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Hints from Heloise: Some pet-safe ways to get rid of rodents

DEAR HELOISE: How do I get rid of mice without poisoning my pets? We have a cat and a dog, and I worry about using rat poison. Any suggestions? I haven’t tried an exterminator yet, but that might be an option if there’s not a better alternative.

– M.B., via email

DEAR M.B.: I do have a few hints that might help. Use resettable live-catch mousetraps. They can be used again and again, depending on how many rodents you have. The first step, though, is to do a thorough inspection of your house. Mice and other small creatures can squeeze in through the tiniest of spaces. Check your doors and windows, foundation, siding, vent openings and crawl spaces. Look for any cracks, gaps or spaces where they might be getting in. Fill the gaps with steel wool, and seal any other openings. Then set your traps by where you think they are coming in and out.

Try to deter rodents by keeping all food in sealed containers. If this doesn’t work and you are worried about using other methods, your best bet may be to call a professional.

DEAR HELOISE: I bought a small cosmetics bag for my purse. I fill it with snacks and keep it in my purse. That way, whenever my son and I are out, I always have something on hand if he gets hungry.

– Beverly S. in Texas

DEAR HELOISE: I was shopping in a thrift store and ran across a pair of house shoes. They had lines of clear silicone caulk across the soles of the shoes. I realized that they were to add traction. Many house shoes are relatively smooth on the soles. I wanted to pass it on as a safety tip.

– A Reader, Little Rock, Ark.