Party mouse is making sleep difficult, how can I stop the party?

mouse
Photo credit: Brian Kellett
Q:

At night I hear the sounds of a mouse - a neighbor said it sounds like a mouse that he had in his wall. It's been going on for weeks if not months :( What do you recomend I do...any help would be appreciated short of calling a "mouse extractor". I'd appreciate help to return to a full night sleep. I live in the country & my neighbor says it's common in our area.

- Lane County, Oregon
A:

Since, you live in the country and likely have a high mouse population, I would recommend taking an integrated pest management (IPM) approach to rodent control. IPM emphasizes structural and other controls to deny mice the three things they need: food, shelter and water. While chemical controls can be part of IPM, I recommend that you look for any openings that the mice can use to enter your home (they can squeeze through anything larger than a dime). Also, look at where and how your food items are stored (pet food, birdseed, human food). If you can address how the mouse is entering and why, this will offer a better long-term strategy for dealing with the issue.

When I had issues with mice in my garage, I used metal screening, caulking and a new garage door strip to keep the mice out. I also stopped storing my dog food inside the garage. Within two days, the problem was solved. Also, if you use traps (which can be highly effective), I would recommend placing them along walls and perpendicular to the wall (mice don't like open spaces). Furthermore, mice cannot resist peanut butter placed on a trap. Please use disposable gloves when picking up a trap to dispose of the dead mouse. Deer mice can carry disease, including the lethal Hanta virus. Cases are rare, but they have been reported in Oregon. Glue boards can work excellent as well. Also, I'd like to share this link with you from the National Pesticide Information Center. It contains lots of good information on rodent control. Best of luck!

Dave Stone
Toxicologist
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