Fall is here and every living creation, from trees to people, is gearing up for the winter. Critters, too, are looking for a warm, snuggly place to spend the cold months, and your home is very inviting. Be they eight legged, four legged or no legged, chances are you don’t want them as housemates, so here are some natural and practical solutions to eliminating pests in the home, some courtesy of Planet Natural.
First, make sure your abode is sealed up as much as possible. Check seals around doors, windows, vents, wire entries, drainpipes, and other openings. Caulk or replace weather stripping where needed. Add wire mesh to the ends of any open duct work, such as dryer vents and gutters.
Look around the foundation for loose siding, boards, cracks, or settling of the foundation where openings can appear. Seal up where you can, or contact a professional for any jobs you aren’t sure how to do properly. Expanding foam insulation is a good sealant, since it expands and then hardens to fill cracks and holes. It can be messy, though, and it really expands quickly, so be cautious. It can look ugly if not applied correctly.
Mice: Mice love to come into a home where they can find food and warmth. These rodents eat any kind of food meant for humans, pets, livestock or other animals. They also contaminate 10 times as much food as they eat with urine, droppings and hair.
A very real problem with the infestation of mice is the Hantavirus which has been a threat in the arid southwestern part of the country. Another major concern is salmonellosis which is transmitted by mice and is a concern in food storage and preparation areas.
Mice only need an opening about the size of a nickel or dime to wriggle in. They breed very prodigiously. Mice make a handy meal for other critters, such as snakes, and you certainly don’t want this domino effect in your home.
Make your house as sanitary as possible. Keep all food in sealed containers they can’t gnaw through (not baggies). Use seal-able cabinets if needed. Keep food prep and storage areas very clean. A few crumbs is a full mouse meal (empty that toaster crumb tray).
Trapping is the most common method of mice elimination. Live and snap traps are both popular. Live traps allow you to catch and release the mice elsewhere (far away from your home). Effective bait includes cheese, bread and butter, small nuts, cherry pits, oatmeal, sunflower or similar seeds. Mice also like mixed peanut butter and oatmeal, and gumdrops.
Mouse bait is a poison that is attractive to mice. Some forms are “safe” around other animals, such as household pets, some are not. Safe for pets and livestock usually means that another animal eating a mouse that has ingested the bait will not be poisoned (your cat eats a mouse that has eaten the poison). Direct ingestion by house pets may be fatal to them. Mouse bail is usually set up in stations that have openings too small for house pets to access, but there is still that possibility. Follow directions exactly to keep your pets safe. Check the package or research online for the kind best for your needs.
You can research which chemicals are most environmentally friendly. Agrid 3 is one of the only eco-friendly mouse baits available. The active ingredient in Agrid3 is cholecalciferol (vitamin D3), killing rats and mice by mobilizing calcium from the bones into the bloodstream.
Ultrasonic devices can also be used to keep mice out of a designated area. These products produce sounds that are inaudible to humans or non-rodent animals. They are ecofriendly since they are non chemical. There are both indoor and outdoor versions available. The outdoor versions mainly target moles and other underground critters but are effective for rodents. Caution is advised because some pets are still sound sensitive no matter what the product claims. Effectiveness of these deices is also uncertain.
Mice control products are available at hardware and big box stores, and home improvement stores. You can often order specific products online from the manufacturer, allowing you to do research or call them for more information.
Be sure to keep all pest control products away from children!
Watch for more articles about ecofriendly fall pest control solutions.
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