Ask the experts

Mice in Health Unit

I work at a Health Unit, in BC.  We have an infestation of mice, which the pest control company is only using traps for.  They advised us that fumigation is not allowed in Canada.  Is this true? Potentially, there is a health risk here.  We have elderly people and young children here daily who could be susceptible.  Is there anything else we can do?  Our Workplace Health and Safety team doesn’t seem to want to do anything; WorkSafe BC just gave me a brochure to read about how to clean up the droppings that we are finding everywhere.  The people cleaning our building vacuum, therefore, potentially vacuuming up droppings releasing the toxins that are present.  Please advise. Thank you for your time. M.

  • Fumigation is definitely not a legal control solution for mice. If it were legal, the building would have to be vacated.
  • A very thorough inspection could reveal what is attracting the mice into the building.  Food crumbs, snacks and open food in the staff room, staff lockers, desk drawers, bird feeders, garbage and compost outside.
  • A professional will look for and seal up entry points.
  • After trapping all of the mice, an experienced professional should clean and disinfect the contaminated areas where there is evidence of rodent activity.  This may require the use of a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner.
  • Trapping can be very effective if done properly.  An experienced pest professional will know where and how to place and maintain traps. There may be legal problems if your building maintenance staff tries to solve the rodent problem.  If poison is used, it should only be done by a licensed professional.

Larry Cross