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Whether in the country, the suburbs, or the city, most people have seen the scurry of a mouse or even a rat.

Rodents frequently find refuge and resources in the spaces we call home. There’s no question as to why they’re unwanted friends. In history, Vermin were associated with outbreaks of the bubonic plague causing the death of approximately 25 million people during the 14th century in Europe.  But even today, mice and rats spread over 35 diseases across the globe.2 Humans can be infected directly through contact with rodent feces, urine, saliva, or bites or indirectly through ticks, fleas, mites and other insects that feed on rodents.

Rodents can contaminate food and eating surfaces which may cause diseases such as tularemia, and lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCM).3 They can potentially endanger residents by causing faults in electrical cables in ceilings and walls that can lead to fires.4 In addition, studies have shown that rodents can trigger asthma symptoms.

Seeking Shelter

Mice can squeeze through a space the size of a nickel, and rats can squeeze through a hole the size of a half dollar. That leaves a lot of potential vulnerabilities in the home. Once inside, these creatures can stake their claim under and inside kitchen cabinets, refrigerators, and stoves, as well as around pipes under sinks, vents, attics, crawl space, and between the floor and wall juncture.  Gaps where rodents can penetrate outside include the roof, windows, doors, vents, and holes for electrical, plumbing, cable, and gas lines.

Eviction Notice

There are a few options to prevent rodents from entering your home. The first is to seal holes and passages along ceilings, walls, and floors. The second is to plant bushes at least three feet away from your house: mice and rats use bushes as a place to build nests.5  Lastly, always seal garbage bins, which attract rodents, and store food only in seal proof containers.

In the case that rodents do make their way into the home, using traps can be an effective method to get rid of them. It is always important to read the label to learn exactly how each product works. In general, position the trap next to the wall so it forms a “T" as rodents like to run along walls so to not be exposed.6 Rodenticides and pesticides are also effective products designed specifically to kill rodents , wax bait blocks being the most common for use inside the home. These blocks can be flavored like fish oil, molasses, or peanut butter to attract the animals.  This product contains Bromethalin that causes the rodent’s cells to swell to the point where it causes the mouse or rat to become paralyzed and then die within 1-2 days of eating the bait. 

Read label instructions of rodenticides and take caution when utilizing them as they are toxic.  Be sure to keep out of reach from children and pets.  

  1. Reducing the negative effects of animals, insects and vermin Archives. (n.d.). Retrieved April 27, 2017, from
  2. Rodents. (2017, January 20). Retrieved April 24, 2017, from
  3. Health Hazards Posed by Rodents. (n.d.). Retrieved April 27, 2017, from
  4. Reducing the negative effects of animals, insects and vermin Archives. (n.d.). Retrieved April 27, 2017, from
  5. N. (n.d.). National Center for Healthy Housing. Retrieved April 27, 2017, from
  6. Rodents. (2010, July 29). Retrieved May 01, 2017, from
  7. Bernarducci, E., Bilancieri, J., Cassin, T., Chase, B., Endres, M., Fisher, R.,… Zdanowski, D. (1992) The CSMA Consumer Products Handbook. Washington D.C., US. Chemical Specialties Manufacturers Association, Inc.

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