Mice are quite prevalent in the Kansas City area. Often times we find evidence of mice in attics, basements, garages, kitchens and crawl spaces. The most common times we see mice in houses is winter when they are trying to find warmth and shelter.
The house mouse is the number one pest in the world because it is so social, adaptable and requires very little food and space. They live 1-2 years, have 4-7 pups per litter and can have a litter every 28 days. Babies mature in about eight weeks.
Rats and mice can’t see beyond 3 or 4 feet but they have a keen sense of smell, touch, and hearing. This is why they are more active in the dark.
Rodents’ taste allows them to detect some chemicals at parts – per million concentrations.
Rats and mice use smell to recognize pathways to and from food.
Rats and mice have a highly developed sense of touch from whiskers and sensitive body hairs. They like to touch and smell familiar objects in their home territory and when they explore.
Rats and mice are vectors of diseases by contaminating people’s food with feces and urine and or bacteria picked up from sewers, garbage, etc. Some examples include salmonellosis & campylobacteriosis (severe food poison). Rat-bite fever is present in the saliva in a rodent’s bite. Typhoid and dysentery are two other diseases they can spread.
Rats and mice indirectly cause disease by fleas and mites who bite them and then thy bite people. Some examples are the plague, murine typhus, and ricketsetta pox.
Rats and mice can and will eat almost anything (plant or animal) to meet their nutritional needs. Rats need free standing water, mice can meet their water needs if necessary from their food intake alone.
As with any type of pest problem a thorough, all inclusive inspection to determine the type of rodent, nesting areas, feeding patterns and the degree of infestations paramount.
The best long term solution is to ascertain all points of entry and begin a comprehensive trapping program. Simultaneously, an exclusion to all these entries and potential entries should be done followed by interior trapping to make sure no rodents are trapped inside.
Rat and mice exclusions are done using materials that rodents can’t chew through such as steel wool, metal flashing, and hardware cloth.