To Kill or Not to Kill… That is the Question
Not a mouse shall disturb this hallowed house. I am sent with broom before, to sweep the dust behind the door – William Shakespeare
Since the beginning of time, humans have had an uneasy, often conflicted relationship with rodents, those mammals characterized by a single pair of constantly growing incisors in each of the upper and lower jaws; those pesky critters that can smell a cookie from three miles away.
From the precocious and cuddly “Mr. Jingles” in Stephen King’s The Green Mile to Chef Remy in Disney’s animated feature Ratatouille, humans have embraced mice and rats as potential pets and companions while at the time sleeping with one eye open, nervously considering that these gentle creatures might actually be intent on doing us harm.
Folklore hasn’t helped us overcome our gnawing suspicion that rodents, while generously endowed with cuteness and playfulness, are actually annoying and destructive thieves at best. At their worst, they are riddled with disease and harmful parasites.
If you feel some ambiguity regarding your need to rid your home of rodents, you are not alone. In fact, scientists have actually discovered a part of the brain that is wired to fear pests, including mice and rats. This conflicts with our tendency to have warm and fuzzy feelings for our fellow mammals.
If you are like most people, the very sight of rodent droppings makes you gag, a box of cereal that has been chewed is tossed immediately into the dumpster, and you plot revenge on your uninvited and unwanted houseguests.
Make no mistake- cute or not, mice and other rodents can be extremely destructive and dangerous to human health. They can spread some nasty diseases and parasites to their human hosts and domestic animals, destroy food and furniture, and leave smelly urine trails and droppings everywhere.
This is why you don’t want them in your house, barn, or outbuildings especially knowing that two or three mice can quickly turn into a huge colony. The good news is that with the proper tools, you can prevent pest infestations resorting to cruelty or exposing your family to dangerous chemicals.
So, what are the most common options for rodent control?
- The classic snap trap. It’s your grandpa’s and your great-grandpa’s go-to method of rodent extermination. Quick, effective, inexpensive, but often a bit grotesque, mouse traps have existed for hundreds of years with few changes in their design. (Unless you count that fake plastic cheese thing…)
Advantages: Snap traps are inexpensive, effective, and easily placed at the site where you have seen a rodent.
Disadvantages: They don’t always cause instant death. Mice can get caught by the tail or leg and die slowly and painfully. Another disadvantage is that snap traps must be checked and rebaited continuously. They are also a magnet for small children and pets that can get injured when they touch a trap.
- Bait stations. These are not the same as snap traps, although they do offer similar advantages such as effectiveness, portability, ease of use, and cost effectiveness. Bait stations contain a block of poison in a container designed to keep pets and kids from getting to it. Rodents smell the bait, crawl inside for a nibble and (hopefully) return to their homes to die in a day or two. A good bait station should be able to kill about a dozen rodents using only 3-4 ounces of bait.
Disadvantages of bait stations: Bait stations are a less than ideal solution for homes with small children and curious pets.You will have to maintain a constant vigilance to keep your dog or small person from playing with the stations or putting things inside them, etc. There is also an ecological problem in that many rodenticides contain chemicals that are harmful to our planet.
- Traditional Poisons: In addition to bait stations, it is also possible to purchase bulk poisons that can be placed both inside and outside the home or barn. These poisons often come in pellet form for easier application and are very inexpensive to administer. They are also highly effective and can quell rodent infestations quickly.
The disadvantages of using these rodenticides, unfortunately, are numerous. Many of these products contain ingredients deemed unsafe by various governmental agencies, or, in some instances, have been banned altogether. They are NOT a safe choice for homes with children or pets.
Many, if not most, of these chemicals are known to be deadly to wildlife, especially predators. Traditional anticoagulant rodenticides, which were developed many years ago, work by interfering with blood clotting, resulting in uncontrollable bleeding leading to death. The second-generation of these anticoagulants, which include compounds such as brodifacoum, bromadiolone, difethialone and difenacoum are especially deadly to wildlife because they persist for a long time in body tissues. Such slow-acting poisons accumulate at many times the lethal dose in tissues, thus poisoning predators that eat the rodents.
- Repellants: In an effort to be more ecologically conscious, many people have turned to more natural techniques of rodent abatement, including the use of non-chemical repellants. These repellants include oils such as eucalyptus, peppermint and various other plant-based oils known to be unattractive to rodents. Another popular idea for rodent control is the use of sound-based repellants which produce high-frequency sounds that hurt rodents’ sensitive ears. These methods offer the advantage of being cleaner, safer and less smelly than chemicals or traps.
Disadvantage: Scientific studies have concluded that natural and sound repellants have very limited effectiveness, especially in situations where the infestation has been established for a long time. It seems mice and rats are willing to put up with a little noise or a bad smell in order to have a safe, warm place to live.
- A cat: Not to be overlooked is that champion among hunters, the domestic cat. Using legendary agility, hearing, sense of smell, and cunning, a typical tabby can make mincemeat of mice.
Disadvantages: If you are thinking of getting a cat to tackle your mice problem, you must understand some basic feline facts. First of all, cats secretly hate people and are always looking for ways to mistreat them. Kitty may come across as a sweet, purring ball of softness but deep inside, she has a black heart and little use for humans other than as her personal servants. IF she feels like it, she may decide to chase a mouse or two (purely for her own amusement, mind you). She may even bite off its’ head and drop the distorted carcass on your doorstep as a sort of “gift” (think of that horse head in The Godfather). Also, many cats are simply not genetically wired do anything except eat, sleep, and leave clumps of fur on the couch. Not every cat is born a mouser.
The Ultimate Solution to Mouse Pollution?
What if there was a way you could have saner, safer rodent abatement; a solution that would not harm you, your family, pets, or the environment? Wouldn’t that be preferable to using cruel traps, ineffective repellants, mean cats, and deadly toxins?
Eco-Clear Products has created a line of products produced in the USA, that are effective, yet safe for people, pets, wildlife, and livestock. Our flagship products, RatX and MouseX, are safe and effective approaches to getting rid of the rats and mice in your life… forever.
RatX and MouseX are 100% effective, high-quality products guaranteed to be safe for your family, pets, and livestock. These easy solutions are used by professional exterminators who are concerned about the environment, as well as homeowners, ranchers, farmers, and others. Unlike most poisons, there are no special requirements or certifications for use, storage, or disposal.
If you are the kind of person who hates having rodents in your house or barn, but is concerned about the environmental effects of traditional poisons, then you will love our products. Learn more by contacting us here where you can call or email us with your pest control questions.
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