Ok Robin – Please think before taking Tolik’s advice about the Tom Cat’s! Sorry Tolik my friend. But a male, neutered or not sprays everything, all the time, marking territory. I can’t even imagine having my storage stuff reeking of cat spray which is odious!
Get D-Con mice stuf – f they go in it, eat it and croak – do it now. There is no such thing as one mouse. Get a cat perhaps but get a spayed female – and don’t overly feed them wet food like Fancy Feast! Of course, some cats are too lazy to hunt. Or if you are a dog person, consider a terrier like a rat terrier or norwich. Small dog that has a real nose for them and will drive you crazy until they can get them if something is in their way. Then check the area thoroughly and try and find where they are coming in. Mice can get through incredibly small spaces (I think it is about 1/4 or 1/2″?) I’ve heard babies can get in spaces as small as a pencil eraser. Seal up everything you can find, especially around pipes and stuff. Stuff steel wool in it or otherwise try and seal up any place they may be getting in. It is well worth the time to protect your investment. Check back frequently for signs of them and take action.
Second, if funds and time permit, consider lining your main food storage area with sheet metal and seal the seams. Over time, mice can eat through just about anything but metal and glass.
There are ‘natural’ pest/mouse control remedies like using peppermint oil, ultrasonic gizmos etc. Personally, I don’t screw around with that when it comes to my storage stuff. I want to be SURE I don’t get a mouse infestation, nor do I want hantavirus.
When you clean up after mice – becareful! Orkin says it best:
‘Mice may carry bacteria, viruses and other diseases. As a result, cleaning efforts following an infestation must be cautiously attempted.
It is important not to disturb dust particles or rodent feces in affected areas. Nest materials should also be left undisturbed during this time. Sweeping or vacuuming these materials may lead to the further release of harmful airborne particles.
Deer mice are the primary transmitters of hantavirus, although other rodents such as white-footed mice, cotton rats, and rice rats may also be carriers. This virus can be fatal and is found within the deer mouse’s feces, urine and saliva. Hantavirus is transmitted to humans through airborne particles, and symptoms are similar to those of the common flu. However, individuals with this virus must seek medical attention immediately upon recognition.
Cleaning Mouse Droppings
Mouse droppings are spindle-shaped and are approximately the size of a grain of rice. Certain mouse species transmit diseases and viruses through their droppings, urine and saliva.
All surfaces that have come into contact with mice or excrement should be thoroughly disinfected. Mouse droppings and debris should be carefully picked up and disposed of with sturdy nonabsorbent gloves. An OSHA-approved respirator with functioning cartridges should be worn. It also is advised that clothing worn during cleaning be thrown away immediately afterward.
It is important not to sweep or vacuum mouse droppings, as these cleaning methods cause the release of more airborne virus particles. Dispose of any towels or cloths that come into contact with feces or the surfaces of an infested room. Gloves should be disposed of, and it is suggested that the hands be washed several times after cleaning.
Place all contaminated and cleaning materials in plastic trash bags that seal tightly. Each plastic trash bag should be sealed tightly inside yet another plastic trash bag. Dispose of trash in landfills or outdoor garbage bins. Hands should be washed thoroughly and the newly cleaned area should be exposed to fresh air and sunshine for a number of hours.’
Don’t take chances with your health.