People, mice head indoors for winter

first_imgWhen temperatures drop, Georgians scurry indoors to keep warm. Unfortunately, so do mice. A University of Georgia expert offers tips on keeping unwanted furry house guests from hoarding heat.“Mice can occasionally venture in this time of year looking for warmth,” said Jim Crawford, the UGA Cooperative Extension agent in Jefferson County. “It only takes a small crack or an open door to get an uninvited house guest.”Mice want to be warm, tooMice normally nest in grass, brush or woody areas around homes. But when it gets cold outdoors, they leave these nests and search for warmer habitats, like inside homes, offices or other structures, he said.Most homeowners don’t know they’re harboring mice until they see mouse droppings, which resemble black grains of rice. Another sure sign is chew marks on food containers and packages.Get rid of their food sourceCrawford says the first step to ridding your home of mice is to take away their food source. Keep garbage cans covered and food items stored in tightly sealed containers. This includes pet food.Next, remove any weeds, trash, boards, firewood or other debris near the exterior of homes and buildings. “These objects provide excellent cover for mice in the winter and snakes in the summer,” Crawford said.Make sure doors seal tightly and window and door screens are in good shape. Apply caulk to seal cracks around pipes and utilities where mice can squeeze their ways indoors.Baits work, but they can cause a stinkIf possible, don’t use poison baits. “Baits can pose a threat to small children and pets,” he said. “Besides, mice will consume the poison and die behind walls and in other unreachable places and cause a terrible odor.”The old-fashioned mouse trap is still the best method, Crawford said. Place traps next to walls, under furniture, in the pantry or behind the stove.“Always position a trap so the trigger is next to the wall,” he said. “This way you get them from either direction if they’re running along the baseboard.” Use cheese or peanut butter as bait and check and reset traps often.Cats are truly the oldest method of controlAmanda Omahen uses an even older method of mouse removal: A cat.“Luckily, our cat is a mouser,” she said. “We had a mouse in our house, I shrieked and pointed, and my cat took over from there.”last_img read more

Indonesia culls pigs, tests two men for avian flu

first_imgJul 25, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – In a response to Indonesia’s first three fatal human cases of avian influenza, officials killed some infected pigs and poultry yesterday, but not as many as they had planned to, according to news services.Plans had called for culling about 200 pigs in a village near the Jakarta suburb of Tangerang, the home of a man and two daughters who died of avian flu this month. But officials instead killed only 18 pigs, along with “dozens” of chickens and ducks, according to a Reuters report yesterday.The agriculture minister, Anton Apriyantono, told a radio station that the original plan would have hurt the local economy, the story said. But his spokesman, Hari Priyono, said the plan was to kill only the pigs that tested positive for avian flu.He said only 18 pigs tested “truly positive” for the virus, and those 18 were slaughtered, according to the story. “In days to come, whenever we find a positive one here, we will slaughter it straight away,” he was quoted as saying.Indonesian officials reported to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) in May that the H5N1 avian flu virus had been detected in some pigs at two sites in Tangerang.Indonesia’s first human victims of avian flu were a 38-year-old man and his two daughters, aged 1 and 8, who died between Jul 9 and 14. Authorities have said they have no clear evidence that the three had had any contact with sick poultry or infected pigs.Reports from Jakarta today said two men hospitalized in the city are being tested for avian flu even though indications are that they have some other illness.A Reuters story said initial signs are that the two men, one of whom is a photographer who recently photographed chicken farms, have typhoid fever. The men were suffering from “high fever and flu symptoms,” the story said.But Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari said the men were “suffering from an ordinary flu,” according to a report in the Jakarta Post.A World Health Organization (WHO) spokeswoman in Indonesia, Sari Setiogi, said samples from the two men would be sent to Hong Kong for testing, with results expected in 7 to 10 days, according to the Reuters report.Reuters quoted Evi Zelvino of Jakarta’s public health agency as saying the patients’ “temporary diagnosis” was typhoid.Zelvino also said authorities planned to investigate the case of a Malaysian who died earlier this month. Doctors have said the person died of typhoid, the story said.Meanwhile, Chinese authorities say they have ruled out avian flu in the investigation of a mysterious disease that has killed 17 farm workers and afflicted 41 more in southwestern China’s Sichuan province, according to reports. The workers all fell ill after handling sick or dead pigs or sheep, reports said.China Daily quoted Zeng Huajin, a senior provincial health official, as saying that the illness was probably caused by Streptococcus suis, a bacteria usually found in pigs.”I can assure you that the disease is absolutely not SARS [severe acute respiratory syndrome], anthrax or bird flu,” Zeng said.The Chinese news agency Xinhua said yesterday that the patients all had high fever, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and bruises under the skin. Other reports mentioned hemorrhaging.Of the surviving patients, two had recovered, 27 were in stable condition, and 12 were in critical condition, Xinhua reported.Bob Dietz, a WHO spokesman in Manila, told Reuters the disease didn’t sound like avian flu because it didn’t seem to involve “a large pneumonia content or a large respiratory problem.”last_img read more