Keep the Mouse Out of the House!
We all want peaceful coexistence with mice. We also want them to stay outdoors, not in our pantries and garages. Two good reasons for that: 1. We want our seeds left just the way we stored them -- not gnawed on. 2. Mice, cute as they can look, are also vectors for some pretty nasty diseases like Hantavirus and bubonic plague (plague isn't just in Monty Python skits, it's still around). Rats aren't widely considered cute (unless you had pet rats in your childhood) so it's easier to think of them -- and all wild rodents, including squirrels and chipmunks -- as potential disease vectors. Squirrels in the Los Angeles area were recently identified as bubonic plague vectors.