Mouse Prevention

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You probably have noticed the days are getting shorter, and by 8 p.m. it is already dark. With the shorter days come cooler evenings, and as the cooler temperatures arrive, mice begin seeking housing options that provide warmer shelter. Often, with the advent of cooler weather, mice invade homes, sheds and other structures that will provide shelter from the cold.

Mice prefer to feed on grains, but usually nibble at a wide variety of foods including bird seed and pet food. Field mice require only 1/10-ounce of food and 1/20-ounce of water daily, surviving on food, alone, if it has high moisture. Field mice are brown to gray, with the tail as long as the body. Adults weigh about ½-ounce; their droppings are 1/8-inch long and rod-shaped. Their life span is typically one year, and they reach sexual maturity in only six weeks, after which they have up to eight litters per year, with five to six young per litter. One doesn't need to be an Isaac Newton or a Carl Gauss to realize two mice soon become many. Mice are largely nocturnal, but will be active during daytime hours when food is scarce, when there is overpopulation. Mice are good climbers and are inquisitive, actively exploring anything new. They range only small distances from their nest, generally within 10 to 30 feet.

Since mice are active at night, it is necessary to recognize signs of their activity. Often, the rodent signs noticed are droppings or urine stains in and around buildings, which can transmit disease. Rodents usually have favorite toilet areas, but will void almost anywhere. Old droppings are gray, dusty and will crumble. Fresh droppings are black, shiny and puttylike. Rodents gnaw almost every day in order to keep their teeth short and sharp. Teeth marks on food, building materials, wire and edges of beams are indications of rodent presence. Often mice can be heard in the quiet hours of the night as they scurry from hiding to search for food.

Given the rate at which they reproduce, mouse prevention is a prudent use of time for homeowners. Good housekeeping or sanitation is fundamental in rodent control. Eliminating food, water and harborage for rats and mice can rapidly reduce rodent populations. Clean up garbage and rubbish, properly store garbage, store food in covered, mouse-proof containers, and dry up any sources of water. If you have any fruit trees or a garden, pick up fruits and vegetables when ripe so rodents will not feed on them. Sanitation must be used constantly to be effective. Yearly clean-up programs are not frequent enough to insure the measures needed to prevent infestations.

If you discover mice in your garage, shed or barn, quickly take action. Rodent trapping is still an effective means to eliminate rodent problems, when done properly. Remember to set traps where children and pets will not be hurt. A rodent baiting system is another option, allowing mice to consume the poison, and then later die.

With the arrival of fall, and the associated cooler temperatures, it is a good time to be aware that mice are seeking shelter. If you have a rodent sighting contact Thomas Pest today, for a no charge inspection for rodent signs, so we can protect your health, home and family from rodents. Thomas Pest Services has been solving rodent and insect problems for those that live, work and play in the Albany NY area and surrounding towns like Chatham, Schenectady, Latham, Saratoga Springs and Queensbury with third generation experience. Mouse Prevention is serious; Thomas Pest Services is licensed in getting rid of rodents, start today with a no charge free inspection.

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