Mouse control can be a difficult task. Mice are quiet, sneaky little pests that breed very quickly. Just when you think you are done with them, they come right back. Mice should be exterminated, however, because they litter the house with feces, and they risk making you sick.
Like many other homeowners, you may have considered hiring a professional. While this is the most reliable solution, you can solve the problem yourself. Check out these tips so you can get rid of the mice in your home.
1. Remove all food sources
Pest control experts recommend that you deep clean the house before you set traps. This gets rid of the bits of food that keep the mice alive and forces them to eat bait, instead. Vacuum the house thoroughly, then empty out your kitchen cabinets and wipe them down. Put all your food back in sealed containers so that mice can’t reach them. Clean the insides of your fridge and oven and don’t forget to clean the floor beneath them.
Once you are done cleaning, get in the habit of taking out the garbage every night. Do the dishes before the end of the day and avoid leaving any pet food out overnight. Mice are omnivores that will eat anything. Pest control technicians cannot clean the house for you, but they recommend that you keep it clean during the extermination process.
2. Get rid of hiding spots
Mice are prey to many animals. They like to hide in dark, enclosed areas, like wall voids, drawers, and spaces behind the kitchen cabinets. Take the time to look for hiding spots in the kitchen, basement, garage, and attic as these are popular nesting sites. Look for holes in the wall and seal them shut with caulking. Check the baseboards and cabinets carefully for cracks.
Then, tidy up the house to create space. Move things off the floor and get rid of the things you don’t need. The less clutter, the better. This will make it easier for you to set traps and monitor the situation.
3. Seal entry points
Pest control professionals always recommend that you have your home excluded. This means to seal off every opening in the home’s exterior. Door gaps, cracked window frames, and holes in the foundation let mice into the house. If you can address these, you will trap the infestation within your home and stop any more mice from getting inside.
Put weatherstripping on the bottoms of your doors to the outside. Then, grab a flashlight and look for openings in your walls. Look under the deck, along the foundation, between siding panels, and up between the soffits and the exterior wall. If you have weep vents that appear to be 6mm wide or more, you can plug these with little steel vent covers from the hardware store. Use mesh to cover wall vents and silicone to seal every other crack you find. You can stuff larger gaps with steel wool.
4. Set baits and traps in the right spots
Next comes extermination. Once you have cleaned up the house and done some exclusion, you must choose your method of extermination. You can use snap traps, electronic traps, live traps, or bait stations.
Snap traps work well, but you will need to handle dead mice. Electronic traps are slightly more expensive, but they are reusable, and many give you the option of disposing the mice without touching them. Live traps are another great option; however, you must be sure that you excluded the home very well before setting the critters free. Bait stations also work well, but they can be dangerous. They will also result in mice perishing out of sight, so it can be harder to keep track of progress.
Select your method and put your traps in the most strategic locations. Think of where you have seen mice and their droppings and put the traps in those areas. Traps work best when they are up against a wall. Bait them with a very small amount of food and check them every single day. Wear a pair of gloves when handling them and spray mice with disinfectant before throwing them out.
5. Maintain the yard
Finally, it is important that you maintain your yard. Keep the yard tidy and get rid of all food sources, like bird feeders. Move things like firewood, piles of leaves, and patio furniture away from the walls of the home, so the mice cannot hide and sneak indoors. Mow the lawn, rake the leaves, and harvest your produce on time. You will want to treat your yard like the inside of the house.