How to Get Rid of Mice and Prevent Them From Coming Back
Posted in Health & Wellness on April 15, 2015. Last modified on October 18, 2019. Read disclaimer.
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The National Pesticide Information Center website does a wonderful job of comparing different types of rodent poisons. Since their charts appear to suggest that warfarin may have the least potential dangers to birds and mammals and is least toxic when it comes in contact with our skin or inhaled, that may be one to consider: http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/rodenticides.html
And, since you mentioned that you would be putting the poison inside the Tin Cat closed boxes, perhaps this Kaput Rat Mouse Bait (that is an Amazon.com affiliate link so AlabamaHealth.com earns a small commission if you purchase the product) would be a good option. It:
1) contains only warfarin.
2) comes in sachet pillows so you won't be handling the contents directly.
3) is apparently pretty irresistible to mice since it so closely resembles grain. So it will help lure them into the box traps.
As for what may be most humane option for the mice, I called our county extension agent and he agreed that warfarin would be his choice. From what he has seen, animals just get more and more lethargic as warfarin thins the blood. So, he does not think that the mice suffer violently. And the audubon article I linked to above appears to confirm this when they report that birds suffering from second hand anticoagulant poisoning "don’t have enough red-blood cells to deliver oxygen to their tissues, so they are logy. Their heads droop, the linings of their mouths are pale;"
One last thought: Since you're taking all these steps to prevent poisoning of birds, pets or other animals, be sure to dispose of those dead mice in a responsible manner rather than just dumping them out. I would probably seal them in trash bags and throw them in a garbage can with a lid.
I hope this helps. Please post a follow up comment to let me know how things work out for you and, if anyone else has thoughts, let's hope they share them here.
And now that you mentioned cats, I often wondered if spreading cat urine might scare mice off. According to at least one study, however, mice show absolutely no fear around cat urine: http://depts.alverno.edu/nsmt/archive/Graef.htm
HOW TO GET MICE TO MOVE OUT & STAY OUT!
The "mouse problem" has been plaguing humans since the beginning of time. Mice consume and contaminate billions of dollars of crops and food, damage buildings and spread disease everywhere they go (which is literally just about everywhere). Plus, they bite!
If you have mice setting up home in your house, here are tips for getting (and keeping) them out::
KEEP THE HOUSE CLEAN
- Don't leave food setting out.
- Keep trash and recyclable container lids secured.
- Pick up pet food bowls and remove or relocate bird feeders.
- Clean sinks, appliances, counters and spills.
- Store food (and pet food) in sealable cans, jars, plastic containers, etc.
GET RID OF CLUTTER AND JUNK, BOTH IN AND AROUND YOUR HOUSE
- Store boxes at least 1 foot off ground and 1 foot away from walls.
- Keep lawn and weeds mowed.
- Don't stack firewood near house.
KEEP DOORS CLOSED AND SCREENS ON WINDOWS
- Stuff stainless steel scouring pad in exterior cracks and holes that are bigger than your little finger.
- Mice need only a dime-sized hole to enter.
- Sign of mouse problem: feces about 1/4" with pointed ends.
USE MOUSE TRAPS
- Traps are less dangerous than baits and mice won't die (and stink) in hidden places.
- What's the best mouse trap bait? Most frequently suggested are peanut butter, bacon, M&M's®, gum drops, uncooked oatmeal, chocolate syrup or a piece of apple.
- Consider securing bait with thread or twist tie, if needed.
- A cotton ball (a favorite mouse nesting material) tied to the trap trigger, also works as bait.
- Place traps vertical to wall (so they snap towards the wall) in areas where droppings and mouse chewing are present.
- To make cleanup quick and easy (after a snap), place traps in small, cardboard box with holes cut in both wall corners.
- For extra effectiveness, set pairs of traps, as shown.
- Since each female can have 50 babies a year, set out plenty of traps so you gain control of the infestation quickly.
- If mouse infestation is really bad, get a multiple-catch trap (holds 12 or more mice) such as Tin Cat® or Ketch-All® or consult with a pest control service.
- With live, catch-and-release traps, mice are likely to return.
- Glue boards are effective, but less humane (our experience).
Mice love to chew on electrical wiring.
Mice are most apt to move indoors in autumn, when nights start getting cold outdoors.
Sources (Accessed April 15, 2015):
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