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A Man with a Mouse Problem

Henry writes in....


What a great site!  Thanks for all of the well written and well presented information. I stumbled upon your site while surfing the net to find information on how to rid my basement of the mice that have recently taken up residence.  I agree with your assessment of traps being better than bait.  I like the idea of knowing how many of the varmints have been removed.  My previous experience with baits left a lot to be desired. All I had to show was an empty bait container as well as one or more dead and smelly rodents decaying in one of my exterior walls. That was not my idea of a successful removal.  I also like the idea of a quick and humane kill.  Although, I have little mercy or pity where rodents of any kind are concerned.

Thanks also for making the suggestions for trap placement available.  I shall try with and without bait using the configurations that you have suggested. The Ivory soap indicator is also a handy and valuable tip that I shall employ.

I do have a couple of questions.

1. Is there any danger of disease/fleas when disposing of the

2. Do you have any suggestions for procedures for cleaning up

     - Wash the area with bleach? Or, is any household cleaner (e.g.. PineSol) OK?

Henry B.
Unix System Administrator

And I wrote back with....

Mr. B.

First of all, thank you for your compliments.  Glad I could be of help.  To answer your questions:

#1.  Naturally, rodents carry fleas.  And normally, when you have a problem with fleas, "the book" says that you do something for the fleas.  Actually, most of the time you don't have to, but if they have been in there a long time (the mice) you could consider it.  If, however, you want to save that money, I would wait until a flea problem pops up.  Just as easily handled at that time than at the present.

To empty the trap, slip a baggie on your hand, handle the trap with the mouse in your bagged hand, release him from the trap and then turn the baggie inside out with the mouse in the baggie!  Toss him out in the trash.  KEEP the trap!  Used traps acquire a rodent odor and since mice are territorial, it will actually tend to attract other mice.

#2.  Clean up?  Nothing out of the ordinary.  Mouse droppings harden up in a few weeks - that's how exterminators determine if mouse activity is old or new.  (If the droppings are soft, activity is recent.)  If droppings are in cabinets and such, a vacuum is probably your best bet.  In cabinets or on kitchen counters a common disinfectant is all you might need - hot, soapy water is sufficient.

Just make sure you walk around the outside of your house and fix all the holes or cracks that lead into your house.  Weatherstrip all doors, even garage doors if the garage is attached to your house.  If it is, you might consider using bait in the garage only.  Put a bait packet (any kind) just inside the garage door, on either side of the garage door so any mice entering will encounter the bait first thing.  Since they will have come from the outside, there will be less of a chance of them dying on the inside.  Put the bait pack down WITHOUT opening them.  The mice will open them up and you can check them a couple of times a year, and when they have been chewed open, IMMEDIATELY pick it up and put another (unopened) one down and check it for the next week or so for more activity.  If you get more activity, you could also use traps there too.

That's about it.  Happy trapping - give me another shot if you have any problems!


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