Mice and rats can damage property, cause health and safety issues, and even harm other species. Rodents are often considered pests or nuisance animals, but prevention can help reduce conflicts and rodent populations.
Each year millions of rodents and other animals suffer from inhumane pest control methods. Although mice and rats can pose health risks to people and our pets, even “pests” deserve to be treated humanely.
Preventing rodents around your home
It’s natural for mice and rats to look for food and shelter, but they get into trouble when they enter our homes. The most effective and humane way to control mice and rats is to prevent the problem before it happens.
Take steps to rodent-proof your home:
- Keep food indoors: Store people and pet food in rodent-proof containers.
- Prevent entry: Seal gaps or holes big enough for mice or rats in walls, foundations, sheds and crawl spaces.
- Keep clean: Tidy up messes and spills, outdoor waste and materials to prevent nesting.
Don’t use glueboards
Glueboards or glue traps are plastic or metal trays coated with glue to catch mice, rats and sometimes snakes or other animals. Once the animal touches the glue, it becomes almost impossible for them to get out. Animals are often left in the trap for a long time until they die, which is a traumatic experience for both the animal and people who witness it.
These traps are legal and can be found in many stores, but they cause rodents and other animals to suffer tremendously as they do not kill quickly. Birds, small wildlife and even pets can get caught in this sticky situation. Never use glueboards.
Poisons and snap traps
Rodent poisons or “rodenticides” are legal and used widely, but they cause a slow and painful death. Rodenticides are also dangerous for owls, eagles and even cats that eat poisoned rodents. Avoid using poisons as much as possible.
Snap traps cause a quick death for mice and rats, but can be dangerous to wildlife and pets unless they are kept in a locked box. You will also need different sizes of snap trap depending on the size of the animal (rat vs. mouse). New devices are soon coming on the market that signal to your phone when the trap has been triggered.
Learn more about the BC SPCA AnimalKind program for pest control companies.