Volume 56, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



An experimental assessment of methods to reduce rodent infestations in rural housing was conducted in Yosemite National Park, California, Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Parks. California, and Shenandoah National Park, Virginia. During pretreatment surveys, nearly all (63 of 68) selected units had past or ongoing rodent activity inside. Active infestations were found in 58.8% of the units. spp. represented 91.2% of all animals caught inside housing units. Despite little harborage, rodent activity was common near housing (290 animals/2,254 trap nights). The most common species present was (43–50% of all captures). This species was especially frequent (49–87% of captures) around the foundations of housing units. Habitat had little effect on captures. There were 1.8 caught per unit along the foundations of housing in modified rural settings with grass lawns compared with 1.2 caught per unit in sites located in mature woodlands. During autumn of 1994, randomly selected housing units were rodent proofed by sealing openings associated with chases, roof eaves, and attics with insulation and wire mesh. Housing was examined and the fauna was resampled in the spring-summer of 1995. Rodent-proofed houses were infested significantly less often (3 of 28) than control houses (13 of 36) ( = 0.02) and the intensity of infestation was lower in experimental houses (6 versus 23 mice/treatment). More than 25% of the mice trapped inside the houses had been marked outside the houses during the three-day surveys, demonstrating movement of mice adjacent to the buildings into not rodent-proofed housing. As in the previous autumn, most of the animals captured in (98.9%) and along the foundations of the houses (77.5%) were spp. These results demonstrate that frequently invade rural housing but rodent-proofing effectively eliminates or substantially reduces rodent activity.


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