Mouse Infestation. Species? [PICS]
I have a wall-cupboard in a wall suitable for storing cans. My wife put about a dozen packs of oriental flat rice noodles in there. (Yeah, I know, but she doesn't listen.)
When showing the house to relatives, we discovered mouse infestation. Little craps everywhere, and 2-3 bags devoured. Strong urine smell. The last time she looked in that cupboard was about 2 weeks previous, when it was fine. She said she did hear rustling in the evening while reading in that room, but thought it was leaves outside. (Yeah, I know, let's not investigate or anything.)
At night they come into that cupboard. I can open it and they are there, staring back at me, they don't run away until I make like I am going to stomp them. They are cheeky bastards.
I borrowed a clam-shell trap and that first night set it without bait, and caught the first within minutes. I emptied it and reset it. Doing this for two hours, I caught four mice in total. They all seemed pretty similar in appearance.
You can see a photo of the first caught mouse in the cupboard here: http://www.antimeta.com/photos/2002-03-26/0326_001.jpg
Is four the entire litter? I found the clam-shell trap sprung in the morning, but without a mouse.
The cupboard is in a wall that used to be an outside wall, but now is an inside wall because of an addition. That is, it is right at the meeting of the old part and the new part. The bottom of the cupboard is set down, and there is a little space leading into the basement that I hadn't noticed.
Immediately below the cupboard is a beam (that used to be an outside beam). There are little bits of debris on that beam, that look like shavings etc. Are these "urine pillars"? That explains why I found one on the floor directly below, it must have fallen. I had found it a while ago but not realized its significance.
That was two days ago. Yesterday I got a bunch more traps and set four on the beam below the cupboard, and some around the basement floor near the walls. I searched the basement for droppings and found only a few, at the other end of the basement (old part), near a sewer opening. I don't know how long they've been there. I don't know if they came in from there (sewer? elsewhere?) and moved to the cupboard, or went searching the basement when I removed the noodles.
I also set the clam-shell and two flat glue traps in the cupboard. All traps I baited with bacon fat.
This morning I found that the two traps directly under the cupboard on the beam caught mice, falling to the basement floor. No other traps were sprung. Nothing caught in the cupboard.
So now my main questions are, did I catch all the mice? I suppose I'll find out. I'm getting more traps today to put more on the beam and around the basement walls.
I've learned a lot about mice infestations in the last two days. But I still haven't learned which species of mouse I have. Is it a house mouse, a deer mouse, or a white-footed mouse, or other? And, my particular concern, is that the mice I caught last night on the beam seem different than the mice I caught in the cupboard the night before. Are they the same species? The same litter? How many more can I expect?
I still don't know where they came (or are coming) in. This weekend I'm going to stop every hole I find with steel wool. But I want to trap them all indoors also. I don't want to disturb them into other parts of the house (e.g. bedroom or kitchen).
I'd like to get a UV light to see where they've been via urine stain fluorescence. Does this work? Can I just get a blacklight from any party supply store? Ideally, I'd like a little Mag-lite UV flashlight for these occasions. Does such a thing exist?
Finally, is hantavirus a concern in Ontario (Thousand Island region, north shore of Lake Ontario)? I vacuumed the cupboard that first day with a wet-dry vac (dry though) before reading that that is a bad idea. Actually, my pregnant wife did the vacuuming while I watched our 2-year-old niece nearby. (Yeah, I know, but she wanted it cleaned up.)
Any advice is appreciated, my wife hates this.