A Mouse in MY House

 In Blog, Heidi's Bug Blog, Rodents

Some pests I can tolerate…some I cannot.

Recently and for the first time, I found mouse droppings (approximately the size of a grain of rice, black and spindle-shaped) under the kitchen sink of my home. And where there are droppings, you can bet there will be mice.

One mouse, I thought, I can handle that! But who was I kidding? In urban areas house mice are able to breed throughout the year, producing 5-10 litters each of approximately 5-8 young (that’s one mouse producing up to 80 young per year). The average lifespan is about 12 months. (1)

I resigned to the fact I was in for a real battle.

As luck would have it (if you want to call it luck in this situation), this wasn’t my first run in with mice. At our workplace, we generally get these furry little visitors one to two times every year. They sneak in through the back warehouse doors and retire to the cozy and warm front office area for their semi-annual vacation.

However, when it came to our residential home, this was the first time that I had ever come across a mouse in MY house! We’d been living there for many years without incident, why now?

One thing you should know about mice before I continue my story is that they’re capable of moving through extremely tight and narrow areas – think of their bodies as those flexible, compressible pentagonal frames kids build out of straws. They happily live in wall cavities, roof spaces and below floorboards, coming through small holes and spaces into the house. They touch and smell to negotiate moving about. Check out this video if you don’t believe me!

Anyway, here is my mouse theory as it relates to my family home: I have two large, voraciously hungry, overwhelming messy and untidy, parasitic in nature, young men. They have overtaken the house, especially the basement. In fact, I make a point to rarely go down into the “man cave” and therein lies the problem!

On the rare occasion that I dare to enter, it is always because I have hit my tolerance level. Yes, there should be an IPM (Integrated Pest Management) tolerance level for young men as well. I get to a point where I can’t stand walking by the piles of clothes, dirty socks, smelly sports equipment, mounds of dishes with varying levels of encrusted food, and the chip crumbs that litter the carpet and the seams of the couch cushions…need I go on?

The man cave, when left in this state of disarray, is simply the perfect environment for a mouse.

Now, trying to get my boys to utilize the garbage bins I have strategically positioned around the basement or to throw their dirty clothes into the laundry hamper is as easy to do as it is to control an insect or pest infestation. Both require constant vigilance.

And unfortunately, as sweet as a little mouse may look (my boys look sweet and innocent too!) it can only bring trouble.  Mice can transmit several diseases and bacteria such as Salmonella, along with viruses and parasites like fleas. They like to gnaw and chew their way through things like wires or your favourite pair of shoes. Taking action upon the first signs of a mouse will prevent a small problem from becoming an infestation.

So, how did we tackle our mouse problem?

We set-up the Knock Down™ Original Mouse Trap under our kitchen sink and baited it with cheese (peanut butter works really well too) and by the morning we had caught the first mouse. This trap actually killed the mouse. (I leave the clean-up job for the hubby!)

You can also use the Knock Down™ Mouse Glue Trap or the Knock Down™ Tunnel Trap which is a live catch trap.

After our first successful catch, we used the Tunnel Trap – boy, what a perfect (albeit unwelcomed) opportunity to test out our different products! We baited it with cheese (Swiss, with the holes in it of course) and by the next morning, we had caught another mouse!

Since catching the second mouse we ended up catching, unbelievably, 15 mice! To strengthen our efforts we closed off multiple means of entry for the pests like under the sink and the cut out around the sink piping. This was a crucial step in eradicating the problem.

Several months of trapping and catching later, I can say we are now mouse free!

No mouse in MY house…thank you!

More Knock Down™ insect and vermin traps can be found here.