Having a mouse problem can happen in the best of families -- it doesn't mean you don't keep a clean house. That doesn't mean you want to keep giving your furry little guests room and board. But if you have children, you also want to do it in a way that's not harmful to them. Methods for getting rid of mice range from potentially toxic to physically harmless but possibly psychologically upsetting.
Spring traps are baited with cheese, peanut butter or some other mouse-desirable bait and then you wait for the snap, which usually occurs in the middle of the night. A spring trap will effectively kill the mouse by breaking its neck. A spring trap can also harm little fingers, noses or whatever other part your child uses to explore the trap, making them unsafe for use around children. Use them only in areas where your children don't go, such as a crawl space. Electronic traps lure a mouse inside, then zap it, which makes it easier to dispose of.
Poison pellets have several major drawbacks if you have children. They're a pretty blue and they can harm your child. Many rodent poisons work by interfering with the blood's ability to clot. This leads to internal bleeding that kills the mice. Ingesting an anticoagulant can cause bruising, nosebleeds or internal bleeding in your child as well. If you find that you child has eaten the pellets, call poison control immediately and seek medical treatment, the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia advises.
Glue traps are harmless to kids -- unless they get them stuck on their fingers, although you can remove them with vegetable or mineral oil -- but can be psychologically upsetting. The caught mouse will struggle, sometimes pulling off limbs and fur in his attempt to escape. Worse yet, the mouse will still be alive when you dispose of it, which might encourage your child to keep checking on it to see where he is in the process of dying.
A creature such as a cat can act as a repellant, getting rid of mice and providing your children with a pet at the same time. Ultrasonic devices might repel mice for several days, but lose their effectiveness quickly, the Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management reports. Ultrasound also doesn't travel very far and doesn't travel around corners well.
- PestProducts.com: Rodent Removal, Elimination, Biology
- Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management: House Mice
- Children's Hospital of Philadelphia: Rodenticides (Rat Poisons)
- University of Kentucky College of Agriculture: Control of Mice
- Connecticut Department of Public Health: Moth Balls Can Be Dangerous to Children
- Professional Wildlife Removal: Do Mouse Repellents Work?
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