This is not a mouse house
Last week I was putting out food for the birds when I saw something scurry along by the side of the patio.
A rodent no less; you know, one with cute whiskers and a long tail…
I have to admit this particular mouse looked amazing – quite beautiful really with his glossy coat, shining eyes and sleek body.
I don’t mind living in harmony with nature or even sharing a bit of my food with other creatures. I’ll let slugs munch on lettuces and sparrows tug at the runner beans as long as they leave something for me.
We have several cats in the neighbourhood who do a pretty good job of keeping the rodent population down, but when rats or mice come into the house and start eating our food, I have to confess it’s one area where I toss my green and natural credentials aside and resort to chemicals.
This week I learned that mice are genetically built to find a way into houses and businesses. I’ve experienced myself how tenacious these creatures are; you have to admire them really. They will not only chew through plastic to get to a food source, one of our visitors actually excavated concrete!
I watched one the other day climb up a slim metal pole to get to some bird seed; it kept slipping back but was absolutely determined to reach the prize!
Amazing mice facts:
- They can squeeze through holes the width of a pencil
- They can climb walls (not to mention metal poles!)
- They can jump as high as 10 inches
- Mice live up to 18 months, by which time they may have had 7-8 litters of 4-16 pups
- They can chew through electrical wires and cause fires
- They can spread salmonella
How to prevent a mice infestation:
Fill the gaps
Ours got in through a gap where the washing machine hose came through the wall. Spend time checking your home for holes, and check around door and window fittings too.
If you remember mice are after food it’s no good storing tempting goodies in paper or cardboard; use strong plastic or metal containers for cereals and grains.
Keep it clean
Make sure you clean up after preparing food and eating. Mice will be attracted to the smell of food, so pay attention to areas around your cooker, cupboards and behind the fridge.
Whilst having mice in your home can be a serious and annoying problem, there’s a fun way to teach young children about them with this ScamperMouse Facebook app
You could even win one of my favourite childhood board games: “Mousetrap”!
What about you – what is the one area of your lifestyle where you can’t or won’t use the green / natural option?
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