When it comes to commensal rodents, there little “real world” research. Laboratory research is good, but it doesn’t take into account all the variables present when servicing accounts. New research from Rutgers University focusing on multifamily housing structures shows some exciting data.
The researchers looked at multistory multifamily housing structures and discovered that mice are not evenly distributed. They found that an apartment was much more likely to have house mice if there was a shared wall with another apartment that had mice. The mice travel to adjoining apartments above and below the infested apartment.
Research showed that some buildings had a random distribution of house mice, and most showed more mice on lower floors. There were significantly more near ground level. This makes sense if they entered from the outside vs. being “delivered” with groceries, furniture, or other goods directly to higher floors. That doesn’t mean they weren’t found all the way up to the 15th floor.
The research results provide valuable information for PMPs. It makes sense that adjoining apartments are more likely to have mice. To manage infestations, neighboring units must be monitored if not actively trapped or baited. It’s not just next-door neighbors. Those units above and below the affected apartment need to be targeted. Mice can easily use the wall voids with all the pipes, wires, and conduits to move between adjoining units.
It is crucial to have a good barrier with bait stations and traps at ground level. Since this is an area where mice can easily enter the building from the outside, bait stations can reduce the outside populations while traps can intercept intruders. Correct placement is key to making the stations and traps as effective as possible. This can be challenging in large complexes with many people coming and going. It can be a bit of a compromise placing stations so they remain undisturbed yet still having them in the pathways of mice.
Sanitation and exclusion are still a very important part of an integrated program. As with station placement, this can be challenging. In large buildings with many people, trash and sanitation issues can quickly pile up. Encouraging building management and staff to seal up openings and reduce sanitation problems can significantly reduce rodent issues. Exclusion between units can contain rodents and help stop them from spreading to nearby apartments. It often helps to prioritize the worst areas and have those fixed first.
A great option for inside trapping is the EZ Snap Mouse, a low-lying station with two mouse snap traps inside. A great benefit to using these is the indicator ties. When the trap is set, the yellow of the tie shows above the station. The tie is pulled down and shows black when the trap has been tripped. That way, it can be seen from a distance what traps need to be checked and which are still set. This saves a lot of time checking traps with no mice in them. That time savings means more inspection time for conducive conditions and other pests. The traps are contained in the station and therefore less likely to be set off by non-targets. The station also provides a dark, protected space attractive to mice, making it more likely to catch mice entering the space.
Mice issues in multifamily housing units are a challenge. There can be several floors, multiple units, and many people involved. Knowing mouse behavior, using integrated strategies, and utilizing EZ Snap Mouse Traps helps prevent infestations and catch mice earlier when they do occur.
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