Mouse problem or, are mice much of a problem?

Lord_AsmodeusLord_Asmodeus goeticSobriquet:Here is your magical cryptic riddle-tumour: I AM A TIME MACHINERegistered User regular
So we have mice in the house. We periodically do, especially in winter, and we typically put up traps and the like and for many years we had cats, which kept the numbers low, but even without the cats I doubt we have more than a few at any given time. My question is, should I be considering the presence of mice in the house as more of a health risk and be doing more/contacting an exterminator to get rid of them? In particular I'm worried about their droppings and the like, as we have many small corners it's hard to keep clean and I sometimes leave clothes lying around at night, and I know they've been in my closets. I've always assumed that mice are pretty common and a lot of people will have some every once in awhile, them being hard to keep out on a permanent basis, but recently I've been concerned I should be a lot more diligent about controlling them and cleaning when they're around than I have been.

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  • mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    I mean wild mice can carry the plague or hanta virus so how much do you like solid organs that stay inside your body?

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  • tastydonutstastydonuts Registered User regular
    edited January 25
    Generally, speaking mice are mice and will always be around.

    The odds of catching a disease from a mouse are low, unless you are not exercising proper food hygiene in a food prep/storage area like a kitchen (and washing your hands, etc). You'd be likely to get salmonella before anything else though. The hanta viruscwould likely be a concern if you had enough mice to urinate in a high enough concentrations to risk airbone exposure to it, or you are, for some reason knowingly sniffing mice urine or droppings. If you're in the city, then hanta virus is pretty low (deer mice are more liable to have it than house mice). But cleaning of those areas would limit the risk, and deprive them of food. Sealing holes into your home, etc would also help.

    If you are say... having to clean a corner or something like, daily because it is very visibly contaminated by mouse feces, you should probably call an exterminator, because that's a lot of mice.

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  • BloodySlothBloodySloth Registered User regular
    Depending on the house, the occasional mouse is just sort of part of the deal. Traps (and cats) will of course help if you have low numbers, but I've see much more satisfying, long term success trying to think like a mouse, figure out what routes they're using and why they're going where they're going, and blocking those paths. Keeping them away from food will eventually solve the problem.

    Solve here of course meaning only the occasional mouse. Even if you're not getting too many, if you're starting to think maybe it could become an issue, it's better to act sooner rather than later. Speaking from experience!

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  • Jebus314Jebus314 Registered User regular
    Depending on the house, the occasional mouse is just sort of part of the deal. Traps (and cats) will of course help if you have low numbers, but I've see much more satisfying, long term success trying to think like a mouse, figure out what routes they're using and why they're going where they're going, and blocking those paths. Keeping them away from food will eventually solve the problem.

    Solve here of course meaning only the occasional mouse. Even if you're not getting too many, if you're starting to think maybe it could become an issue, it's better to act sooner rather than later. Speaking from experience!

    Remember, you don't have to be perfect in sealing up your house, just measurably better than your neighbors.

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  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    Sealing up your house, cats and dogs and removing building materials are the most effective ways to control mice. The presence of predators matters more than their mousing abilities.

    Baiting works ok, traps work reasonably well.

  • BrainleechBrainleech 機知に富んだコメントはここにあります Registered User regular
    It also helps to know where they are coming from are there open fields or such nearby? Any grocery stores or clumps of fast food places?

    I am overran with predators from feral cats to coyotes, hawks and I have seen a nest of gila monsters. as well as great plains rat snakes that paid me no heed as they sunned themselves on a bike path. I know there are mice around when I was at Walmart but I feel the number of predators keep the numbers low

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  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    edited February 1
    Amusing story. When I lived in Colorado a mouse was caught in a spider web. And so I grabbed my brothers cat who was a bona fide mouser to see her in action. She walked up pawed the mouse and then walked away in contempt to me being like “I thought you were a mouser.” I killed and disposed of the mouse. That evening, apparently in hurt pride...dead mouse on my pillow.

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  • HevachHevach Registered User regular
    edited February 1
    zepherin wrote: »
    Amusing story. When I lived in Colorado a mouse was caught in a spider web. And so I grabbed my brothers cat who was a bona fide mouser to see her in action. She walked up pawed the mouse and then walked away in contempt to me being like “I thought you were a mouser.” I killed and disposed of the mouse. That evening, apparently in hurt pride...dead mouse on my pillow.

    Domestic cats are kind of broken as predators. They're thrill predators that kill for play more than food. They'll kill far more than the will ever eat no matter how well fed, they'll torture their prey, they'll release it just to chase it again and hurt it to hear it squeak. It's great for pest control, because they'll kill and kill and kill until they're out of things to kill. It's also really bad for the local small animal population because they will also do this to birds, lizards, frogs, fish, snakes, bugs, worms, whatever.

    Offering her a trapped mouse didn't give her anything to hunt for. The dead mouse was a pity gift since you clearly can't kill them properly yourself. You got the dead mouse you asked for, and she probably got a few great minutes of play out of it before it died.

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