Win the War Against Rodents:

antman season is here and mice are looking for a warm place to seek shelter.  These pests carry many diseases and can harm your family and damage your home.  Diseases such as Salmonella and Hantavirus can be transmitted to humans.  Mice are known to sometimes bring a few “hitchhikers” into our home.  Fleas, mites, and ticks are always looking for a free ride provided by rodents.  Take a few moments to perform this quick check-up to rodent proof your home to avoid the circus of possible problems.

Remember This During Inspection:
Rodents need three elements for survival;  Shelter, a food source, and water.  Some mice will only need the diameter of a penny to sneak their way into our home.  

Rodent Inspection
While outside, walk closely to the perimeter of your home and look for gaps, cracks, and holes where mice could enter.  Check around windows, doors, under doors, foundation, dryer vents, crawl space vents, and holes around gas lines, plumbing, cable, and electrical lines.

Hot Spots & Repairs
There are a few key areas to focus on which always create easy access for rodents.  Be sure to follow the lines going into the home located by the air conditioning unit.  This is one of the most common ways mice sneak inside our home.  If gaps are observed, place steel wool inside the gap and caulk or foam the entry point.  Another common hot spot is found with defective dryer vents.  These vents are sometimes damaged or missing key parts which would shield entry to the residence.  Replace the dryer vent if damaged is suspected or caulk outer edges if out of placement.  If your garage is attached to your home, be sure to check the overhead garage door to ensure it closes completely.  The rubber seal which meets the concrete may need to be replaced if any gaps or damage is seen.  Also, be aware of decks which are attached to your home and how they may affect the integrity and structure of the house.

What to do if rodents are in your home…
Bad news: If you see a mouse in your home, there are most likely more.  The good news is they can be managed and eliminated with a persistent effort.
Step One: Identify the size of your problem.  What time are you seeing them?  Mice usually come out to explore in the evening or early morning when it is dark.  If you are seeing them during the day, it is possible that there are many mice inside the home.  Also, be sure to inspect for mouse droppings within the home.  Look inside kitchen drawers, cabinets, behind stoves, behind refrigerators, behind couches, under kitchen sink, beds, basements, cluttered corners, and anywhere you have seen activity.  The number of fresh droppings will give us information about the quantity of mice we are dealing with.
Step Two:  Try to locate their harboring area.  Where are you seeing activity?  Mice usually stay close to their nest (within 10-30 feet).  Finding their exact nesting area can be very difficult sometimes.  It could be behind a wall or even wedged under flooring in a well hidden dark area.  Look closely for mouse dropping around the house.  The area containing the most droppings will be focused on most during treatment.
Step Three:  What are the mice using as a food source?   Do you have a pet?  If so be sure to check the bag for holes and signs of activity.  Mice aren’t hunting for only cheese.  Some mice will eat anything they find and some are picky.  Check all food in your pantry and be sure no activity is found. Try to find the food source and discard it or transfer to a strong container or canister.  Keep your house clean and remove mouse droppings daily.
Step Four:  Get rid of mice…  Choose your method of removal:  Snap traps, glue traps, live traps, or poisonous bait.  When baiting a trap or bait station, be sure not to handle the food.  Wear rubber gloves to place bait on the trap.  Some research suggests that handling the food during the baiting process will deter rodents from attempting.  Begin to place traps in high activity areas.  Remove and discard the dead or trapped rodents immediately if possible.  Remove mouse droppings on a daily basis.  Do not vacuum up mouse droppings!  Vacuuming or sweeping will make particles airborne which can cause disease.  Instead create a solution suggested by the Center of Disease Control:  1 part bleach and 10 parts water in a spray bottle.  Gently mist the droppings and allow it to sit for 30 minutes.  Then with rubber gloves, respirator and a paper towel clean-up droppings and place in a sealed bag.  Then, discard bag in trash can.  Reinspect your home on a daily basis and look for new droppings.  Once mouse droppings are absent in your home for several days you may have the upper hand in the battle.  Just remember, that rodents will sometimes avoid new traps and objects they observe in their environment for a few days.  Once they get used to seeing these foreign objects they will then explore and become trapped!  This is not the case for every situation, but mice can be intelligent and stubborn pests at times.  So it is not uncommon to see zero activity for a few days once the traps are placed and set.
Step Five:  How did they get into your home?  Follow the inspection part above and begin closing up any holes or cracks you see on the exterior of the home and garage.  Remember that it will only take the diameter of a penny for some mice to wedge their way into our home.  Take advantage of using exclusion materials while sealing up your home.  These exclusion materials consist of Steel wool, netting, caulk, and foam.

Key Rodent Facts:
The average adult house mouse is 5-7.5 inches with tail
Bait your sticky & snap traps with Slim Jim’s & Peanut Butter
Wild mice live usually 1 to 2 years on average
Female house mice will become mature to reproduce at 8 weeks old
Mice leave their litter at one month old and begin their own path
Females can have up to 10 litters per year which produces 30 to 60 mice
Mice can only see somewhat clearly 6 inches in front of them
Mice are color blind
Rodents are great climbers and can jump
Mice can jump up to 12 inches
Mouse micro droplets of urine can cause allergies in children
Viruses are spread to humans by contaminated dried feces and urine
Once the contaminated dried urine and feces is disturbed it becomes air borne
Viruses are transferred to humans through small particles in the air which we inhale
Mice are most active at night unless there is a huge infestation
A mouse needs water to survive:  If water is scarce they could extract it from their urine
Mice can eat through paper, cardboard, wires, and even some forms of plastic
Rodents can communicate by urine odors…
Rodents can pick-up diet information by other rodents when contacting each others feces
Mouse droppings resemble a dark caraway seed
Ultrasonic rodent repellers- Studies have shown negative long-term control during usage
When trapping mice in your home… Always overestimate your problem and set more   rodent traps than you think needed

Best regards,

Dave McCracken
A.N.T. Pest Control Inc.

About The Bug Doctor

Jerry Schappert is a certified pest control operator and Associate Certified Entomologist with over two and a half decades of experience from birds to termites and everything in between. He started as a route technician and worked his way up to commercial/national accounts representative. Always learning in his craft he is familiar with rural pest services and big city control techniques. Jerry has owned and operated a successful pest control company since 1993 in Ocala,Florida. While his knowledge and practical application has benefitted his community Jerry wanted to impart his wisdom on a broader scale to help many more. was born from that idea in 2007 and has been well received. It is the goal of this site to inform you with his keen insights and safely guide you through your pest control treatment needs.

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