PestCast: Triple Decker Homes Can Have Mice Problems
By Chris Williams on July 24, 2014.
Welcome to the Colonial Pest Control “PestCast.”
I’m Zack Ciras, a service technician at Colonial Pest. Colonial Pest Control is a full service pest control company serving Central and Eastern Massachusetts, Southern New Hampshire, and Southern Maine. Colonial has been providing pest control solutions since 1984. Much of our experience comes from Worcester, MA. Worcester is the second largest city in New England and has a storied history including the three family home we call the triple decker.
Triple Deckers are as susceptible to ants, bees, fleas, spiders, centipedes…the whole gambit of regular creepy crawlies as any other home. But in my opinion, they are even more uniquely vulnerable to mice. Erradicating mice from a three family in Worcester requires a unique approach one can only develop by years of experience serving this community.
Some potential problems associated with triple deckers are competing food sources, either from other units or exterior conditions, such as the neighborhood trash bins, shared basement, attic, and pipe and wire chases, limited environmental controls within neighboring units, and aging infrastructure. The apartment provided in wall voids, attics, basements, under the stove, behind the refrigerator, under piles of clothes, and any other cluttered area may support many generations and many families of mice.
Between animal food left out, rubbish from the street, natural foods such as berries, nuts, and seeds from the exterior, and the plethora of insects around the home, mice have plenty to live on. These competing food sources also make it obligatory for proper placement of rodenticide bait. Putting out a carton of over the counter rodenticide bait probably won’t be enough to entice the mice to eat it in the first place. Especially with the pelletized formulas. Many of the mice that we find in the three families actually store the pellets in their cheeks, carry them to a better food source, drop the poison, and pick up, say, the dog food, leaving a pile of poison next to the dog food. Now that’s not good!
So how do we approach this difficult situation? Well, I like to look at a triple decker as four separate accounts. The exterior, basement, and attic serve as the standard template for mouse control technique. Each of the three unique living areas provide unique opportunities for control. We don’t rely on simply putting out a couple of bait stations and wishing you luck. We comb over ever room in each unit, close as many holes as we can, apply safe, tamper resistant rodenticide baits in secured areas, and utilize a variety of other techniques in each individual unit. Because the first floor unit might not be exactly like the third floor unit in both problem or layout.
Photo credit: Svadilfari / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0)