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Evict and Exile Mice from Your Home

 

Introduction

The house mouse (Mus musculus) is one of the most frequently encountered rodent pests found near people and buildings. Unchecked, it can become a long-term inhabitant of your home.

Less common rodent house guests include the Norway rat (Rattus norwegicus), deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus), and white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus).

Together, mice, rats, and their parasites transmit dozens of diseases to humans; several pose serious health risks and some are potentially epidemic. House mice may also cause fires and incapacitate appliances by chewing on electrical wires. Their urine, musky odor, and gnawing can ruin food, clothing, papers, woodwork, insulation, and plumbing.

To evict mouse guests and prevent future invasions, use integrated pest management (IPM)—a sustainable approach that combines methods to minimize risks to human health and the environment. If you choose to hire a pest management professional, seek one who’s been certified by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and request an IPM approach.

Safety tips for rodent contact

Wear rubber gloves and a face mask with a HEPA filter while cleaning rodent droppings, urine, or nest materials. Ventilate the area. Don't stir up dust by sweeping or vacuuming; the dust could contain hantaviruses, LCM (lymphocytic choriomeningitis) virus, or other airborne disease organisms. Instead, thoroughly wet contaminated material with a 10% chlorine bleach solution (1 1/2 cups bleach in 1 gallon of water) or household disinfectant. Wipe up with a damp sponge. Spray dead rodents and nests with disinfectant, then double-bag and dispose of them.

Disinfect toys, silverware, or other items that may have been contaminated - but discard contaminated foods, drinks, napkins, paper plates, or cups. For more details, see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.