While most people would agree that mice are cuter animals than rats, the problems that mice cause homeowners in the United States cannot be overstated. The house mouse is one of the most significant rodent pests in the country, and they are more than just a nuisance when they find their way into a home. House mice are significant economic pests, as they damage structures, chew on electronic cables and wiring, damage furniture, and they can even decrease the value of the homes that they infest. Perhaps worst of all, mice can spread diseases to humans and pets, including salmonella. Mice are not easy to capture either, as they can run rapidly along rough vertical surfaces and jump distances as far as 13 feet.
In recent years, mice infestation rates have been increasing in Maine where the pests are causing problems for homeowners and farmers alike. In addition to the house mouse, Maine is also home to whitefooted mice and deer mice, all three of which become most troublesome during the fall season when they invade homes to seek warm shelter before the arrival of the winter season. In fact, mice pest issues have become so problematic in Maine that a local animal control shelter in the state is trying to convince residents to adopt feral cats in order to allow the natural hunters to track down and kill problem mice around homes.
Most cat owners have been presented with a dead bird or other animal corpse by their feline companions as a show of their hunting abilities, but feral cats spend their lives in the wild where they depend solely on hunting to sustain themselves. This makes feral cats superior hunters, and farmers have long kept feral cats in order to allow them to hunt down and destroy crop pests. Now, officials at the PAWS animal shelter are promoting feral cats as a cheap and hassle-free way for homeowners to control mice on their property.
According to the PAWS program coordinator, Brandi Moore, adopting feral cats will take care of mice around homes and save the lives of cats, but Moore is also quick to mention that the cats do not want to be held or cuddled due to their feral nature. So far, the animal shelter is succeeding with their plan, as 50 cats have recently been adopted for mice control purposes. Moore also states that feral cats can be put in any environment where mice are a problem, such as basements, attics, workshops, barns, garages and even office buildings. However, before residents consider adopting a feral cat for mouse control, properties should be free of all poison bait products, as mice that have died due to ingesting poison can be eaten by cats, causing them to become sick.
Would you consider adopting a feral cat if you were struggling with mice pest issues around your home?