Tips from the experts on how to keep your place free of mice
If you’re a mouse, there’s nothing nicer than a warm hot water cupboard in winter. So it’s hardly surprising that right about now, there are mice doing everything they can to try and find a way into your home.
The only successful way to get rid of mice is bait, he says. “A mouse won’t go near a trap if it sees another mouse caught in it.”He also advises against buying bait from the shop, “It’s normally quite hard, if there are other food sources around the mouse will go for those over a tough bit of bait.”
“Mice use long grass and bush to hide from birds, if this is kept tidy they’ll be less inclined to be attracted to your property.”Trees more than half a metre from the roof line should also be watched, “rodents use these like a ladder to get into your roof cavity,” he says.
THE TRADITIONAL MOUSETRAP
Experts advise that for best results these should be laid perpendicular to the wall where you have seen signs of rodents. Rats, being pretty clever, need to familiarise themselves with a trap, so best to lay unset traps out for a few days first.
The type you use will depend on your situation and household setup. There are powders and bait blocks, as well as bait stations, which help with safety, keeping the bait away from children, pets and other species. Keep putting out the bait until it stops being taken.
Rodents Chewing On Your Car Wires?
The engine bay in your car is dark, cool (when the engine is off), and inviting to all the wrong kinds of guests–like rodents looking for a shelter from the hot day. Because rodents have ever-growing teeth, they have a tendency to gnaw on things
Move Your Audi Frequently
Anyone who has experienced can understand the appeal of a cool, shaded spot–and rodents feel the same way. If your vehicle isn’t being driven often, the engine bay fits the bill perfectly. However, as soon as you turn on your Audi, it becomes loud and hot. Rodents will avoid places like these, so make sure that you move your vehicle regularly to avoid creating an overly hospitable home for them.
There are many reasons why it’s better to avoid parking your Audi outside when possible, and rodent avoidance is one of them. This isn’t going to affect your vehicle if you’re parking on the street to run into a store or eat at a restaurant; however, long-term outdoor parking may make your Audi more appealing to rodents. The reason is simple: more rodents live outside than inside.
Seal Your Garage
If you park in a garage and mice or rats are still getting into your vehicle’s engine bay, it’s a good idea to seal your garage. Look for cracks and holes where they might be getting through, and then stuff these places with steel wool. Rodents can’t chew through steel wool, which makes it a good barrier.
Move Food Sources Away
Do you have a dog? A cat? Where do you keep their food? Big bins of pet food are convenient, but if they’re placed anywhere near your car, they could be attracting rodents. Move any food sources away from your Audi, and be sure to secure any large bins so uninvited guests don’t have an easy way in.
Rats and mice – prevention and control
Feral rats and mice are very adaptable public health pests. They are not fussy eaters and can make themselves at home in houses, sheds, garages and gardens. As well as causing unpleasant odours and damage to property and possessions, feral rodents can also pose a risk to human health.
Introduced rodents can:
Carry diseases such as leptospirosis and typhus fever.
Contaminate food with their hair, droppings and urine, resulting in food poisoning and spoilage.
Generate unpleasant odours.
Carry fleas or ticks which can harm pets or humans.
Damage materials such as food containers, wood, particle board, insulation and wiring through gnawing.
Types of rodents
(for example Hopping Mice) pose little or no threat to public health and should be left alone as they are protected species. However introduced rodents may infest residential and agricultural areas and carry disease
The common feral rodents in SA are:
the Black Rat (Rattus rattus)
Brown Rat (Rattus norvegicus)
House Mouse (Mus musculus).
These pests will eat rubbish, pet food, food scraps, composts, fallen fruit and nuts, bird seed and dog faeces. Rats will travel up to several house blocks to find water and food.
Grey, brown or black in colour and larger than mice, reaching up to 25cm in body length and 400g in weight.
Give a rat a bone: satisfying rodents’ need to gnaw
Gnawing is an important natural behavior for rodents. Rodents’ teeth grow continuously throughout their lives, and gnawing maintains their dental health. In keeping with recommendations of the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, rodents should be provided with enrichment items that encourage gnawing as a natural behavior. Bio-Serv offers two different types of chewable bone-shaped enrichment items for lab rats and mice that are safe and economical.
Rodents have open-rooted dentition, meaning that their teeth grow continuously throughout their lives. The incisors, which are specialized for gnawing, continue to grow and curve. It was observed in rats that incisors allowed to grow without restraint would form a spiral with an angle of 86° (ref. 2). The incisors have hard enamel only on the front surface, with soft dentin in the back, and so they wear down at an angle, with the soft dentin wearing off before the enamel does. This guarantees a sharp, bevel-shaped cutting edge.
Rodents, and rats in particular, can gnaw powerfully, because of the attachment points of the masseter muscles. Their anatomic position enables them to move the lower jaw up and down and far forward. The masseter muscles pass through the eye sockets and insert behind the eyes. During gnawing, the rapid movement of the masseter muscles moves the eyeballs move up and down, a phenomenon called eye boggling.
Gnawing behavior in rodents
Gnawing is an important natural behavior by which rodents maintain their dental health and prevent the development of malocclusion. In a rodent with malocclusion, the teeth are not aligned properly, and natural grinding cannot take place. Gnawing and bruxing (or soft, repetitive grinding of the incisors against each other) help keep the incisors sharp and trimmed. If they are not trimmed, they can cause trauma to the soft palate, infection and abscesses, which in turn will eventually lead to starvation.
Encouraging gnawing behavior in lab rodents
In the wild, rodents gnaw on sticks and bark. In the laboratory, the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals suggests providing rodents with beneficial chewing enrichment such as wood chewing sticks1. Some people are concerned that rodents might ingest such material, resulting in an intestinal obstruction, but those fears are unfounded as rodents actually grind the material into bits, swallowing very little if any of it. It is possible that tiny pieces of the material could be ingested, however, so it is important to provide laboratory rodents with safe gnawing materials.
as long as you avoid contact with rodents
What is the hantavirus?
This family of diseases is spread mainly by rodents — particularly the deer mouse in the U.S. — and can cause different diseases in people around the world. Each hantavirus has a specific rodent host species. Hantaviruses in the Americas are known as “New World” hantaviruses, and can cause hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS), with symptoms including fatigue, fever and muscle ache in early stages, and coughing and shortness of breath later on. Other hantaviruses, known as “Old World” hantaviruses, are mostly seen in Europe and Asia, and can cause hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS), with symptoms including intense headaches, back and abdominal pain, fever, chills, nausea and blurred vision. Both diseases are considered rare, but can be fatal.
How do people get infected with hantavirus?
The CDC notes that human hantavirus infections tend to happen sporadically, and most often in rural areas with forests, fields and farms that are appealing habitats for these rodent hosts — particularly the deer mouse in the U.S., although the cotton mouse, rice rat and white-footed mouse have also been known to carry hantaviruses.
The rodents shed the virus in their saliva, urine and feces, and people most commonly contract it by breathing in tiny droplets containing the virus that get stirred up into the air when fresh rodent urine, droppings or nesting materials are stirred up. This can happen while cleaning in and around your home, if you have rodents living there, too. Opening or cleaning sheds and previously unused buildings, particularly in rural settings, could also expose people to infected rodent droppings. Construction, utility and pest control workers can also come into contact with it while working in crawl spaces or buildings that may be infested with mice. And hikers and campers may be exposed when camping or sheltering in rodent habitats.
Researchers also believe that people can contract the hantavirus if they touch something that has been contaminated with rodent urine, droppings, or saliva, and then touch their nose or mouth. [Keep up that handwashing.] They suspect people can become sick if they eat food contaminated by urine, droppings or saliva from an infected rodent, as well. And in rare cases, the virus can be spread if a rodent carrying the virus bites someone.
Note: The CDC states that the hantaviruses that cause human illness in the United States cannot be transmitted from one person to another, such as from touching or kissing a person with it, or from a health care worker who treated someone with it.