mice and hantavirus infection

We have mice, or I should say, we have seen evidence of mouse activity. I am very very anti mouse, mostly because they can kill you. Oklahoma is rich with hantavirus loaded mice as we luck out and are the easternmost state for a few species of mouse and the westernmost state for a few other species. We’re a mouse wonderland.

So, as always, my first thought is to live and let live, only somewhere else. We’ve had success with live traps for rats before. We got a little plastic box thing that was supposed to be mouse proof and humane. I was initially skeptical that it would work at all and I was right – the mice were easily able to defeat the trap by turning it upside down. Mice 1 Humans 0.

Round two, the first of the kill traps. We used a good old fashioned snap trap, baited with peanut butter, and met with some signs of success, but no definite deaths. (We have a sprung, but bloodied, trap. Sorry mouse, I really don’t want you to suffer, but I do need you gone. I know you would kill me if I was threatening your babies.) We’ll keep trying that.

And now, round three, the glue trap. Ugh. I feel like that’s so inhumane but frankly I don’t know what else to do. I check it all the time, and as soon as I discover it has caught a mouse I’ll dispatch it posthaste.

Last resort is poison. I don’t want the kids to get into it, and I don’t want the lovely scent of dead mouse permeating my home. I tend to think the whole “go somewhere else to die” thing is wishful thinking.

If anyone has any really great ideas for me please shout out in the comments. We can’t get a cat, our lease prevents it. Although the landlord might wiggle on that, we’ve been here for years…

9 thoughts on “mice and hantavirus infection

  1. Hey Phoebe,

    We had a lot of mice, too, in our old house. The old-fashioned spring traps worked pretty well for us. We baited them with peanut butter. I think they come in a large size for rats and a smaller size for mice. When we had some mice that seemed able to lick all the peanut butter off without setting the trap off, my fil suggested tying a little piece of cheese to the trap, then covering the cheese w/ peanut butter. That was harder for the mice to outsmart (but not impossble).

    We found that the most important thing to do was to find out where the mice were getting into the house, and then seal up the entrance. If there are little holes they can enter through, they will just keep coming in, no matter what kind of trap or poison you use. We found a place around our kitchen sink pipes that the mice were getting in through, and once Matt sealed it up w/ some kind of expanding foam stuff, we saw a lot less mice.

    Do you think your landlord would be willing to have all the holes stopped up? I bet that would help a lot, although I know it’s probably pretty hard to find all the possible mouse entrances in an older home…

    Sigh…good luck…I’m really glad that the house we’re in now is mouse-free. I definately don’t miss those little critters at all!

  2. wow, I had no idea about the hantavirus. This house has always been full of mice, they were there when we moved in and we’ve had them on and off ever since. Hence Mark getting the cat. I’m goign to freak out and clean my entire kitchen with bleach now.

    We use the sticky traps, they seem to work the best, you can get some that have euthenasia on them and they numb the mice and kill them. That seems more humane to me.

  3. i could tell you stories about the sticky trap, including the time my youngest got stuck in one. ugh. that was fun to get off of him.

    we’ve had great luck with the sticky traps and the spring traps. i am leary of the spring traps though because of little ones in the house.

    i once trapped an entire family on a sticky trap w/in 30 minutes. there were about 8-9 mice on there. it was wild.

  4. I’m no fan of mice, I grew up on a rural old house where mice came and went (and would come back). We eventually did get a ferocious tom cat. We didn’t worry about hantavirus though, eeks!

  5. In our house in Utah we had a tremendous problem with mice. We tried the mousetraps and caught lots, but it still didn’t take care of the problem. We eventually called in the exterminator who put these poison trap things outside. The mice would get in and eat the poison. It tasted really good to them and they’d call in their friends. The poison took about 3 days to kill them, but it would dehydrate them so they didn’t stink. It was definitely worth the money it took to get rid of them. I was about ready to move out because I was so freaked out by the mice.

  6. We have mice right now, and I HATE it…for much the same reason. Yucky germs. It comes and goes. I won’t use the snap trap, and the plastic boxes, the mice ATE them. So we use glue traps. Honestly they are my favorite. They aren’t death traps, we take our mice out the lake and release them (use some baby oil or mineral oil, they slide right off…and that’s how you get them off your curious toddler as well)
    It seems silly, I know, but Karma’s a witch and I don’t want to face that. 😉 We have sealed up nearly every pipe coming into our house, which is why they are now coming in through the second floor sink. I need more expanding foam. :-O Great news is that Orange Cat…neighborhood cat, really loves our house and Ava counts him as our pet, even though we don’t feed him, don’t care for him, and mostly ignore his existence. The pet I love.

  7. My husband has to fight mice at work due to the nature of his business. He gets big loads of flour and grains on pallets, and sometimes those mice are along for the ride on the wood pallets. Mice don’t travel very far, so wherever you see the evidence is close to where they are. The glue traps are the most effective, unfortunately. Also, finding out where the mice are coming in is the other key to eradicating. Sealing off holes in the foundation, walls, and windows will help. Good luck.

  8. Correction: D-con black spring trap baited with peanut butter. The mouse crawls into the trap, and while its a spring, you don’t see it. From Menards. 10 foot radius from the food source/droppings. Try to find a hole around a pipe – like a gas or water pipe where caulk has worn away.

  9. Everyone in Vermont has them, or so I’m told. I highly recommend Cat. Puff has brought me three live mice in the past month, (to the bedroom, during the night ’cause he is nocturnal and so are they) and we’ve put them in a plastic container until the morning, then released them into the woods about a mile away.

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