Should You Be Saving Mice?

Tuesday September 13, 2011
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Two videos present the compassionate side of saving mice. You will hear the joy in the voices of these two young girls, when they are able to save these mice and give them a chance to live. This father is clearly a good father. He is doing a wonderful job preserving the innocence and compassion of his daughter.

This young lady has great compassion for her “micees.”

So is saving mice the thing to do?

You can already see that children have a natural affinity for small creatures. They are able to see an animal’s natural beauty. The equation they use in their decision making is simple and pure.

Sometimes, these feelings and sense of purpose continue into adulthood and may even form the basis of strong religious beliefs.

But can we be so pure in our thoughts and practice?

The following two videos represent the other extreme. Though this is an extreme, it is a fair representation of the capabilities of mice to create serious sanitation and health issues.

In the pest control profession, we are forced to weigh the consequences of our actions – both for and against life. We may not be physicians; neither should we be soldiers simply trained to kill. But we do make decisions, as we must, that effect the ecosystem, as well as having direct impact on human lifestyle and health. Our choices are not based on luxury, but on responsible and timely health preservation. I would add that parents must also raise their children with a sense of responsibility that goes beyond the immediate reality to a larger scope when raising children to understand right from wrong. These are matters we deal with every day in our work. I assure you that we do not take this responsibility lightly.

The above videos show a caring parent and teen releasing mice into fields – one might say – where the mice belong. Parents have this luxury and may find value in teaching their children kindness. Legality and health issues aside, for a pest control company, this is simply not practical. Imagine hiring a pest control company to make a trip to your house and then having them drive out to the countryside to release the mouse; then to repeat this activity 3-4 times until all the mice are gone (if you’ve done a good job of sealing all mouse entry points to your house). One would have to expect at least double, if not triple the cost due to extra drive times, gas and probability of road accidents, which are major contributors to job costs. A parent does not need to make this financial calculation.

But now for the health issues: Simply put, mice are vectors of many serious diseases that have caused huge plagues. They are a well known cause of allergies and asthma. See this long list of rodent vectored illnesses from the Center for Disease Control

Social issues: Mice live in close proximity to humans and multiply rapidly. Two mice mating as much as 10 times per year could produce 120 mice per year! Mice do not use toilets, leaving unsanitary conditions behind in areas of the house that are not visible, such as wall voids and attics. They are silent killers. We find many homes in which mice are allowed to roam, causing total damage to furniture and safe occupancy. Think of mice as you might a dental issue, like teeth plaque. Often people neglect plaque and let it build up, all the while causing tooth and gum disease, with can lead to cavities, tooth pain, tooth extraction, and all the way to heart disease.

Being good to a mouse may be the kind thing for a parent to do for a child. But responsibility requires that we consider the private health hazards we create in our own homes by allowing mice to survive and multiply. And while some folks may express the sentiment as stated in comments that follow these videos on Youtube, that humans carry more disease than mice, that is simply not the case and there can be no moral equivalence between the survival of mice and humans. Without health tests for mice (not something that these families will pay for), there is no knowing what diseases or parasites these mice carry.

Legally, ordinances are on the books which forbid transporting rodents to public property, or for that matter, off your own property. These ordinances are on the books for public safety. See California Health and Safety Code 116125, which specifically states that mice must be exterminated as soon as their presence is known!

Our company does not do large animal trapping, because with a name like Hearts, we do not what you to feel that we are heartless when it comes to the survival of wildlife. We do care. But we agree that without the financial ability to do health tests, and realizing that it is unfair to place the problems of large animals on others’ property or that of the public, game hunting companies need to do what they do as a public service.

We believe that our governments have made the correct decision to control the spread of mice. We support the most humane methods of eradication and mice population control that we can find.


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