Thanks to countless cartoons and nature shows, the image most people have of the mouse is a cute little creature. However, City & Country Pest Control, the Greater Toronto Area’s (GTA) leading pest control agency, points out that mice are pests that often carry a number of potentially deadly diseases, such as hantavirus, salmonella bacteria (food poisoning), leptospirosis, and typhus. Though it’s typically only mice in rural areas that carry hantavirus, mice in urban environments can have it, too. Mice also carry parasites such as fleas, ticks, and roundworms.
With winter fast approaching, mice, a common pest in the GTA, will start seeking a warm place to stay during the colder months. And once they find someplace that’s warm and has a steady supply of food, they will make themselves at home!
Though mice usually hide from view and flee at the first sign of a human, they can be bold. Witness what happened when the resident of an Alberta nursing home was found with mice biting her face; the infestation was traced back to the closet in her room. If you have a family member with disabilities or a baby, imagine this happening to them!
On the plus side, the location of a mouse nest is often easy to find, as the animals are “homebodies,” preferring not to venture more than 10 metres from their nest. You can also often hear them running around in the ceiling and walls.
There are steps you can take to prevent mice from entering your home. Before winter starts, make sure that all possible entry points to your house are sealed. If you keep firewood, be sure to place it away from the house and elevated at least 18 inches off the ground, as woodpiles are another popular place for mice to build nests, and they are also powerful jumpers.
If you’re looking to adopt a pet, consider getting a cat; often, the mere presence of a cat will be enough to keep mice away. If you already own a cat, place clumps of litter around your house at possible entry points in addition to keeping those locations sealed. Other effective deterrents that can be placed at potential entry points for mice include dried snake droppings and peppermint oil. Should you choose to use cat littler or snake droppings as a deterrent, be sure to keep them out of the reach of children.
Be sure to keep your kitchen as tidy as possible and clean up any crumbs if you or your family tend to eat in front of the TV, in the bedroom, or in the home office. You don’t want to turn your house into a buffet for any unwanted four-legged guests; once mice find a steady food supply, they will settle in for the long-haul.
Garbage also provides another tempting food source for mice, so be sure to keep all your garbage cans sealed and as far away from your house as possible.
Should all these measures fail, call on the experts at City & Country Pest Control. They will safely and efficiently take care of your mouse problem, as well as offer humane pest removal so the mice will not be harmed.
“Staff find mice nibbling on face of dementia patient,” The Toronto Star September 9, 2013; http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2013/09/09/staff_find_mice_nibbling_on_face_of_dementia_patient_in_alberta.html.
“How to Get Rid of Mice Naturally,” WikiHow; http://www.wikihow.com/Get-Rid-of-Mice-Naturally, last accessed May 19, 2016.