This one had me stumped – what’s a green cleaning approach to getting rid of a mouse? It’s not like calling an exterminator is an option. Wouldn’t it be greenest to keep the cute little guy around, give him the run of the place? Let him dine on organic vegetable scraps. Fill his little dish with filtered water?
Fast-forward a few months and that fury friend may well have chewed through wiring, walls, plastic and furniture. A few more months and you may notice that you’re no longer dealing with just a mouse or two – they can have up to 87 babies in a year! Pack your bags – the mice are taking over! It’s enough to send anyone to the poison section of your nearest hardware store.
Poison can backfire
Rodent poison is not just toxic to the rodent and it’s definitely not something you want to keep around your home, especially if you have kids or pets. Plus poisoning your mouse or rat can create a far worse problem. That’s because they may eat the poison in plain sight, but they’ll crawl back in the wall to die. Decaying mouse is not exactly the clean house smell you were going for.
Try an integrated pest management approach and get inside the head of your mouse. How does he get in? Why does he stay? What’s his food and water source? You may find that you’ve inadvertently created a 5-star mouse resort and it’s time to stop treating your guests so well. Take these four steps and you may be rid of your freeloader in no time:
• Seal the cracks
• Eliminate hiding places
• Take away the food
• Cut off the water supply
If your mouse doesn’t get the hint, you may need to resort to using a trap. Start with the most humane and progress from there. Live traps come in a variety of shapes and sizes and snap traps are considered the next most humane because they kill the quickest. Make sure your trap is the right size for your rodent and keep them out of reach from kids and pets.
Rodents are smarter than you might think. It’s a good idea to bait the trap for a few nights to let them get used to this new snack source. Also, use gloves when you bait the trap because the mouse won’t go near a trap that smells like you.
So the greenest approach to ridding your home of mice is to take care of the problem as soon as possible. Wait too long and you may have to start replacing damaged furniture and wires or resort to more dramatic measures.