By Austin M. Frishman, Ph.D.
As technology and recent research shows, we are learning important lessons about mice, such as:
Tips for PMPs
• Mice are not dumb animals and can learn to avoid glue boards, snap traps and other mechanical devices.
• They are capable of transmitting a variety of viruses and bacteria harmful to humans.
• They are better adapted than rats to develop resistance to certain rodenticides over time.
• If a mouse population is well-entrenched, setting up a "clean out" procedure and then placing it on regular service does not work.
• Assess each job by inspecting before you price to determine how much time and effort it is going to demand.
• Schedule frequent follow-up visits and services after the initial set up.
• Remove rodent droppings to determine where non-activity is occurring. Consider doing this at a price.
• Remember pest proofing is critical and is a separate job from the elimination of the existing mice.
• Do not install control devices an equal distance apart around the interior and exterior perimeter of an account. Look for mouse activity in the center and concentrate on all areas.
• Think three-dimensionally about where these pests may live. For example, suspended ceiling areas are warm and quiet.
• Try to determine how the mice first entered so you can construct a plan to prevent it in the future. Sometimes you have to go out at night to watch where and how many mice are active.
Goods and pallets: Keep in mind mice can harbor in incoming goods and pallets. Re-palletize material before it enters the building. If a product is found with active mice, a follow-up inspection for the source is required either by your firm or someone else in that area. It is imperative to go back to the source of the infestation.
Invasion from exterior: Remove conducive conditions as best as possible. This can mean keeping vegetation low and removing it from immediately adjacent to the structure, discarding debris and maintaining better garbage storage.
Without these steps and considerations, you may be dealing with mice on a regular basis.
It is also important to remember the following when baiting for mice:
• No pelleted formulations indoors.
• No blocks in rodent burrows.
• Place all rodenticide in anchored, tamper-resistant bait stations.
• No place packs.
Follow all label directions. Recently, rodenticide labels started requiring proper gloves to protect the applicator from possible rodent-related diseases. Do not wait for this to occur on all labels. Do it now.
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