It has been at least 40 years since we saw snow in abundance so early in the fall. Small rodents were also taken by surprise and moved near homes and other heated buildings
Quebec City, December 18, 2018 – Temperature and climate change are likely to remain hot topics. It has been at least 40 years since we saw snow in abundance so early in the fall. Small rodents were also taken by surprise and moved near homes and other heated buildings. As a result, we experience a higher number of requests related to mice for this time of the year. In fact, this is mostly field mice that are encountered.
Field mice, which are mainly white-footed mice and deer mice, have been observed on a much more frequent basis in the urban environment for the last ten years. Several external factors including climate change can explain this turnaround. The reduction of pesticide use in urban areas, the change in roadside vegetation management, plantings along infrastructures of highways, landscaping moved to another level, the spreadout of common reed (Phragmites) along highways, etc. are all factors contributing to the increase of micro-mammal populations. Researchers at McGill University have found that the white-footed mice, more opportunistic and aggressive than their cousins, dislodge deer mice and spread northward at a rate of 10 km per year. What worries them most is that white-footed mice are an important host of ticks that transmit the Lyme disease bacteria (Borrelia burgdorferi).
Although deer mice and white-footed mice rarely breed inside homes, we need to be very cautious because these species may carry Hantavirus. There are very few documented cases in Eastern Canada, but the virus can be contracted by handling rodents with bare hands, by being in contact with their saliva, urine or by breathing dust contaminated by their droppings.
To prevent mice from entering your home or commercial buildings, be sure to seal entryways (pedestrian doors, garage doors) and pipe, vents, and wiring contours. Remember that mice can make their way in through openings as small as the size of a dime! In many locations, it is still possible to set out multiple-catch traps along foundations to intercept small rodents before they make it through indoors. These traps will be able to capture these micro-mammals which remain active under the snow cover during the winter period. Inside, they can be easily caught using snap traps.
For a greater peace of mind, call upon of our pest management specialists who can identify areas at risk and advise you on the corrective actions to be taken.
For more details, please contact our advisors!
The Maheu&Maheu technical team
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