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Mice in a New York City Brownstone
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Mice and brownstones are like love and marriage....

Dear John,

My wife is beside herself because we have mice in our third floor brownstone apartment in Manhattan. The landlord is going to plug up the hole under the sink where we observed mice coming in. We trapped three mice and are not sure if there are more in the apartment now. We're also not sure if there are other entry points; the landlord might pull out the stove as well. We've discovered droppings in our couch, loveseat and, worst of all, in our 8-month old daughter's toy basket. My questions:

   1. Do we need to throw away toys that may have been exposed to mice urine or droppings? If not, how can we clean them?   How much of a health risk is this to our daughter and to us?

   2. How should we clean surfaces where the mice may have been: floors, furniture, cabinets, etc?

   3. Once the holes are plugged, is there any need to exterminate? Are the chemicals harmful for children and adults?

   4. Is my landlord doing enough to fix this problem? How can we be sure he's plugging all the holes? Is plaster what he should be using? If not, what works best?

Thanks in advance for your time and advice. You have a great website!

Sincerely,

Antony M



And I wrote back with....

Hi, Tony:

Many thanks for your compliment about the website!

For mice, the best is either snap traps or glueboards.  You should be able to get both in the local hardware store.  Make sure you follow the directions on my page for trapping mice.

       http://UnExCo.com/gallery/trapmice.html

For cleaning up after mice, all you need is hot, soapy water or a soapy rag, rinse with water.  Patching holes is good - but he'll never be able to find all of them.  Just keep on trapping until you haven't caught any for at least two weeks.  Keep a glueboard PERMANENTLY under the sink - it will catch whatever walks by, and after a few weeks or a couple of months you'll have a complete history of every bug that walked through the cabinet.

Ask your landlord if you're entitled to an exterminator.  If so, make sure he's a REAL exterminator - no maintenance men.  Mice are easy, however, anyone can do mice.  Just follow directions also on my mouse page - if you haven't read it yet.

     http://UnExCo.com/mice.html

Hope this helps.  If you have any questions, get back to me.

----john



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