Mice may be menacing when in your home, but they’re not always mighty. When it comes to predators, mice may avoid potential dangers. Some examples of potential predators of mice include foxes, weasels, lizards, snakes, owls and cats. So, if mice avoid household predators such as cats, are they afraid of dogs, too? Here is some information to consider about the predator-prey relationships of dogs and mice.
The Myth about Dogs and Mice
So, are mice afraid of dogs? Although a popular myth, there may not be much truth to the tale. Researchers from the University of Florida investigated and examined the relationship between household pets and rodents in several African villages. In particular, they wanted to test the potential repellent effects of dogs on mice. Researchers found that mice activity decreased in the presence of any household pets (e.g., dogs, cats). That said, there was a difference in mouse activity in the presence of only dogs – more mice returned after dogs had been present. Scientists concluded that the test did not prove the presence of dogs as the sole method for mice repellent. Instead, they found that the combination of both dogs and cats could be efficient in deterring mice. Scientists added that, “when different types of predators are present together they likely create a heightened landscape of fear for foraging rodents.” Further research is needed in order to determine the extent to which this pattern occurs in urban/suburban landscapes of the United States.
A combination of methods can be used to prevent or exclude mice in conjunction with predators (i.e., pets) or traps. Prevention methods like regular cleaning, vacuuming, and inspecting as well as sealing potential entryway can be beneficial. This can help keep your house clear of attractions (e.g., food, water) that may be luring mice in from the outside. Many people also ask, “Do dogs attract mice?” While there is no evidence to prove this true, it is known that dog food can attract mice. As a precaution, uneaten pet food should be put away and stored. Sources of pet food should be stored in sealed containers. Considering that protein sources such as cheese, meat, and even cockroaches may also attract mice, routine pest inspections and targeted control and exclusion methods can also be helpful in keeping mice out of your home.
Potential Dangers of Rodenticides and Alternatives
In some cases, rodenticides are used to control rodents, such as mice. Veterinarians at the University of California Davis Division of Agriculture and Resources explain that, “dogs can be affected by rodenticides two ways: by eating the poisoned bait or by eating an animal that was poisoned.” Instead of rodenticides, mouse traps can be placed strategically around your home in areas not accessed by pets. Mice can also be excluded from your home by sealing potential points of entry.For proper protection, it’s always recommended to contact a wildlife professional to help determine the best solution for your home.
To help get rid of mice infestations on your property, schedule an appointment with Terminix®. Our trained technicians are well-educated on species of mice, as well as methods for exclusion and control. Upon visiting your home, technicians can assess potential issues, help determine how to best eliminate infestations and create a customized removal and prevention plan.