This year, we are getting more and more calls about individuals reporting mice in their neighborhood. Most times mice can be found living far away from humans but with the onset of colder weather plus periods of unseasonably warm weather, it will promote individuals to move into structures as they search both for food and for cover.
They can spread diseases such as Hantavirus, Semiosis and Listeria; these diseases can be deadly. The best way to control mice in a house is to keep them from getting in.
Holes or cracks in your foundation are outer walls are prime entry points as are doorways and other areas around windows, chimneys, roof vents and wherever you have pipes and wires that may enter your home. Seal all the holes and openings larger than one-quarter of an inch. Check your roof and roof vents for damage or holes. Cleaning away piles of wood, leaves and other debris near your foundation and walls will make it more difficult for mice to gain entry.
Inside your home, store dry goods in hard plastic or glass containers that have a tightly sealed lid. Take your garbage out frequently and don’t leave open food out on the counters. Remove the critter as soon as possible from your home.
In most cases, mice can be easily caught using wood snap traps. To increase your effectiveness use small amounts of fresh bait such as peanut butter – do not use cheese. Do not use rodenticides – mice that feed on poisoned baits may die in the home. As they start to decay, the resulting odor can cause more problems than the mouse itself. More information at your local county extension office.