Unpopular Opinion: Mice are Not a Problem. Humans are the Problem!

This may sound a bit crazy, but a new research study showed that mice living in close contact with humans are smarter. They can solve puzzles and get to food faster than those not living alongside people.

Part of this is because humans, going back thousands of years, have dealt with house mice. We have gotten better about storing our food and keeping it more “pest-proof.” We don’t store our grain in open clay pots; we store it in sealed plastic containers. Many of our foods come packaged in airtight packages that keep odors in. Mice have had to get craftier at finding and getting to foods. However, there are a few exceptions to this:

Our trash. People tend to forget that trash is food for rodents.

Pet food. Pet food is often packaged in composite paper bags and left open in garages and cellars.

Seeds. Birdseed and grass seed are excellent food sources for mice and other rodents and are left in unsealed bags in garages and sheds.

This does not mean sealing up food and removing food waste is no longer beneficial. It is! For the professional, it can help to know how to focus inspections on foods that may be open, with broken packages, or not tightly sealed. Checking garages, basements, and other areas where food is stored (aside from just the kitchen) can help to narrow down where mice are living and feeding.

If spilled food is present, it can help to use it on snap traps in mouse bait stations like the EZ Snap Mouse to entice mice with a known food item. Placing the traps close to that food source, along their running pathway, can increase trap efficacy.

“We designed the EZ Snap Mouse with guide walls that lead the rodent into the station, rather than going behind it,” says Ethan Vickery, CEO of VM Products. “Once inside the station, the mouse encounters a clear, commitment wall which further leads the mouse into the station. By using the Science of Force Flow, the rodent is drawn by an escape light, and the rodent moves over the commitment wall, dropping it directly into the target zone.”

Exclusion is often applied as sealing the structure so nothing can get from the outside to the inside. This is very beneficial and can be applied inside as well. Think of sealing off doors that go from the garage to the interior of a home or from a maintenance area to a breakroom. By isolating certain areas, mice can be contained in a smaller area and easier to trap and eliminate. It can also improve baiting. If you can keep mice in an attic, they can’t access foods on the lower floors and are more likely to eat the bait. If mice can be kept localized in a back stockroom of a grocery store, they can’t get to the food (and be seen by customers) in the main area, thus driving them to bait stations. The MBS Mouse Bait Station is a great mouse bait station for small spaces and can be tucked underneath shelving or behind equipment.

Mice have lived beside people for more than 8,000 years and have adapted and evolved to what we give them. While the war will be ongoing, battles can still be won. They can be kept out of structures, prevented from getting to foods, and populations kept small and manageable. For more on house mouse management and the best mouse bait stations to use, visit us at vmproducts.com.

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