At one point, you have most probably already seen a mouse, which makes it easy to identify them physically. When they are adults, they have an average length of 2.5 to 3.5 inches, which does not yet include their tail. Their average weight is 28 grams. They have pointed nose, large ears, long, hairless tail, and fur around their body. Their colors can also vary, although many of them are grey, brown, or white. They are often confused with rats, but the two are actually different. They both belong to the family of rodents, but rats are usually larger. There are different species of mouse, which include wood mouse, zebra mouse, spiny mouse, deer mouse, and field mouse, among others.
The habitat of a mouse will depend on a variety of factors, such as its specific type. As hardy creatures, they can survive almost everywhere, such as inside houses, in the garden, or in the woods, among others. If they live outdoors or in the wild, they make burrows underground, which serve as their protection from their predators. They are also nocturnal, which means that their activity peaks at night. During the day, they are inactive and they just like to sleep. They are also territorial. They like to have a place that they can call their own, especially for those that live indoors.
Identifying Mouse’s Damage
Mice are omnivorous, which means that their diet consists of a combination of meat and plants. It is also important to note that they are voracious eaters, with some eating up to 20 times in a day. Fruits, seeds, barks, and roots are some of the specific parts of the plant that they devour. Potatoes and other root vegetables are some of their most common host plants. They can also affect a wide array of vegetables, as well as fruit trees. Corn, squash, sunflower, barley, pumpkin, and strawberries are also susceptible to damages from mice.
Unsure if mice are already infesting your plants or crops? The following are some of the signs that you need to watch out for:
- Pay attention to the appearance of holes on the stems of the plant. This is probably the portion where the mouse has gnawed. In the same way, they can create holes on the ground, which are their burrowing sites.
- Loss of the bark of a tree is also a common sign of their presence. During winter, when vegetation is usually frozen, they feed on the bark of the tree.
- Because mice love to chew, the seeds in some plants will be missing and it will also lead to poor germination. In some fruits, there will be holes and other cosmetic damages, which will be remnants of their feeding activity.
Results of Infestation
The infestation of the mouse will depend on its host. Their high population can lead to significant crop damage, and in the end, may render the latter unmarketable. They will cause cosmetic damages to fruits and vegetables, which will also make them more prone to the entry of pathogens that could greatly compromise their overall health.
How to Get Rid of Mice
Natural and Organic Solutions
The good news is that you can eliminate mice at home and in the garden in a way that does not need to be unsafe. With this, below are some of the solutions that can deliver promising outcomes:
- Having a cat at home is one of the best ways to get a helping hand in the extermination of mice. Cats love to eat mice. However, you also have to take note that cats can also sometimes be damaging for your plants.
- Trapping is another solution that should be part of your list. A traditional snap trap will be one of your best bets. It might seem like a cruel solution, but it will surely work. Glue traps will also be excellent. They have a sticky adhesive on the surface, which makes sure that mice will not be able to escape. There are also traps that are more humane, such as using sticky peanut butter in their usual paths.
- If you are looking for natural alternatives to pesticides with toxic chemicals, there are some that you can make at the comfort of your own home. For instance, cotton balls with peppermint essential oils can be left in areas where mice are common. You can also use dryer sheets.
- Exclusion will also be a promising control method. In this case, you need to protect your plants from mice invasion. One of the ways to do this is through blocking entrances, such as through the use of copper wire mesh.
- Over time, there have also been several innovative products that are made to solve the problem with mice, especially for those that are indoors. One of the perfect examples of this is an ultrasonic repellent device. They make use of small beeps to keep the mice away.
- In the case of trees, on the other hand, it will be best to wrap them with a hardware cloth at the base. This will prevent the mice from going up and from feeding on the bark.
Chemical extermination of mice is not preferred by many because of its possible toxicity. Nonetheless, there are still many who resort to such method basically because of the immediacy of the effects. If you will use pesticides with toxic chemicals, pay attention to the instructions from the manufacturer to be sure that it will yield a high level of effectiveness.
Rodenticides can be effective in managing the infestation of mice. As anti-coagulants, they work by causing internal hemorrhage, resulting in the death of mice. Some of the best brands that you might want to consider include RoZol, Final, Quintox, Rampage, Ditrac, and Ramic. However, take note that it can also be poisonous for dogs and cats.