Of Mice and Rodents
“Of Mice and Men” didn’t come to mind immediately upon reading the subject for this blog, it was when I said “Mice and Rodents” out loud that my brain was triggered. Were you made to read “Of Mice and Men” when you were in junior high like me? If you don’t remember the book, here’s a clip from the 1992 movie. But don’t worry, this blog shouldn’t make you cry.
Of Mice and Men was written by John Steinbeck, but the title was taken from a line in the poem “To a Mouse” by Robert Burns. The simplest interpretation of that line is,
“The best laid schemes of mice and men / Often go awry.”
Supposedly the poet wrote it immediately after plowing over a mouse nest in the field. That’s a pretty tender hearted reference, especially when blogging for a pest control company! Homeowners today are not interested in composing poems about the mice and rodents in their homes, they just want to get rid of them!
Did you know rodents are the largest group of mammals in the world? In Mississippi, we have 22 kinds of rodents including mice, rats, voles, and squirrels. While rodents have a bad reputation, they do have a few positive attributes. When they dig and burrow under your lawn they are helping to aerate the soil. Aerating the soil helps the lawn grow and absorb water. Rodents are also a food source to other animals. Not surprisingly, the negatives outweigh the positives when it comes to rodents.
The first of the bad news…
Rodents gnaw on electrical wires inside and outside of your home. They also like to chew on the wood and insulation in your walls and attics. Rats and mice can carry diseases and parasites that are harmful to humans and pets.
The worst of the bad news…
Mice and rodents like to reproduce, and they are really good at it. They have several litters a year! Mice are especially “active” and can start having babies at just a few months old. Even though they typically only live 8 months to a year long, one female can have 8 litters of babies. One mouse can have 50-60 babies in less than one year. You must be wondering by now how to keep mice and rodents out of your home.
This would be easier if you never let them in.
Mice and rodents need food and a nice house, just like in the Robert Burns poem. If someone mows down their mouse house in the field, they will be looking to move in with you. If you have gaps around your windows, doors, siding or brick, caulk those gaps. If you have plants or trees leaning on or against your home, trim those away or remove them. Branches, limbs and vines give mice and rodents an easy path to your home.
We say this almost every week…
Keep pet food in air tight containers and don’t leave pet food sitting out at night. (This is a huge draw for roaches, too!) If you are providing access to the inside of your home AND leaving food out for pests, how can you blame them for moving in with you?
Don’t let your “best laid schemes go awry”
If the poem, book or even movie softened you to mice and rodents, this is worth repeating. One mouse can have 50-60 babies in less than one year. Our licensed pest technicians know exactly what to do when dealing with mice and rodents. Contact us here and we will be in touch with you ASAP. We service the Memphis and North Mississippi areas with trained and trustworthy employees.
Perhaps we can try to be nicer to humans and still keep the mice and rodents out of our homes. Maybe this will balance out the world as we know it.
“Try to understand men, if you understand each other you will be kind to each other. Knowing a man well never leads to hate and nearly always leads to love……Try to understand each other.”
— John Steinbeck in his 1938 journal entry