Holiday season sometimes means that guests come by unannounced. A cup of eggnog can make Uncle Roy's Christmas songs bearable, but mice are never welcome. Here are some reminders that help keep vermin away from gingerbread cookies:
• Block the access of mice to buildings. Inspect garages, doors, and entrances for damage that can cause mice to enter. All piping and cables extending from outside to inside should be sealed. Keep animal food and birdseed in rodent-proof containers to prevent the feeding of these pests.
• Use pet-friendly live traps or "sticky" traps to trap mouse intruders.
• Search for old baits. Many pets come into contact with poison baits that were placed by a previous homeowner or tenant. If you now have a problem with the mouse, it is likely that someone who lived in front of you in your apartment has also done so.
• If you need to use poison to treat a problem with the mouse, you need to know exactly what type of chemical you are spending. Make a note of the brand name and all the information in the packaging that describes the active substance, the amount of bait and the antidote. Have emergency medications like hydrogen peroxide and your veterinarian's phone number ready.
• All traps or baits should be checked for activity on a regular basis. Diseases of any kind in a pet may be important if they coincide with a recently discovered bait box that has been damaged or detected by a pet that has been discovered. Dispose of dead or trapped mice immediately and appropriately.
Keep your pets healthy this fall by looking for non-toxic methods to prevent rodents from moving into your home. If you need to use poisons, find out about the contents and amount of bait, check it regularly and place it out of the reach of pets. Remember to call your veterinarian or emergency clinic immediately if accidental exposure occurs.
As with Uncle Roy? A piece of fruit cake may also keep him away!
Questions? Send it to Dr. Sandeman, Home & Garden, Quad-City Times, 500 E. 3rd Street, Davenport, IA 52801