How to Get Rid of Mice
Mice infestations account for a large percentage of pest control business throughout the US, especially in the cooler months. The mouse is an incredibly versatile rodent who is primarily nocturnal and an occasional invader of residential properties. Mice can fit through a hole the size of a dime (about 3/8ths of an inch), and rats can enter through holes the size of a quarter.
Getting rid of mice is a game of hiding places. More often than not, infestations start in the basement or garage, and sometimes crawlspaces depending on the age of the property. The first sign a homeowner will usually see is little black pellets or droppings around the house. These droppings are dangerous and can carry disease. It's very important when cleaning a rodent’s dropping that you are careful not to inhale any dust or allow any fecal matter to come in contact with the skin.
Mice control can be achieved through the use of baits and traps. Under couches, in cabinets, beneath shelving, and closets are key areas in any inspection. Box spring mattresses and dressers are great hiding places as well. Where would you hide if you were a mouse? Mice need a lot less moisture than rats to survive, which they can obtain in trace amounts from dog food or the condensation from pipes. Refrigerators and many other appliances will generate moisture when powered, so always have a look behind the fridge if you suspect an infestation.
- To catch a mouse, you’ll need only a few things. Some sticky traps (also called glue boards) or snap traps, and baits (optional) specifically designed for rodents. These can be purchased at any home appliance or grocery store.
- Determine how the mice got inside. The garage is an excellent point of entry due to poor sealing. Check for light coming in through closed doors and make sure everything is properly sealed. Use steel wool to fill in large gaps if necessary.
- Look for droppings and gnaw marks on furniture. These are the common signs of mice and will give you a good idea of where to look and place traps. Check behind the fridge and inside cabinetry as well.
- Place glue boards along the edges of walls in areas with droppings. Mice prefer to walk along the edges of rooms rather than out in the open.
Be careful not to overlook areas beneath the sink, in the cabinets and around the water heater. Look for torn carpet in closet corners and between boxes in storage areas.
Baits are essential to getting rid of mice. If the mouse has made it into your pantry, experiment with different food items (granola bars, sunflower seeds, etc) in combination with the glue boards. Mice are neo-phobic, which means they are afraid of items that are unfamiliar to them. Using food in combination with the traps is crucial. Any bait containing Bromadiolone at 0.005% concentration will do the trick – be careful though, they also make tasty treats for dogs. You should avoid using baits indoors because if the rodent dies in the home or wall, it will stink up the home for at least 2 weeks with an awful smell. They can be used safely in attics, the smell will likely not travel to lower floors.
Sticky traps are more humane than snap traps because you can catch and release. To deactivate the adhesive, just pour olive oil onto the mouse and take the sticky board outside holding it upside down (at least 100 ft from the home just to be safe) and let gravity do the rest.