Understanding the behavior of field mice is the key to eliminating them. By knowing certain facts about mice, you are one step ahead. This article will show you how to get rid of field mice.
The term field mice’ is commonly used to refer to a group of rodents that is mainly associated with gardens, crop fields and other plantations. In the US, the term has been used to also include those rodents that may be found within residential buildings and other related places. Mice can be found in a wide range of places including forests, rocks, grain stores, kitchens, bedrooms, and the plains. In fact mice are found almost everywhere. There are two commonly known species of mice, the black and brown species. These different species may be found in different habitats.
Although grains and other food remains are their staple food, mice eat almost everything. Perhaps mice can be easily identified by what they do not eat rather than what they eat. Due to this behavior, mice are destructive in homes and fields.
How To Get Rid of Field Mice Using Repellents
Mice have a poor eyesight but gifted with a very sophisticated sense of smell. They can smell and distinguish certain odors. This characteristic is useful in controlling them. They are sensitive to certain substances such as castor oil based derivatives which are used as repellents. You should apply these repellents by spraying it around the farm. Natural repellents include Garlic, Lavender, mints, camphor, alliums, and euphorbias. These repellents may not be effective if the population of the mice in the field is very high.
Use of Traps
Traps can either be live or kill traps. You should be careful when setting kill traps as they can pose danger to children and pets. Kill traps are effective if they are placed and set appropriately. If you are setting the trap in your house, place it at entry points and check for results the following day. You should be careful to use gloves when collecting and disposing corpses as they may carry diseases such as plague.
Setting live traps can be fun. Before you begin setting a live trap, identify active entry points, hiding and exit sites. Place a grain or any other appropriate food material at the site and check if the grain is eaten by mice. Once you have identified the active sites, set the live traps and collect the trapped mice in a cage. Mice become aggressive when trapped thus they should be handled with caution as they can bite.
Underground barriers such as meshes and steel metals can be buried at least 6 inches below the ground to bar mice from entering the farm. Although, underground barriers are relatively expensive, they are very effective in preserving farms from mice invasion. Alternatively, drenches or ditches can be dug around the farm. This method is cheap and effective if the drenches are maintained to prevent filling with soil.
Remove Nesting Materials
Mice live in nests. Materials such as clothing, newspapers and empty bags left on the floor of the house can offer visiting mice with good breeding and hiding places. You should dispose old clothes, papers and other materials appropriately.
Dispose Left Overs Properly
A key strategy to eliminating mice depends on starving them. Keeping the house clean after dinning can help to avoid hungry mice from invading the house. Food should also be stored properly to discourage mice infestation in the house. If you have pets at home, you should feed them and gather their feeding troughs to discourage mice from raiding the garden.
Fix tiny holes
Mice can squeeze through holes as tiny as 1/4 inch while others may even scrap building materials such as wood and brick to create a way for passage. Mice can thus be controlled by fixing tiny holes around buildings. You should regularly survey the living house and buildings for small entrances.
Poisons and Baits
While poison baits are effective for killing mice within a short time, they can pose danger to children and pets. One of the most effective mice poison is the chocolate plaster of Paris. If you keep pets at home, you should avoid the method entirely. Alternatively, a tamper-proof bait container in which food is placed directly in the mouse`s hole may be used. This will reduce poison exposure to pets and other ground birds. Other baits may require approval by a pest control professional.
Mice are nocturnal animals, spending most of their daytime hiding in burrows. When they come out at night looking for food, they watch out for danger. They run fast and hide in their holes when they sense danger. You should encourage pets to accompany you to the garden when you are strolling to catch any stray mouse. Whereas predators such as foxes, dogs, cats, owls and hawks may not eliminate them, they can assist to keep their population at a controlled level.
Slash Tall Grass and Till the Garden
Keeping tall grass in the field provides suitable conditions for the mice to thrive. You should cut tall grass around the compound to discourage mice infestation in the garden. Tilling the garden helps to reduce hiding places for the mice and destroys their tunnels. Tilling and cutting tall grass may not be an effective control method but is a good preventive measure.
If bark destruction from mice is a problem, you can mount the lower trunks of large shrubs and tree trunks with a loose cylinder of ¼ inch wire netting. This can be reinforced by burying the mesh a few inches below the ground.
Sometimes the population of mice in the field may be considered high. Controlling such a huge population may require a combination of several methods to increase effectiveness. In most cases, cultural methods such as ridding dirt, starving the mice, cutting grass, tilling the garden, constructing underground barriers, creating buffer zones, applying repellants and setting traps are combined with biological methods such as encouraging predators in a strategy called integrated pest management (IPM). This strategy is the most effective tool for eliminating mice in the field. You should implement IPM if you are dealing with a huge population of mice in your garden.