Not your friendly Christmas mouse
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse” These are the opening lines in the poem - The Night Before Christmas. The poem creates a false impression of slumbering mice awaiting the arrival of Santa Claus when in reality mice are most active at night.
Mice in reality they are not the adorable creatures portrayed by the poem. They can spread diseases through their urine, droppings, saliva and nesting materials.
The mice most frequently encountered in Utah homes are the house and the deer mouse. With the onset of colder weather, humans often unknowingly facilitate mice movements into their homes.
Mice feed on a wide range of food and eat continually. They tend nest near their food.
Mice may also nibble on wires when they are in your walls. Once a wire becomes bare the chance of it sparking a fire increases. About 25 percent of all fires attributed to “unknown causes” in the U.S. are started by rodents.
The best way to control mice in your house is to keep them from getting in. Mice can fit through spaces much smaller than they appear. To exclude mice, seal all holes and openings larger than a quarter of an inch.
Store bulk foods in rodent-proof containers. Make sure any spilled food items and crumbs are cleaned up.
In addition to sanitation and exclusion, remove mice from the house as quickly as possible. Mice can be easily caught using wooded snap traps. Because mice have poor eyesight but excellent senses of touch and smell, they tend to travel close to walls and other objects. Traps should be set close to walls where mouse activity is seen.
More information at WildAwareUtah.org