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Author: Ellen TozziClutter Education General Hoarding Organizing Safety Seasonal Tips

EEEK! A MOUSE!

As autumn approaches, mice look for warm homes with food and water in which to hunker down for the winter. Don’t let one of those homes be yours! At a recent NAPO-GPC* meeting, pest expert Dr. Dion Lerman shared tips on how to prevent, eliminate and clean up after those little rodents.  Here are answers to questions you might not have known you had:

Are mice a health concern?

  • Mice are a health concern because they contribute to allergies and asthma
  • 83% of all homes contain mice allergens; 95% of low-income homes
  • The allergens are found in their urine

How do the rascals get in?

  • Under doors if there is a gap that is ¼” high (if a pencil can fit under a door, a mouse can fit)
  • Through holes in the exterior of the house (if a hole is the size of a dime, a mouse can fit)
  • Inside in corners, floors, closets, basements, openings around pipes, etc.

Where in the house do the critters live?

  • Mice generally nest 30 to 50 feet from food and water
  • They can live in wall voids, cabinets, under sinks, attics, basements, sheds … you name it
  • You can detect them by their droppings (or by the behavior of your pets)

How can one prevent them from coming in?

  • Install door sweeps on doors with gaps
  • Stuff openings with steel wool or copper pot-scrubbers as tightly as possible and seal with silicone caulk
  • Eliminate accessible food and water
  • Keep the home clean and decluttered
  • Use plastic bins with snap lids for storage (bins containerize items and makes clean up easier, should they enter)

What’s the best way to get rid of mice?

  • Use snap traps with peanut butter as bate
  • If successful, wear rubber/nitrile gloves, put dead mouse in resealable bag, then in plastic grocery bag and put in trash.  Disinfect surrounding area and trap if you want to reuse it.
  • Do NOT use poison in the house!  Avoid sticky pads.

What’s the best way to safely clean up after the critters?

  • Wear rubber/nitrile gloves, mist mouse droppings and urine with a 1:10 solution of water and bleach; let soak for five minutes
  • Wipe up with paper towels and dispose of them
  • Wipe again with a disinfectant or bleach solution

As with most things in life, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Author: Nina BowdlerAnnouncements Education General NAPO National Conference Organizing

Gifts Received at Conference

The NAPO National Conference was held in Pittsburgh, PA this year, and I was fortunate enough to attend. While there, I couldn’t help but reflect on how grateful I was to have the opportunity to travel with my colleagues and learn from some of the best! My motto is to always have an ‘attitude of gratitude,’ and below are a few of my ‘takeaway’ gifts.

The first gift I received was back in December 2016 at our NAPO-GPC holiday party when I was chosen as the recipient of the NAPO-GPC scholarship. This scholarship enables one qualifying member to attend the conference. Most don’t realize that although I had sent in payment, early on, to reserve my spot, I had been debating on pulling out of going due to other family commitments. Upon the advice of my friend and colleague, she suggested that I wait until after our holiday gathering to make my decision. I am so grateful that I took her advice!

The second gift I received was the undisputed educational opportunity to grow personally and professionally. The keynote speaker was Jones Loflin, and he presented “How To Blossom Even In Times Of Change.” He spoke about the need to cultivate, prune, and accept change. He also spoke to us about the ability to harvest even in times of change. I walked away from his address with a newfound appreciation for growth, and I am looking forward to implementing his examples and expertise. I had the opportunity to choose from many ‘breakout sessions’ and a few of my favorites were the TED Talk Discussion – ‘Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator’ facilitated by our very own Debbie Lilliard, ‘How to Get and Keep Media Attention’ by Paula Rizzo and Terri Trespicio (the dynamic duo), ‘Busily Unproductive’ by Zachary Sexton, and ‘9 Technology Tools to Skyrocket Productivity’ by Amy Payne and Brooks Duncan. Honestly, it was not an easy decision as there were well over 45 sessions to choose from.

Lastly, and most importantly, the greatest gift I received was the ever-present ‘collaboration over competition‘. I have always felt this with my local GPC chapter, but to experience this with well over 600 attendees was astounding. Our NAPO National motto has always been “together we are better,” and to be amongst my peers and feel their sincere desire to see me grow professionally and personally is the greatest gift by far.