When rains and chilly weather arrive in our Sacramento pest control region, you know rodent season has arrived along with it. Although rats and mice can be year-round pest control problems, cold and rain send them indoors in droves, seeking warmth and safety for nesting.
A small mouse problem can quickly mushroom into big trouble. A female house mouse (Mus musculus) can produce five to 10 litters per year, consisting of five or six mice pups per litter. Gestation period for a house mouse is 19 to 21 days, and the young reach reproductive age within six to 10 weeks. Only 5 to 7 inches long full-grown, including a 3- to 4-inch tail, these tiny rodents can nevertheless do extensive damage—including chewing of insulation from telephone and electrical wires—a serious fire hazard—and dangerous contamination of food supplies. Although house mice are not proven to cause the dangerous hanta virus, they are known to carry more than 200 other diseases, including salmonella and Leptospirosis, a disease with influenza-like symptoms.
Although there are many products on the market aimed at exterminating mice and other rodents, most can have unintended harmful consequences. Poisons can endanger pets or even children, and you could end up with a dead mouse inside your walls or attic, with the attendant odor of decomposition. Electronic signal devices claiming to deter mice have proven ineffective. Some people opt for live traps—however, UC Integrated Pest Management guidelines caution that mice captured live in urban areas should be taken to Animal Control or a veterinarian to be euthanized; in more rural areas, a live mouse should be transported and released in a non-populated area at least one mile from the capture site—otherwise the risk of increased mouse population or reinfestation is high. Most experts agree the old-fashioned snap-trap is best. The animal is in most cases killed instantly; it can easily be retrieved and disposed of; and you know you got it.
As always, a trained, licensed and certified pest-control professional is your safest bet to remove rodents and prevent reinfestation. The pest control professional has been trained to identify entry points into your home so they can be sealed off and to recognize signs of mice or rat trails and nesting locations. For more about controlling and preventing mice infestation, see our November 2009 article.
At Earth Guard Pest Services, our licensed pest control technicians are trained to work with you and your family to find the most effective means of controlling rodent infestations in your specific situation. Contact us today for a free inspection and estimate: 916-457-7605 or [email protected].