Why killing mice is not the solution
Poison baits can kill any not target animal, not just mice:
- Scents added to poison to make it attractive to mice are also attractive to pets and other domestic animals. In the US, over 150,000 pets are killed each year due to accidental rodenticide ingestion.
- Wild animals can eat poisoned rats and suffer secondary poisoning. The US EPA attributes thousands of untimely deaths to this
- Environmentally poison not ingested by mice can be dispersed by ants, poisoning ground water and wildlife.
Years of genetic mutations have produced an extraordinary resistance in many mice that protects them from standard poisons, which often are no longer effective. It’s common that mice can keep feeding on baits, without dying.
- Mice are becoming more and more resistant to the common poisons, both through social adaptation and through immunity granted by genetic mutation.
- In colonies, any new food is tested by a scout mouse. This mouse is observed to see if any ill effects are suffered. If so, the rest of the colony will avoid the new food source.
- Mice are able to build up resistance to poison through eating small dosages over time. This acquired immunity can be passed on to their offspring.
- Recent research from Germany has shown that over 90% of the common mouse (Mus Musculus domesticus) population has genetic resistance to anticoagulant poisons, one of the most common rodenticides in use.
The more we kill mice, the more they grow in strength and number.
- When a part of a mice population is exterminated, the remaining rodents will increase their reproductive rate, and quickly restore the old population level.
- In just one year, up to 15,000 descendants can be traced to a single mice.
- The mouse is a prolific breeder. They reach sexual maturity at six weeks of age. Gestation in the mouse normally lasts 19-21 days, usually producing three or four litters a year, each up to 10 pups.
- If necessary, females are ready to breed again within 24 hours of giving birth to a litter.
Mice infestation is a serious global problem.
- Rodenticides and mice infestations pose a serious risk to human health.
- The aroma added to the poisons that makes them attractive to mice also makes them attractive to kids. Tragedy is the 1.500 small children in Italy (Centro Antiveleni di Milano data), and 36,000 (National Poison Data System data) in the United States who went to the emergency room for accidentally ingesting rodenticides. Of these US emergency room visits, several children die each year.
- From a health perspective, mice droppings carry Salmonella and Campylobacter, causing 321,000 infections in people across Europe in 2014.
- Power cable gnawing by mice resulting in fire damage is perhaps the most significant damage caused by mice not just for the cost – over $1.5 billion in USA, Germany and UK – but for the human lives lost – 6,500 over the last ten years in the US alone.
Decaying dead mice produce a disgusting smell for over a 6-12 week period. The carcasses are carriers of a multitude of diseases.
- Mice and rats cause problems even in death. Their decomposing bodies produce a disgusting smell for up to a 12 week period. Decaying carcasses are carriers of a multitude of diseases.
- Given this level of damage, there has been great interest in solving the problem. Killing mice through rodenticides has been the traditional solution, but has resulted in making the problem worse in many ways