No one likes to see a mouse in the house. Seeing a flash of fur dashing along the baseboard can startle the heartiest homeowner, and finding a pile of pellets in the pantry isn't an appetizing way to plan a meal. Now animal researchers at Tufts University have found a new reason to mouse-proof your house. The scientists have discovered a new illness related to Lyme disease that's carried by the ticks that frequently ride those roaming mice wherever they scamper.
Ticks are terrific disseminators of disease because they have a huge hunger for blood - drinking up to 200 times their own body weight - combined with a wide palate. Any animal will do for a quick meal, so thirsty ticks hop between mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, swiftly spreading germs and viruses. A wandering mouse is a favorite host for ticks because it searches over a broad area for its favorite meals of seeds and insects. A deer mouse is also creative in finding new nesting spots, such as woodpiles and house decks outdoors, or basements and wall voids inside a house.
Keep mice outside the house
Fortunately, pest control management workers know some simple steps for keeping mice out of residential homes. The best prevention is to keep the critters out of the house before they make themselves comfortable and build a nest. Search out the smallest holes around your house, making sure those screens over attic vents and dryer exhausts are firmly attached, inspecting weather stripping around doors and windows, and replacing loose putty around utility lines and wires that pass through house walls.
"The most effective means of pest control is controlling the problem before it becomes a problem," Missy Henriksen, spokeswoman for the National Pest Management Association, told The Denver Post.
Clean up the yard
Another step for effective mouse control is cutting back shrubs and landscaping that touch your home, and rodent-proofing your garbage cans by elevating them on wooden platforms. Some homeowners also fasten trash bin lids with rubber cords to discourage curious pests.
Package stored food
After making a careful inspection of the outside of your home, head indoors to hide the food that usually attracts the mice in the first place. Use heavy plastic containers to store foods such as grains, pet food and bird seed. Pick up your pet's food and water bowls overnight to remove another temptation.
The third stage of mouse prevention is to set traps, from basic snap-traps to glue, poison or electronic versions. And never hesitate to call in a professional pest control service such as Abell Pest Control.