Mice are small and flexible, so they can slip into your home through the tiniest cracks in search of food and shelter. Indications that a mouse has taken up residence in your home include gnaw marks, chewed food packaging, mouse droppings, and the distinctive smell.
Mice control begins with prevention; if you can keep them out of your home, you won’t need to extract them. If they have gotten in, there are several different means of handling mice problems: removing debris and food sources, sealing up their entry points, and trapping them.
To prevent mice nesting in your home or property, remove areas that act as a shelter, and any food sources.
- Clean up woodpiles, or store them at least 20 feet away from buildings.
- Trim shrubs and keep your grass short.
- Store food securely in airtight glass or tins.
- Clean up any food outside (spilled birdseed from feeders and left-over or unattended pet food).
- Inspect the house and shed for holes and cracks 1/4 inch in diameter or larger, and seal them using mesh or polyurethane foam.
Another way to try and get rid of your mouse problem is to use repellents. While not guaranteed to be an effective measure on their own, employing them in combination with other mouse control methods may be useful.
Here are some of the scents you should use:
- Peppermint oil
- Cayenne pepper
The best way to deal with a mouse problem in your house is to trap them. The key to effective trapping is their placement and number. You will rarely have a lone mouse, so set several traps in areas they run through and near mouse holes. Once you set the traps, be sure to check them regularly.
There are different kinds of traps to choose from:
- The snap trap‘s design is intended to break the rodent’s neck or back upon impact, killing it instantly. However, sometimes the trap only severely wounds the animal, and it’s up to you to kill the mouse humanely before disposing of the dead body.
- Live traps catch the mouse in a cage, allowing for relocation.
- Glue traps trap a mouse but don’t kill it. If not found quickly and killed humanely, it’s left to die of starvation and dehydration. This is one of the most inhumane means of dealing with rodents.
The best bait for trapping mice is peanut butter, but bacon, salami, oatmeal, dried fruit, and chocolate also work.
Rodenticides are another means of pest control; however, because they don’t kill the animal instantly, they create further problems:
- Mice may crawl into hard-to-reach places before dying, leaving you with the smell of a dead and decaying animal in your walls or roof space.
- Mice have many natural predators; any that eat a poisoned mouse will ingest second-hand poison and suffer the same effects.
When in doubt about the best way to proceed, give us a call, and we will take care of the problem for you.