellent sound are subdivided depending on the area of influence. They are completely safe for humans and pets (except for the mouse family pets, such as guinea pigs or chinchillas).
The mouse repellent sound devices operate from the mains or from batteries. You can use them on any premises.
Cons: high price.
The best way to get rid of mice: find your own in our TOP 5-detailed description of getting rid of mice
Let’s consider 5 commonly used and effective ways to get rid of mice, their pros and cons, make a rating and choose the getting rid of mice method that suits your needs.
#5 in rating: Glue traps for mice
The product is effective, but you will have to wait quite a long time for results.
- Action: glue traps for mice are applied to the cardboard, piece of plastic or wood. Such mice traps are installed along the route of a mouse (behind the refrigerator or behind the cupboards). As house mice are smart enough, they quickly remember dangerous places and avoid them. Therefore, a mouse bait is placed so that mice do not have the opportunity to skip it. Reacting to the mouse bait, the pest gets into the glue and gets stuck.
- Efficiency: the glue traps for mice method is rather difficult to use, mice don’t always get stuck in the adhesive mice traps. And for the owners the glue traps for mice are not the best way, as they will see how the stuck animal is suffering and squeaking. In specialized stores you can buy CRANACH Glue Boards, Tomcat glue traps for mice.
- Duration of action: the glue traps for mice remain sticky for a long time until covered with dust, dirt or water. In this case, glue traps for mice must be replaced.
- Potential harm: this method is not suitable for houses with pets. Another drawback is that glue traps for mice can stain the floor, carpet or furniture.
#4 in rating: Mice traps
- Action: Mousetraps consist of a mouse bait and a holding device with a spring. When the house mouse tries to pull the bait, it releases the holding hook and triggers the spring mechanism. It beats the animal and presses it to the base of the mousetrap. Most often death occurs instantly.
Electronic mice traps are considered up-to-date. There is a mouse bait inside, while the animal is killed by high voltage shock. Such mice traps are manufactured by Swissinno, Victor Multi-Kill.
- Efficiency: Mice traps cope well enough with rodents’ destruction, especially with a properly selected mouse bait. Each time you need to pull out the dead animal and throw it away. Such a task is not for the faint-hearted. Besides, the dead mouse should be removed carefully, as it may carry house mouse diseases.
- Duration of the action: mousetraps are ready for use, once the mouse bait has been placed and the spring has been cocked. They can help you get rid of mice in the house quickly.
- Potential harm: Mice traps are safe for adults, but if there are small children or pets in the house – the device must be kept away from them. Never let the child touch a mousetrap, as it may lead to the finger injury.
Mousetraps with a wooden base are not hygienic. After use, mouse blood may remain there, and it will have to be thoroughly washed. This is an unpleasant and dangerous procedure. Mice traps with a plastic base are much easier to clean.
#3 in rating: PCS mouse repellent gel
- Action: A 9.5-ounce (280-ml) tube with mouse repellent gel contains natural oil extract that affects the taste and olfactory receptors of mice. This mouse repellent smell brings serious discomfort to mice, while the viscous base of the gel sticks to the paws, irritates and forces to leave the premises. The mouse repellent gel is widely used in airports, parking lots, ports and gardens for treatment of tree trunks. The mouse repellent gel is applied to the previously cleaned surface, using a sealant gun, the layer is applied in portions located about 1,5 ft (50 cm) from each other. One tube is enough for the area of 480 square yards (400 square meters).
- Efficiency: The mouse repellent gel can be applied indoors and outdoors, in any weather. It doesn’t damage buildings and there is no need to look for dead mice on the territory after its use – they will simply leave the zone of mouse repellent gel’s action.
- Duration of action: the effect of the mouse repellent gel lasts for two years.
- Potential harm: the mouse repellent gel is applied to places where it can safely stay for a long time without disturbing people. It does not harm animals, the environment and people, because there are no pesticides in it.
#2 in rating: Chemical method
- Action: Mice poison can be sold in the form of baits from grain or granules, in the form of briquettes, suspensions, and mouse repellent gels. All toxic substances have only one drawback – a mouse can die in an inaccessible place and will produce disgusting smell for several months.
- Efficiency: the death happens 3-4 days after the mice poison enters the rodent’s body. It is not recommended to use mice poison with instant effect. Most effective products against mice contain brodifacoum (D-Con,). This kind of mice poison influences blood coagulability and causes suffocation. Rodents try to get out of their holes to fresh air, so they are not likely to die in the house.
- Duration of action: the substance starts acting within 2 weeks after the pest consumes the mouse bait. By this point, you need to be ready, that mice are going to crawl out to open areas and die. Your task is to clean the territory from the dead bodies.
Important: they must be collected using gloves and special instruments. Never let your pets approach the dead animal. Fleas, ticks and lice will be looking for a new home and can find it on your cat or dog.
- Potential harm: all pesticides are dangerous for humans and their pets. It is necessary to carefully read the instructions, use rubber gloves and protective equipment. Use the mice poison in places inaccessible to other animals.
#1 in rating: Ultrasonic mouse repellers
- Action: the instruments use radiation frequency harmless to humans and domestic animals but causing the mouse repellent sound (16-70 kHz). The ultrasonic frequency is changed automatically every 1-5 minutes. This does not allow mice to get used to it.
This is interesting: according to scientific research, the ultrasonic mouse repellent sound effect starts from day one – they get fussy and start hiding, in 5 days they start going mad, and in 10 days suffer from panic, look for escape and leave the impact zone by any means. Experimental mice were in closed cells, so they could not leave the place. Mice invading your house will always find the way out and leave the place running away from the mouse repellent sound.
- How to use: the mouse repellent sound device is selected considering the area. The appliance is connected to the mains. When installing mouse repellent sound device, make sure that the radiation panel is facing the center of the room. The maximum effect is achieved due to the waves reflection from solid surfaces: walls, floor, ceiling. Soft objects (curtains, sofas) absorb ultrasound (mouse repellent sound).
The choice of mouse repellent sound devices is large:
✓ Weitech – a device for small rooms, immediately inserted into the outlet.
✓ Riddex – creates ultrasonic and electromagnetic waves in the electric network. Such conditions are unbearable for rodents.
- Efficiency: easy-to-use mouse repellent sound appliances allow you to get rid of rodents in 1-2 days. Unlike all other methods, you don’t have to contact pests (pull out of mousetraps, tear off the mouse glue traps or look for poisoned mice). The repeller simply expels mice from the house.
- Duration of action: the action of a mouse repellent sound appliance starts right away, and then for prevention, you should turn on the device from time to time so that the mice wouldn’t return.
- Potential harm: the frequency of ultrasound radiation is harmless to humans and animals.
The only drawback of this method is the high price of ultrasonic devices. Depending on the premises size, you can pick up a repeller that costs from $20 to $100 on Amazon.
There are a lot of ways to get rid of mice. All you need is to determine which is the best way to get rid of mice personally for you. Remember: destroying rodents is just half of the task. You need to analyze why they have appeared at your place and what to do if they re-enter your home.
How to prevent mice invasion
Mice get into houses and apartments through cracks, garbage disposal, from cellars or through ventilation. At a great distance, they identify places with attractive food and conditions and move there. To avoid rodents’ invasion in the house, it is necessary to take preventive measures:
- Cover the cracks in the floor or walls;
- Check cellars and closets, to detect the appearance of rodents as soon as possible.
- Keep the house and the kitchen clean;
- Do not store products in plastic bags – this doesn’t stop mice;
- Keep all grain and cereal products in tightly closed containers;
- Keep cells with animals and birds clean;
- Do not leave pet food overnight;
- Never leave dishes with food or garbage bin with waste overnight;
- Keep food in the refrigerator or in closable containers;
- Always close the doors at dusk;
- Cover the ventilation ducts with metal grids;
Your home is your fortress. But it can be easily accessed by a small gray house mouse. Getting rid of mice is difficult, dangerous and expensive. Therefore, it is better to prevent their invasion than to declare a war.