There are a range of different poisons and traps for controlling rats and mice. The concern is that many of these methods are inhumane and involve a long slow and painful death. |
In addition to banning the use of loose baits, the EPA is banning the use of poisons called "second-generation anticoagulants" that kill by causing internal bleeding after a single dose.
So how can you get rid of mice in your home naturally? Here are a few tips, from the EPA guidelines:
* Seal cracks and holes in the house that can allow mice to enter. (You'll also save energy.) * Remove food sources that may attract them, such as trash, pet food or fruit that has fallen from trees. Store your food properly. * Housecats are nature's mouse predator. Just don't let them outside, because they also kill songbirds. Never use mouse poison, because your cat could easily ingest it along with the mouse. * Capture mice with live traps and move them far from the home. * Use snap traps with sensitive triggers that are more likely to kill quickly. Use as many as 10 traps near any known mouse hole, and position them about 2 feet apart along walls, with the bait end against the wall. Use gloves, or your scent on the traps may make them ineffective. * Glue traps are unlikely to kill mice quickly, but can be effective. Keep them in place for at least five days so mice become accustomed to them. * Repellent sound devices may or may not work, but are designed to annoy mice with a high-frequency sound that humans can't hear. * Poison bait boxes can be used as a last resort. Look for tamper- and weather-proof boxes that use first-generation (multiple-dose) anticoagulants. Place them only in areas that are inaccessible to pets and children.
The use of live traps is a popular choice for many people who do not like the idea of killing mice and rats but want to remove them from their home or property. However, the humaneness of live traps depends on how frequently the traps are checked, the design of the trap, and whether food, water or nesting material are provided to avoid starvation, dehydration or cold stress. Live traps must be designed to avoid injury during closure and when the animal is trapped inside. Check the trap mechanism and ensure that it will not catch the tail or limbs of the animal when it closes
A more humane and faster method than live trapping and killing is the use of a well-designed snap trap. These come in different sizes that can be used for either mice or rats. You need to choose a reliable and well-designed trap which ensures that the animal's head is fully inside the trap area when the trap is triggered and can be consistently set and reset. When designed and used properly, snap traps ensure a quick death to the mouse or rat and can be reused:
When setting the trap you should:
* Place the bait only within the marked bait area and keep the rest of the trap clean of any food matter. This will reduce the likeihood of the trap closing and injuring the animal rather than killing it. You can use a variety of baits including peanut butter, dried fruit and bread. The bait should be changed regularly to keep it fresh. * Place the trap at right angles to a wall or other solid object with the bait nearest to the wall and in a place that provides the rodent with a path to the trap.
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