Using Videos to Help Keep Mice Out of Schools

MOuseMice have been linked to health risks, including asthma, and in 2010 were the second most-reported pest in Oregon schools. So the Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides applied for a Western IPM Center grant to teach schools facilities managers how to use IPM techniques to control mice.

The result was three mouse-control videos available on YouTube that have not only been distributed to the vast majority of Oregon school districts, but are being viewed and used by public housing providers, public health nurses and others in and out of Oregon.

“The feedback has been great,” said Northwest Center Environmental Health Associate Aimee Code, a co-project director with Tim Stock of Oregon State University Extension. “We’ve heard from a number of custodians and facilities managers this is exactly what they need, and when they have a mouse problem they learn how to solve it.”

The three videos in the series focus on exclusion (keeping mice out), sanitation and trapping. They present the information in a straightforward manner with narration, images and interviews.

“People really like the simple, straightforward nature of the video,” Code said. “They didn’t want an actor, didn’t want a storyline. They just wanted the information, the straight facts.”

A sample of those facts:

  • Place mousetraps along mouse corridors three to five feet apart, with the snap bar facing the wall.
  • Because mice are curious, place traps one night, then remove them for a week. Repeat as needed.
  • Jam makes an excellent bait.

“One thing that struck me was just how small a space can allow a mouse to get into a school,” Code said. “A missing door-sweep is all it takes, or a dime-sized hole.”

View the videos at the Sustainable Places Information Network website here.