Serving Mercer, Ocean, Monmouth, Somerset, & Middlesex County
Recently, I returned for a follow-up to one of my commercial accounts, an apartment complex, in Asbury Park, NJ, that I previously serviced for a mouse issue. I reinspected the premises and replenished the bait in the bait stations as needed. The amount of bait consumed between service calls helps gives me an indication of the level of infestation. As I was inspecting the rodent bait stations placed along the exterior perimeter of the building, I came across one station that was currently occupied by a small mouse feeding on one of the bait blocks! A pest control tech never knows what surprise may be awaiting inside when opening these stations!
Although mice can appear harmless (or even cute) to some, I always stress that rodents are potential disease carriers, and once they make their way inside a structure, they are a health hazard. One of the most serious mice-transmitted pathogens is the Hantavirus, which is found in the urine, saliva, and droppings of infected rodents. Hantavirus causes a serious lung infection, Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS), which can be fatal. Rodent waste can be left behind on counters, kitchen appliances, and other food surfaces. Also, particles of dried infected droppings can become airborne if disturbed and then inhaled. This is why mouse droppings in enclosed areas are so dangerous and proper precautions must be taken whenever handling a mouse issue. For example, protective gloves and face masks should be used when cleaning rodent waste.
The mouse was as startled as I was when I opened the bait station and sprinted away. I replenished the consumed bait with a different type of bait. We like to periodically replace the type of bait because mice can actually build up a tolerance to the bait and it will not affect them. Periodically changing the bait to a different type helps us handle the infestation as efficiently as possible. Also, different baits have different scents and flavors to them, so we can “trick” more mice to take the bait — literally! After replacing the bait, I placed the bait station back in the location. Even though the mouse ran away, I'm confident that the rodent will return to feed on the new bait once it feels safe to return.