Tips for dealing with household rodents

A mouse

A mouse

OKANOGAN— An ever-increasing rodent population around the county has not turned up any new cases of Hantavirus, according to officials.

Deer mice and house mice have decided to become year-round breeders, which has led to the increased rodent population. Deer mice are the only known carriers of Hantavirus, according to health officials.

Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome consists of fever and flu like symptoms, which lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome, also known as ARDS, with shock and respiratory failure.

“This is a productive year for rodents,” said Mid-Valley Pest Control owner Russell Brantner. “Rodents don’t have a specific time of year they prefer to breed, so you may find new mice throughout the year.”

Brantner said mice can have six to eight offspring in each litter and can have up to 14 litters in a year. Baby mice are also known as pups and/or pinkies due to the pink coloring and nakedness when they are born. This can lead to a huge increase in mice population, if not dealt with quickly.

“The best solution to stop mice from getting back into your home is to use poison around the outside of your residence in small amounts,” Brantner said. “Use small amounts of poison, so that household pets do not attempt to eat the poison.”

Deer mice have light reddish brown fur on their back and head, with a solid white underbelly and white feet, with a white and brown tail. Deer mice have larger ears and eyes than a house mouse. A house mouse is generally all brown or grey in color.

Mice can cause damage to both vehicles and homes.

Mice will chew electrical wiring in homes and vehicles, leading to costly repairs. Mice are scavengers and will gather all sorts of items throughout your home to add to their nest. If you happen to find tiny holes or tears in your clothing, chewed or torn remains of books on your shelves, it is most likely due to the scavenging of mice.

Types of mouse traps

  • Snap traps, electronic traps, poison bates, and glue or live traps. Snap traps are an inexpensive way to trap mice, but can snap the human right back while trying to set the trap. Family pets can sometimes be curious and injure themselves on snap traps, so put them where curious pets won’t get into them.
  • Electronic traps are costlier, but give a high voltage shock, which kills the mouse.
  • Poison kills the mouse, but the mouse could crawl off and die in a location away from the bait, where you don’t see it, and eventually will start to smell.
  • Glue and live traps are inexpensive but a little messy because they don’t kill the mouse. If glue traps get stuck to pets, it can be hard to get off and may leave behind a bald and tender area on your pet’s skin.

Mouse Prevention

Keep counters clutter free, seal around windows and doors, don’t leave pet food low to the ground, keep pantries and cabinets closed; with dry goods and boxed goods off the ground. Keep trash can lids closed tight, and stack firewood and lumber as far from the house as possible.

Cleaning after mice removal

Wear rubber gloves and face mask to prevent skin and eye contact. Use bleach and water to soak the area where dead mice, droppings, and urine, before disposing of the remains. Let the solution soak and then use a wet rag to remove. Do not sweep the material, as you may breathe in the mouse feces and/or fumes which can cause illness. Dispose of contaminated items in an outdoor trashcan.


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