Signs of a Mouse Infestation
The first step to getting rid of an infestation of mice is to confirm that you have an infestation of mice. Some of the signs that you have an infestation include unexplained holes in walls, boxes, and food containers, round droppings up 1’4” long, rustling sounds in the walls or ceilings, and urine trails along the base of walls. Getting rid of mice is important because mice carry parasites which can transmit to humans.
Preparing Your Home
The first step to getting rid of mice is to get rid of their food source. Get rid of any unprotected food; if you suspect it has even been touched by mice, throw it away for your safety. Metal and glass containers work best to keep mice from getting to the food. Keep human and pet food elevated, or store pet food in metal trashcans. Make sure all your trashcans have tight fitting lids to keep mice from getting in. Check outside your home for food sources as well.
The second step is to clean up any clutter in which mice might live, this incudes kitchens, closets, garages, and basements. Clean the yard. High grass, weeds, and wood piles all provide cover for mice on the hunt for a new house.
The third step to block off all possible entry points to your house. Mice can squeeze through incredibly small spaces, so make sure you seal up any cracks with cement or another type of material that is gnaw-proof. Some spaces in your home are there for a reason and should not be sealed up. In cases like that, steel wool can be shoved into larger cracks and holes to keep mice out. Once you have gotten rid of all outside entry points, go inside your home and check for access points inside your basement or bottom floor and seal them up.
After have done all these things, the mice inside your home should not be able to get out and no new mice will be able to get in, allowing you to focus on eradicating the mouse population currently in your home. There are numerous types of lethal mouse traps including snap traps, glue boards, and zapper traps. Snap traps have been used for a long time because they are effective and cheap. The down side to snap trap are that they are messy and might not kill the mouse right away, leaving the unfortunate task to you. Glue traps are good because they are cheap can kill numerous pests at one time. Glue traps are not particularly humane and it may take a long time for the mouse to die or starvation or stress. These two traps should not be used around children and pets as they may cause harm to unintended victims.
Zapper traps are enclosed structures that deliver a lethal electric shock to the mouse. Zapper traps are more expensive and requires lots of batteries. There is also a homemade bucket trap which lures the mouse onto a small plank over a bucket filled with water, the plank then tips because of their weight, causing them to fall in the water and drown. The use of poison to kill mice is generally not a good idea because they may die in cracks and crevices you may not be able to find, meaning you will have rotting mouse corpses, creating bad smells and attracting other pests.
Lethal traps are not for everyone, if you want to get rid of mice but don’t want to kill them, there are other options, including bowl traps and catch traps. Bowl traps are similar to the bucket trap; grease the side of a large metal bowl and place a treat in the bottom of the bowl. Make a ramp to let the mice in the bowl. Once in, the grease will trap them. Catch traps lure the mice into a container then snap shut behind them. Unfortunately, mice quickly learn to get the bait without triggering the trap. Always make sure that you release the mice a mile or more from your home so they cannot return to their nest, and never touch the mice to avoid the parasites they carry.
Types of Bait
There are many different types of bait that can be used if for traps including peanut butter, bread, and uncooked bacon. Be prepared to try a few different types of bait as some types of baits attract different mice. Use sticky bait or tie the bait to the trap with string or dental floss so the mice can’t wander off with the bait and stand a better chance of being caught.
Problems Catching Mice?
If your trap has been sprung and there is no mouse there, you can lightly dust the trap with flour to catch the footprints so you can see what type of animal you are dealing with. The mouse bait may be being carried off by cockroaches. It is also necessary to use the correct traps, using rat traps to catch mice rarely works.
Court of Last Resort
If these traps do not work, consider getting professional help from an exterminator.