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Rodent Control Questions and Answers - Wood Radio- Grand Rapids

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Rose Pest Solution's Grand Rapids District Manager David Popp joins Betsy Thompson and Dan Hansen on Wood Radio in Grand Rapids, Michigan to take listener questions about mice and rodent control!

[Dan Hansen]  When we come back, we're talking about stuff that gives me the jimmy legs, Betsy. Do you know what the jimmy legs are?

[Betsy Thompson]  Yes, I do.

[Dan Hansen]  Your legs keep twitching because you can't handle the thought on whatever you're thinking.

[Betsy Thompson]  Uh-huh (Affirmative)

[Dan Hansen]  Well anyway, one of those things is mice in the house.

[Betsy Thompson]  Yes.

[Dan Hansen]  It's fall and they're looking for a place to stay this winter. Let's make sure they don't choose your home or mine.

[Betsy Thompson]  Yes.

[Dan Hansen]  That's next. Stay tuned.

[ANNCR]  If you want to take your DIY skills up a rung, the Recolight Home Improvement Show is here to give you a boost on Newsradio WOOD  1300 and. 106.9FM.

[Dan Hansen]  Well, Betsy, we're sitting here with David Pop, the district manager at Rose Pest Solutions and we always bring David here when we have a pest problem to discuss.

[Betsy Thompson]  Yes, we do.

[Dan Hansen]  David, thanks for being here.

[David Popp]  Thanks for having me. It's great to be back.

[Dan Hansen]  A couple of years ago, I told this ... Well, there's no real story here. There is a story, but it's too dark to go into. A couple of years ago, I had ... It was dark, Betsy. Don't "Good grief" me. A couple of years ago, in our house, we had mice get into the attic. I never had anything like that before and I felt completely invaded. I felt like they completely my house. I couldn't even live there anymore. I just envisioned an army of millions of mice running around upstairs. I was stunned because I thought everything was pretty sealed up. I kind of had paid attention looking for that.

[Dan Hansen]  So, I guess just to help anybody out there and to save them from the drama that my family went through- [crosstalk]

[Betsy Thompson]  Because it is that time of year.

[Dan Hansen]  It is that time of year. The mice are looking for places. How tightly sealed do we have to have our homes to keep them out?

[David Popp]  Well, mice, they can fit in about a quarter-inch hole. So, anything really that you can put a pencil through, mice are gonna be able to- [crosstalk]

[Dan Hansen]  A pencil?

[David Popp]  Oh, yeah.

[Dan Hansen]  How do they get their little heads through that?

[David Popp]  They squeeze. So, they can actually fit it through there, their skulls.

[Dan Hansen]  A pencil?

[David Popp]  Yeah.

[Dan Hansen]  That's terrifying.

[David Popp]  The best thing you can do is, for instance, just to go down into your basement, and shut off all the lights.

[Dan Hansen]  Okay.

[David Popp]  See if you can see any light coming through around window areas, around where plumbing comes in, wires, things like that. If you can see light, then that's probably enough room for them to get in.

[Dan Hansen]  So, what happened with my house when I dug into it, I found ... Way up in the garage, in the rather area, they had tunneled through the insulation into the attic. They had climbed a wall that I thought ... was smooth and it was a laminated material. I, honestly, don't know how they did it. They have little suction cups on their feet.

[David Popp]  They can scale. They can scale the walls. I remember way back when, + years ago when I was a technician, going around and treating the outside of somebody's house. Going around the corner, you know how you just all of a sudden ... Right there, there's something?

[Betsy Thompson]  Mm-hmm (affirmative).

[David Popp]  And it was a mouse that made me jump. Now, here's a pest-

[Dan Hansen]  Did you scream?

[David Popp]  Well, I didn't scream but I did jump. [crosstalk ]

[Dan Hansen]  I would've screamed and jumped.

[Betsy Thompson]  Yes, you would.

[Dan Hansen]  So, you see him sitting there. He was climbing a wall or something?

[David Popp]  He was climbing up. This happened to be brick, a little more traction, but they will do that. They'll scale and find an area that they can get into. So, you mentioned the garage. A garage is an area where a lot of the times, we have our garage doors open, either a service door or a pane door.

[Dan Hansen]  Well, yeah. My kids leave the garage door open all the time. I was going to ask about that.

[David Popp]  Yeah, that's ... They can enter in. That's an easy way for them to enter in. And then once they get into the garage, they can find those areas for access to the living quarters, the basement or the main areas. So, garages are very very important to seal up.

[Dan Hansen]  So, what do I do? So, I can try to train the children to close the garage door. That's monumental. I'm not expecting you to help me with that. Do you have anything that will help me train my children? Nothing that you offer?

[David Popp]  No, nothing that we offer.

[Dan Hansen]  Okay. Maybe some good advice later, but let's say we get that. I know that I've got areas where if I would sit in the garage with the lights off, I'm gonna see pencil-thick areas around the garage door. How do I seal?

[David Popp]  Well, the door itself, you can get the weather stripping still on the garage door. A lot of times, where you'll have your issue is it might be that the concrete might not be level. So, when the door comes down onto it, you may be able to see an area where they can get through. You may have to extend that weather stripping down there, but anything you can do to do it. Around the corners are big areas for the mice to enter in there too.

[Betsy Thompson]  Okay. What about ... You were talking about in the basement if you see daylight coming through. If you see a crack or a small hole or something where there is daylight, what do you fill that with? Because I've heard that they will chew through certain things but not other things. So, what do you recommend filling those gaps with?

[David Popp]  The best thing you can do for rodents is a copper mesh. Don't use steel wool because when still will gets wet, it rusts. Then all of a sudden, it would go on your wall, wherever it may be, the siding, but the copper mesh is the best. They don't like to mess around with that, then tuck it in. Calk is still one of our best friends when it comes to sealing to make sure that they don't get through.

[Betsy Thompson]  So, they don't chew through that. They'll leave that alone?

[David Popp]  If there may be separation where they see an area that they can continue to make the hole larger, then they'll do something like that, but the copper mesh is the best, still.

[Dan Hansen]  Now, will you come out and help us seal the home?

[David Popp]  Sure. Yep. [crosstalk ]

[Dan Hansen]  Oh, that's something that you guys will do.

[David Popp]  Yep, we will do that. If it's a major undertaking as far as ... or you really need to have a carpenter or builder involved, we won't do that but simple exclusion works like putting copper mesh and things like that and calk, we can do that.

[Dan Hansen]  You're referencing my garage. That's for me to take care but for the little stuff, you'll take care of that.

[Betsy Thompson]  Alone with mice, I know that shrews, voles ... Do they also come into people's houses?

[David Popp]  They're gonna pretty much stay outside.

[Betsy Thompson]  They're gonna stay outside?

[Dan Hansen]  Oh, they will?

[ANNCR]  The main ones that you really need to be concerned about are the house mouse and the deer mouse. The deer mouse is of concern because of the hantavirus. Their droppings and their urine can carry hantavirus. Now, there's only been one case that I'm aware of. I think it's as of hantavirus in Michigan, but if you look at the map, out West is where there really is a large problem with it but moving in. So, you never know. Deer mice are ... You want to be careful with that.

[Betsy Thompson]  How do you know what kind of mouse you have?

[Dan Hansen]  Well, the deer mice have antlers, right?

[David Popp]  Yeah, and then it helps Santa. No, a deer mouse versus a house mouse is color, number one.

[Betsy Thompson]  Mm-hmm (affirmative).

[David Popp]  The house mouse is grayer uniformed all the way around but a deer mouse would be gray with potentially reddish, but underneath is white.

[Betsy Thompson]  Oh.

[David Popp]  The other way you can tell is their tail. A house mouse has, for a lack of a better word, a partially naked tail whereas, on a deer mouse, it's all fur all through there. So, deer mice, they're gonna be somewhat like, for instance, in garages, sheds. They're not going to be as common in the house, but they do come in but more or less on outbuildings.

[Dan Hansen]  All right, David. So, in the last little bit, let's say I don't get to it in time. I don't seal up the whole house and I end up noticing partway through winter little droppings, things I don't want to see on the counter or in drawers or something. Now, I got a problem. What's the best way to get rid of them?

[David Popp]  Well, before you start thinking about getting rid of them, one thing to understand is if you see mouse droppings in a drawer and in the silverware drawer next to it, you don't see any droppings, don't discount of because of their urine. They're going to put a number of urine deposits all the way around in the areas that they go to. Wash your silverware if you got them around and close by that.

[Dan Hansen]  So, they make the route? Do they go all over the place?

[David Popp]  Yes, they do.

[Dan Hansen]  And I'm not even seeing it?

[David Popp]  Well- [crosstalk ]

[Dan Hansen]  Could I see it with a black light?

[David Popp]  You can see it with a blacklight.

[Dan Hansen]  Oh, I am never- [crosstalk ]

[Betsy Thompson]  Oh, investing in a blacklight.

[Dan Hansen]  Okay. So first, wash everything. Wash my silverware.

[David Popp]  Oh, yeah. In the containers and where you got the silverware in there and ...

[Dan Hansen]  That is so foul.

[David Popp]  Yeah.

[Dan Hansen]  Oh, my goodness.

[Betsy Thompson]  And the entire counter and ...

[Dan Hansen]  So, okay. We get it clean. What's the best method to get them out for good?

[David Popp]  The best way, still to this day, is a snap trap. The snap traps work wonders. Baiting them with peanut butter, you can even bait them with cloth because of helping them... they'll look for things like that for nesting material.

[Dan Hansen]  Oh, okay.

[David Popp]  But peanut butter is still one of the best ones, but I'd be concerned if somebody has a peanut allergy. You can use ... There are peanut substitutes that you can use out there.

[Dan Hansen]  The mice don't care?

[David Popp]  The mice don't care, but the best thing when you have that spring trap is you bait it underneath the pad so they really have to work at it, and it gets them. It's still the best trap that there is.

[Betsy Thompson]  Yeah, because my dad has baited them before and they licked the stuff off and the trap never snaps.

[David Popp]  Well, put it underneath.

[Betsy Thompson]  Yeah. That's a way better idea.

[David Popp]  And make them work.

[Betsy Thompson]  All right, David. If our listeners have any questions for you or maybe they want you to come out and take care of a rodent problem that they might have-

[Dan Hansen]  Or stop a problem from occurring.

[Betsy Thompson]  Right. That too. How do they best get in contact with you?

[David Popp]  Well, they can call our office at 861-653-4549 -- or they can to our website. It's

[Betsy Thompson]  Perfect. David Pop, thank you so much for being here to talk about these nasty little creatures with us.

[David Popp]  You bet.


If you suspect you have a pest problem Contact your nearest Rose Pest Solutions service center immediately for an inspection. 

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