At ABC Wildlife, we adore animals.  We adopt and raise them, we work very hard to educate the public about them, we have animal shirts, animal coffee mugs, and all manner of animal tchotchkes.  Animals are our passion day in and day out, and from foxes to pigeons to mice, we always want to give them the best chance of survival.  In this blog post, I’m going to talk specifically about humane mouse control and what you can do to avoid causing them harm.

There are some humane capture mouse traps available on the market, the theory being that once you’ve caught the mice, they can be released somewhere.  Logically, this seems like a great solution; as long as you put them someplace with grass and trees, they’ll be fine.  But did you know that mice live their entire lives within 30 feet of their burrow?  Being displaced can be catastrophic for them.  Studies have shown that relocating animals actually greatly decreases their chance of survival.

Humane Mouse control 2

Typical ABC Wildlife desk. How many animals can you find?

When we’re training our new technicians, we always use the analogy of being dropped in the middle of Tokyo.  You have no currency, you don’t know anyone, you don’t speak the language, and you don’t know which parts of the city are safe.  You probably wouldn’t fair all that well there, right?  Of course, you’d figure out how to get by eventually, but most animals don’t possess that kind of critical thinking.  For relocated animals, there will be competition for food and shelter from animals who are already in that area, and that typically leads to starvation.

So now you’re asking, “Okay, how can I deal with my mouse problem without hurting the mice?”  The key is to keep from having a problem in the first place.

Gap Seal

Mice are going to seek out places that can offer the basics: shelter, warmth, and food.  Houses, garages, sheds, etc. all meet these requirements and will be full of little holes and cracks where mice can get inside.  The best solution to this problem is to seal up these gaps.  At ABC Wildlife, we can rodent-proof a house top to bottom.  Out technicians understand how structures are built, and know all of those places where rodents are most likely to enter.  We seal up homes using a variety of techniques depending on where the gap is, and we also install guards over dryer and exhaust vents that mice can’t chew through.  By preventing the mice from being able to enter, you’ll also prevent ever having to exterminate them.

Clean Up Your Yard

There are features of your yard that can contribute to a pest problem without you even know it.  Bird feeders are a good example.  On top of birds already being messy eaters, since most birdseed mixes contain several types of seed, birds will pick through until they find the kind they like.  This means that the ground around the bird feeder becomes covered in feed, and I can assure you that birds aren’t the only animals that like seeds.  Mice, raccoons, skunks, and squirrels will gobble that right up, too.  We suggest that our customers remove bird feeders altogether, but if that isn’t a possibility for you, clean the area around the feeder regularly.  I would also recommend making sure your lawn is well-trimmed (since rodents like high grass) and keeping garbage, debris, or any leftover food out of the yard.

Keep You House Tidy

Now and then, all of us leave dishes sitting out overnight or don’t wipe the crumbs off the counter immediately after they’ve fallen.  But making a habit of this can become a problem.  Like I said before, mice are going to look for places to live where they have easy access to food.  Dirty plates and little bits of food on the counter are just the sort of thing that they’ll go after.  Make sure your counters are wiped, your kitchen and pantry floors are swept, and your dishes get washed as quickly as possible.

If you’ve already got a rodent infestation on your hands, it’s important that you get it taken care of ASAP.  ABC Wildlife’s mouse treatment program is very effective at eliminating the current population.  If you then follow that up with our gap sealing and animal proofing services, you can help prevent having to worry about future infestations.  The most humane mouse control is to not have to control the mice at all.  Give us a call today at (847) 870-7175 to ask about our animal proofing and mouse treatment program.

Let us know your humane mouse control questions in the comments section!

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VitoVito Brancato is a wildlife specialist and educator with over 15 years of animal and pest management experience.  He is a certified Wildlife Control Operator through the National Wildlife Control Operators Association and belongs to the National Pest Management Association and the Illinois Pest Control Association.  He is an avid beekeeper and nature enthusiast.

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