Written by: Bobby Kossowicz, mother of two, Branchburg, New Jersey
Editor’s Note: Bobby Kossowicz is a mother of two from Branchburg, New Jersey, who has past personal experience with pests and the importance of controlling them. Before becoming a full-time mom, Bobby worked in the pest control industry, and she combines her professional experience with her perspective as a mom to share the importance of understanding pests and how to protect your family from them. In honor of National Inspect and Protect Week (NIAP), Bobby shares a personal encounter with mice after moving into her home a few years ago. Read on to learn about her diligence.
It’s been three years since my family and I moved to our current home. We were desperately in need of a larger home to accommodate my work-from-home lifestyle and all of the toys and equipment that go along with a one-year-old.
We were thrilled with our new home but warned during the inspection that there had been a previous mice problem. The inspector wasn’t sure if the mice were still active or not, and I didn’t think much of it as the house is in the country. I also knew that I could rely on my many pest control contacts that I have been working with over the years to help contain the problem.
The weekend before our move, we went on a cleaning spree. My excitement over our new home was met with trepidation as I cleaned some mouse droppings out of the kitchen cabinets. I contacted a friend in the pest control industry who gave me specifics on how to properly clean up the droppings with a bleach and water solution. I found many more droppings in the den and again broke out the bleach and mop. Having a baby in the house I became especially concerned; I am well aware that mouse droppings have the potential to transmit disease.
A week hadn’t passed when I started to discover droppings on my kitchen counter. I would start my day doing a thorough investigation of the kitchen followed by disinfecting the counter and all of its contents. I was now disgusted. Traps and glue boards were set, and my husband would painstakingly investigate the perimeter of our home to uncover the entry rodents were using to access our home. I was told over and over by experts in the field that in order to truly end a mice infestation you must eliminate the source of entry.
It took months to gain control of the problem. I was very grateful for my pest control friends who set up child-proof rodent bait stations along the perimeter of our home, safely baited the interior and set traps in places where my daughter could not access. During the process, my husband discovered evidence around an air conditioner in a basement window that determined the mice were using it to access the house. That day he removed the air conditioner and replaced the entire window and trim.
It took time to finally end the infestation, but removing that air conditioner and the basement window seemed to be the turning point. We now investigate the perimeter of our home on a regular basis. Preventing a pest problem right from the start is the best plan. Be sure to study the interior and exterior of your home this fall to ensure you keep your home and family pest free.