DEER MICE! Help~
I have deer mice. They are cute little buggers, but an internet search informs me they carry hantavirus, which is deadly in 36% of cases. It's stirred up by cleaning the infected areas and then breathing in the infected air. Which, I've already cleaned up the poo, and I'm not sick thankfully!
I don't know how many I have, so far I've only actually seen one. There's not too much damage, and I've put all our food up high, but I know it's crawled around on my counter tops (found chewed on aluminum foil). All my cooking utensils are stored down low, where I know they/it are crawling around. So now I'm nervous about it carrying a possibly fatal virus.
Question is, what the heck do I do?!? I don't want to kill any of them. I know I can get "no kill" traps, but from what I've heard, those aren't much more humane (if more than one mouse gets trapped, they end up killing each other, or, they get left in too long and die of starvation). If it wasn't possibly harmful, I'd just let the little guy live here. I plan on stuffing all holes with steel wool to keep any more from getting in. How do I get this one (or how many ever there are) OUT? And, is there an herb or a liquid (vinegar, etc) that I can use to repel it/them??
Please help! I don't wanna get paranoid...
When we used to get mice and rats we would use humane traps and they worked great. :) The mice would just march right into the trap, I dunno why, they must smell the other mice on it (as opposed to dead mice on the unhumane traps).
If you put a heavy book on the trap then it will be sturdy enough ot place keep water and food inside (the mice usually knock over the water so maybe some hydrated foods) that will keep the mice healthy until you can collect them. Most of the household traps can only hold one mouse at a time (the ones that have a door that shuts after the mouse triggers the button on the far side of the door) so you dont have to worry about them hurting each other.
I'm sure its really scary for them and a bit of a pain to drive them to somewhere they can survive naturally, but its worth it. :)
(PS, theres only been a few hundred cases of that disease in the US for the last decade so you are probably safe, especially if you keep things clean and uncontaminated :))
Do you have kids? I'd be really worried if I had deer mice around kids. They do carry the hantavirus & I think it is spread to humans through the respiratory tract. It is very dangerous & can be deadly. Please, WEAR A MASK around ANY mice droppings!!!
I understand that you think they are cute & that you don't want to harm them but if they have the potential to kill you, I'd call an expert & get some answers, before trying a live release.
you are most at risk for hanta if you are living in an infestation of mice or small rodents... they found it in people who worked in the desert that was infested.
so, while you obviously are at risk, having one or a few mice in your home, im assuming that you arent living in mouse poop!
seriously though, when you are cleaning (and you should do this more often), spray any feces and its dust w/ 10 percent bleach solution. dont sweep, as it makes the dust/ feces airborne, and thus increases your risk. wipe any feces up when its wet (by spraying it) w/ a mop or swiffer type thingy, then follow up w/ a vacuum. wear a hepa mask too.
keep an eye on symptoms, esp w/ your kids. i *think* its fairly treatable if caught early (but im not positive).
google, im sure, will give you better info.
as for food storage, heightdoesnt matter, those little suckers will get everywhere!! id invest in some metal containers/ bins for food. they can chew right thru plastic! my bro has a mouse prob too, and he got a second fridge to use (kept unplugged) to store alot of foods in.
i think the hava hart traps are a good idea... just check them often if you are worried about them attacking each other or starving.
you can also try sprinkling your cabinets w/ coffee beans, bayleafs, or cloves. supposedly it helps ward mice off, but once you have an infestation, im not sure how effective it is...but im sure worth a try. there are sonic deterrants too, but since i cant hear at that frequency, i wouldnt know how annoying it would be.... ;D