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In spite of all the nuisance and troubles house mice are capable of causing, there are better and more humane ways to get rid of them than killing them off. These include live trapping and control via fences, exclusion and home repairs. These methods are not just humane, they also give you a lasting solution to the mice problem.
Besides, killing of house mice comes with some downsides that you should know about before going ahead with it. They include:
- Depending on the level of urbanization at your location, dealing with and disposing of dead animals is governed by strict rules and may be problematic for you. You may want to find out about the applicable laws first.
- Incorrect handling of dead house mice can lead to a biohazard. The carcass of house mice carry a great number of diseases ranging from salmonella to bubonic plague, rat-bite fever, tapeworms, murine typhus, leptospirosis and hantapirus pulmonary syndrome.
- Another animal may get killed, especially when you kill a mouse with poison. A neighbourhood pet or even a child may come across the poison and consume as well. Likewise when a poisoned mouse is eaten by another animal.
It is important, before applying any poison, to pack away or seal all foods, water, kitchen equipment and cooking utensils. This is to ensure that a poisoned mouse or the poison itself, does not contaminate any of these.
Rodenticide - this is an anticoagulant, which when fed to house mice causes internal bleeding with severe pain for hours to days before the animal eventually dies. A rodent that has been poisoned with rodenticide is likely to die in a hidden or confined place after suffering for days. It will thereafter give out some foul odours that will not only pollute the environment, but also invite insects and other critters to the scene, thereby causing another and possibly greater animal infestation.
Warfarin, pindone, brodifacoum and bromadiolone baits are other anticoagulants that kill house mice with mechanism similar to rodenticides. These poisons can be presented to the mice in form of plastic bait boxes, cardboard mouse poison bait boxes, mouse poison trays or just by being placed on the floor where the mice can easily eat them. They are usually mixed with food crumbs.
Fumigants. These are toxic gases which when inhaled can cause serious health hazards. Fumigants are not only hazardous to house mice, they are also hazardous to human beings. Application of this poison should therefore, only be done by well-trained wildlife control professionals and in a confined space to prevent inhalation by other people.
It is important to don protective gear like gloves, coveralls, head cover etc. while applying fumigants to prevent any inhaling of the toxic gas. Commonly used fumigants are aluminium phosphide, methyl bromide and chloropricrin. Spray ether, benzine, helium and propane are also poisonous to house mice, they lead to death when inhaled.
There are basically two types of lethal traps available - electric mouse traps and snap traps. To set a mouse trap, locate the holes or corners being occupied by the house mice, and set the trap at a distance of about one foot away from it. Bait your trap with meats, peanut butter, vegetables, seeds, fruits, or other food crumbs.
Electronic mouse trap - It has an internal plate that will be baited; and whenever the mouse tries to take the bait, it gets electrocuted and will die almost immediately. The electronic mouse trap is expensive, but it does get rid of any mouse that comes in contact with it. They can be bought from local and online animal control stores.
Snap trap - This traditional lethal trap makes use of a simple mechanism of heavy gauge steel spring bar which will snap once triggered to kill any mouse on it. It is a humane way to kill mice as the killing is done quickly and painlessly.
It is advisable to use multiple snap traps to increase your chances of success in the trapping exercise. Snap traps are easily cleaned and reusable. Although there have been a few cases of the trap wounding the individual setting it, it is generally easy to use. Kids and pets should, however, be excluded from areas where snap traps are set.
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