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Do-It-Yourself Mouse Control


Part 2: Chemical Mouse Control (Poisoning)

Disadvantages of Using Rodenticides

Controlling mice with rodenticides is usually unnecessary and has a number of disadvantages.

Poison baits designed to kill mice are often toxic in varying degrees to humans and other animals, if those baits are ingested (although the amount of rodenticide needed to kill a larger animal is usually many times more than than needed to kill a mouse because the toxic effects of most rodenticides are dose-dependent depending upon the animal's weight). Nonetheless, many domestic pets and other non-target animals, and some humans, are accidentally poisoned by rodenticides every year.

Some (not all) rodenticides also exhibit secondary toxicity. The way this works is that if a mouse eats a poison that is secondarily toxic, then the mouse itself becomes toxic. If another animal (like a dog or cat) eats the mouse or its carcass, that animal can be poisoned by the rodenticide in the rat's body.

Aside from the toxic risks associated with rodenticides, there is also the risk of poisoned mice dying inside wall voids or other inaccessible structural elements of a building. This can happen even when the poison is set outside the building, as it may take as long as a week for mice to die after eating some poison baits.

So whenever possible, try non-chemical mouse control methods first, and use poisons only when necessary.

Proper Selection and Use of Rodenticides

When the use of rodenticide baits for mice is necessary, parrafinized anticoagulant baits like Just One Bite Rodenticide, which contains the active ingredient bromadialone, are recommended. Bromadialone is the same active ingredient used in many professional rat and mouse control products.

Paraffinized baits (and rodenticides in general) should be used inside tamper-resistant bait stations. The use of bait stations not only helps protect children and non-target animals from accidental ingestion, but also helps keep the bait fresh and clean. In addition, mice are naturally inquisitive and will be attracted to the opening. Once inside the station, mice feel more secure and are more likely to feed freely, making the bait station more effective than simply using exposed bait in trays.

The placement of bait stations is not that different from the placement of traps. The stations should be placed along mouse runways with the open ends in the mice's paths. They should be secured to a surface with screws, nails, glue, or heavy-duty double-sided tape. Care should be taken not to place rodenticide stations in areas in which mice may track rodenticide particles onto food, food handling surfaces, or other sensitive areas. As with any pesticide, always read, understand, and follow the label instructions.

But remember: poisoning should be looked upon as only a small part of an overall mouse control program. Sanitation, harborage reduction, and exclusion are the real keys to long-lasting protection against rodents.