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Do ultrasonic devices repel mice & rats?
Correct Trivia Answer: b) No. There is little evidence that sound of any type will drive established mice or rats from buildings because they rapidly become accustomed to the sound.
The house mouse is a prolific breeder; indoors, mice breed year round. A female mouse can be sexually mature 1.5 months after birth, can produce 6 babies per litter, and can have as many as 10 litters in a year. That's 60 new mice just from one pregnant female. If you assume that half of her offspring are also females that will each be producing 10 litters, you can see what you are up against.
Mice have extraordinary physical abilities. They can jump to the floor from a height of 8 feet and run up some vertical surfaces. They have excellent balance. If they do fall, they land on their feet. They can climb and run along pipes, cables and electrical lines. They can even travel for a considerable distance upside down. They can swim. They can adapt to almost any kind of environmental conditions, even surviving for generations in a frozen meat locker. Their small body size allows them to easily stow away and be transported to new sites. They can squeeze through a slot-like opening that is little more than 1/4 inch (7 mm). These capabilities allow mice to easily move into a building and then move from floor to floor. You can see why it's hard to completely mouse-proof a building.
Mice are rarely restricted by food or water. Mice will feed on a wide variety of food, so they're not limited by a particular food source. They don't need very much food to survive. A mouse eats an average of 1/10 ounce (3-5 grams) of dry food a day. Mice are nibblers, feeding 20 or more times a night at multiple sites. When a water supply is not readily available, mice can survive from the moisture in their food. House mice are the most common rodent pests in our urban landscapes and have been labeled as a "mammalian weed" by researchers. Millions of dollars are spent every year managing the house mouse by pest managers and "do-it- yourselfers". But that is what makes the house mouse such a formidable foe, particularly in the fall and winter months when these cryptic pests enter our structures seeking heat, food and refuge.
Effective mouse control involves sanitation, mouse proof construction and population reduction. The first two are useful as preventive measures. When a mouse infestation already exists, some form of population reduction is almost always necessary. Reduction techniques include trapping and poisoning.
Trapping is an effective control method. When only a few mice are present in a building, it is usually the preferred control method. Trapping has several advantages: (1) it does not rely on inherently hazardous poisons, (2) it permits the user to make sure that the mouse has been killed and (3) it allows for disposal of the mouse carcasses, thereby avoiding dead mouse odors that may occur when poisoning is done within buildings.
Rodenticides are poisons that kill rodents. Rodent baits are available in several forms. Grain baits in a meal or pelleted form are available in small plastic, cellophane or paper packets. These sealed "place packs" keep bait fresh and make it easy to place the baits in burrows, walls or other locations. Mice gnaw into the packet to feed on the bait. Block-style baits are also very effective for most situations. Proper placement of baits and the distance between placements is important. Place baits in several locations no farther than 10 feet apart, preferably closer. For effective control, baits or traps must be located where mice are living. Use of tamper-resistant bait stations is a must to safeguard people, pets and other animals. Place bait stations next to walls with the openings close to the wall or in other places where mice are active. Secure bait stations to a fixed object to prevent them from being moved. Clearly label all bait stations "Caution—Mouse Bait" as a safety precaution.
Although mice are easily frightened by strange or unfamiliar noises, they quickly become accustomed to regularly repeated sounds and are often found living in grain mills or factories and other noisy locations. Ultrasonic sounds, those above the range of human hearing have very limited use in rodent control because they are directional and do not penetrate behind objects. Also, they lose their intensity quickly with distance. There is little evidence that sound of any type will drive established mice or rats from buildings because they rapidly become accustomed to the sound.
If you're having problems with house mice, call 1-800-CRITTER to speak to the Critter Control professional nearest you.
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