It's been said that if you build a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to your door, and there's a lot of history to back up that saying.
Mice have been pests of humankind for all of recorded history, and mouse control is one of the most in-demand services provided by exterminators throughout the world. People have been trying to keep mice out of their homes and businesses pretty much forever.
In North Georgia (and in most places), mouse control in urban areas is most in demand in the fall and early winter, when mice and rats start looking for warm, cozy places to spend the cooler months. In more rural areas of North Georgia, mouse control is less seasonal. Keeping mice out of stables, barns, silos, and other agricultural buildings is more of a year-round challenge than mouse control in cities.
The adult house mouse, Mus musculus, averages about three inches in length (not including the tail) and is usually gray or brown in color, with white or light-colored bellies. They have relatively large and prominent ears, and their tails are roughly the same length as their bodies. Their bodies are fur-covered except for their ears and tails, which have very little hair.
The house mouse's skeletal system allows mice to squeeze through very narrow openings. An adult house mouse can squeeze through a crack about the width of the thickness of a pencil, or through a hole about the size of a dime. Once they get inside, they can travel throughout a home inside the walls and ceilings. That's why mice can be found anywhere in a house from the attic down to the basement or crawl space. Given a choice, however, mice usually settle down very near to their food sources.
Part of the reason mice like to stay close to home is that they have relatively poor vision and navigate mainly by smell and touch. They feel their way along walls and other vertical surfaces and are uncomfortable in open spaces where they are more vulnerable to predators.
Paradoxically, however, mice are also very curious creatures who readily explore new objects in their environments, including mousetraps. In fact, professional mouse exterminators often use no bait at all on certain types of mouse traps, relying on the mouse's natural curiosity instead.
Mice pose a much more serious risk to personal and public health than most people realize.
Mice are directly involved in the transmission of several serious diseases including Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus, leptospirosis, salmonellosis, and dysentery. They're also hosts to parasites such as ticks and fleas, which in turn are involved in the transmission of serious diseases including Lyme disease, murine typhus, and even plague.
In addition, because of their small size and inquisitive nature, mice come into closer contact with humans than do their larger cousins, the rats. Mice often get into kitchen cupboards, for example, where they gnaw through food packages to get at the goodies inside, contaminating the food with their saliva, hair, and bodily wastes in the process, and spreading germs everywhere they go.
Mice also get into drawers, closets, and other storage spaces more easily, where they damage and contaminate clothing, utensils, and other stored items. Mice are gnawers and nibblers, and it's common for them to gnaw little pieces out of every garment in a drawer, while also contaminating and staining the clothing with their droppings and urine.
Most mouse exterminators rely primarily on poisons to control mice. They place bait trays or boxes in strategic areas throughout your home, and then comes back on a regular basis (usually weekly or monthly, depending on how bad the mouse infestation is) to refill the bait stations.
They do this pretty much forever in most cases. That's because you can't permanently solve a mouse problem using poisons. Yes, the mice die after they eat the rodenticide. But unless they're sealed out of the hose, "new" mice will quickly move in to replace the "old" mice. Mouse control done without mouse exclusion is nothing more than an endless cycle of swapping old mice for new mice.
That's pretty good for the exterminator's job security, but not so much for the homeowner. They're paying someone -- forever -- to not solve their mouse problem.
Fortunately, that's not how we do mouse control. Consistent with our emphasis on Integrated Pest Management (IPM), Rid-A-Critter uses non-chemical mouse control that doesn't rely on poison. We trap the mice, remove them from your home, and use exclusion techniques to keep mice out of your house.
Our non-chemical mouse control program emphasizes habitat modification, trapping, and exclusion as the primary mouse control tools. By preventing mice from getting into your home in the first place, we provide a more permanent mouse-control solution.
Our non-chemical, "green" approach to mouse control is also more environmentally responsible than using poisons because eliminating the need for pesticides also eliminates the risk of accidental poisoning of pets or non-target animals. It also eliminates the possibility of secondary poisoning, which is when a larger animal such as a hawk, fox, or pet dog or cat eats a mouse that has been poisoned. Finally, non-chemical mouse control eliminates the possibility of a poisoned mouse dying in your home and stinking up the place.
In the long run, our IPM approach to mouse control is also more economical because it's a more permanent mouse control solution. With good mouse-proofing, there's no need for a technician to return every month to fill bait stations. The mice are sealed out of your house.
Here are a few randomly-selected pictures of mouse extermination jobs we've done. (Stay tuned -- more on the way!)
Rid-A-Critter is Georgia's largest and most well-established non-chemical mouse control company. We have technicians living and working throughout our North Georgia service area. If you're ready to try a new, more environmentally responsible, and more permanent way to keep mice out of your house, please contact us for a prompt inspection by one of our local experts.