Most people have never heard of M-44s and even fewer have read the use label for this important device to control predators. Visit https://www3.epa.gov/pesticides/chem_search/ppls/056228-00032-19990427.pdf to read the highly restrictive rules governing the legal use of this device.
Wildlife, such as birds and mice, can enter homes through dryer vents. However, securing this entry point requires great care. Secure dryer vents improperly and you have created conditions to start a fire. Say you use 1/4-inch hardware cloth to secure the opening. That screen reduces the air flow and allows lint to collect on the screen. As the dryer heats up it can ignite the lint and voila, you have a fire. According to Consumer Reports (Jan 2011 p. 3), lint filled dryer ducts cause 4,500 fires a year in the U.S. alone.
Before securing your dryer vent, be sure to consult local and state codes. My understanding is that some states forbid any screening of dryer vents. In these cases, the best you can do is to be sure that you are using an aluminum dryer vent hose and not the vinyl to at least keep the mice from entering the home.
For those locations where you can secure your dryer vents, then consider this device. It uses a ball that is pushed out of the way as the dryer runs then gravity drops back down when the dryer stops. No screens but still prevents animal entry.
Finally, be sure to monitor the device to ensure it continues to work properly. Daily following the install then weekly or monthly as your findings dictate. Of course, don’t forget to have it cleaned regularly.
Though weasels, also known as ermine when they turn white, adorned royal robes in Europe, its für doesn’t carry the same exclusivity today.
But weasels are still trapped. Most trappers use weasel boxes. Weasel boxes hold traps to capture weasels. The box protects the bait from the weather and larger animals that might steal it.
Different trappers use different hole sizes. Some like 2 inches in diameter others like 1.5. But does it make a difference in capture rates? How about non-target captures?
I’ll keep an eye out for any info. If you have some insights on weasel box holes do let us know.
A Suggestion for Bait Station Manufacturers
Bait stations are boxes designed to restrict access by non-target animals (i.e. pets) and people (i.e. children). Bait stations also protect the bait from the harmful effects of weather, thereby helping to keep the bait fresh and palatable for rodents to consume.
As valuable as bait stations are, they are not perfect. Mouse-sized bait stations are typically not sufficiently strong for use outdoors. So people wanting to control mice outdoors often are forced to use the more durable rat-sized bait stations. You may say, “So what?” The problem is that rat-sized bait stations have openings that are large enough to allow rats to enter and find the bait. But if you only need to control mice, then the hole is too large by a factor of almost 2. While mice can still enter the larger opening, so can other animals such as ground squirrels and other non-target animals. So you may end up killing animals you don’t need to kill, but that it would raise the risk that you could kill animals that would be illegal to kill. If that doesn’t convince you of the problem, what about the wasted money in bait?
You could cut some screen and screw it over the opening to narrow the size to an inch or inch and half opening. But why don’t bait station manufacturers create stations with grooves by the opening where you could slide a piece of place with a narrower opening? Voila. The bait station would be a dual purpose one. The result would allow more targeted use of toxicants resulting in less rodenticide getting into the environment. Sounds like a win win for everyone.
Stephen M. Vantassel specializes in vertebrate pest issues. He is available for consultations, training, and writing.
With the number of tick diseases growing in terms of infections and identified diseases, people need to be tick safe.
Put your pants in your socks. Check yourself after leaving the woods or garden. Keep your pets protected with tick control. Remove embedded ticks with tweezers as the CDC.gov suggests. Finally, monitor your health. Fevers and bull’s eye rashes can signify you have been infected.