Mice and rats are always unwelcome house guests. These critters not only create health hazards and spread diseases, but they are also very destructive.
These furry pests chew on everything, from wood to electrical wires--which can cause a fire! We would like to help with some ideas to get rid of the mice inside your house.
What is a Sign of a Mouse in Your House?
Often you won’t see right away when these small house guests first make their appearance. An obvious sign is small, black, rice-like droppings near the baseboards or food sources.
Another telltale sign is when the boxes of cereal have the corners chewed off. Mice like to gain access to the tasty morsels inside. The mice will chew holes through packaging to get anything you store that smells like food to them. They enjoy eating the food stored in your pantry. Pet food, even grass seed in the garage, is not safe. Your pets can be a big help in recognizing a mouse infestation because the smell of these rodents gets them anxious.
How Do Mice Get In Your House?
When you discover an invasion of mice, the first thing to do is find out where they are coming in. Then, you must close off all the possible entry points. The way you do this is by inspecting every wall and foundation for cracks or openings.
As the weather starts to cool, these little pests start looking for warm shelter. The smallest holes or crack in the wall or foundation appear like an open invitation. Believe it or not, a mouse can squeeze through a very tiny crack--only one-quarter of an inch wide sometimes!
How Do You Keep Mice Out of Your House?
To keep mice from getting in your home or get rid of mice already there, follow these easy tips.
- Seal any cracks in the foundation.
- Check door sills and window panes for any entry points.
- If you don’t have any pets, you might consider getting a cat.
If you have pets, ensure to seal and keep food in air-tight containers--preferably metal or ceramic. Also, your pets can help get rid of these pests. Your pets--either dogs or cats will catch or chase them away.
Additionally, you need to make sure the bottom of all doors is in good condition. In particular, the garage door. An insulated garage makes a warm, cozy home for mice during the winter. Also, you should try and replace the attic insulation with a brand that deters rodents. There is a spray foam type that seems to work well.
What Scent Will Keep Mice Away?
Mice have a sense of smell much more keener than humans. Because of this, you can use certain scents that are repulsive to mice and deters them. The following are some scents that mice hate and will keep them at bay:
- Clove oil
- Dryer sheets
- Mint toothpaste
- Cayenne pepper
- Clove oil
On the other hand, there are a few scented candles that mimic food mice seem to like and find attractive. These scents are cinnamon, pumpkin, and vanilla. If you have had experiences with mice in the past, avoid using these candle scents.
What Scares Mice the Most?
Mice do not have good eyesight, and bright lights make their eyes extremely unstable. These small animals avert bigger animals in their efforts for survival. They prefer being more active during the nighttime to be free of people or predators.
Loud noises and bright, flashing lights are what scare them the most. Thus, they try to avoid these things to avert a potential crisis.
Besides loud noises and bright flashing lights, mice are afraid of owls, dogs, cats, rats, and humans. Mice have the ability to smell a distinctive protein present in the urine and sweat of a cat. Therefore, these small rodents make it a point to steer clear when smelling this scent. This odor is like poison to these small animals.
What Does Peppermint Oil Do to Mice?
The scent of peppermint is acrid. It also has the tendency to create a burning sensation in the nose of a mouse. This scent is what intimidates a mouse from coming inside a building. In particular, your home.
Also, a mouse goes towards the scent of edible objects. Peppermint is an odor that can cover up the scent of other foods that are attractive to mice. Placing peppermint oil in certain areas in your home discourages them from entering. Using this extract is possibly one way to get rid of these pesky rodents humanely.
Some Myths about What Scares Mice
There are a lot of myths about what scares mice and how to get rid of them. For example, snakes are predators, but mice don’t have the same response to them as they have to cats. A snake in the room doesn’t guarantee a mouse will flee.
People debate the effect spices such as cloves, peppermint, and chili have on mice. Yet, there is no real evidence proving a mouse feels stress or anxiety when smelling these scents. Finally, all ammonia and mothballs guarantee to do is give your home a bad odor.
How Well Do Sticky Mouse Traps Work?
Using glue traps to capture mice is a rapid, non-poison method of controlling rodents. However, this form of pest control is much more effective in removing an insect population. Although the sticky ones are simple to use, the snap ones work best, especially if you place them in areas that have a lot of water, dust, or dirt.
In addition, these types of traps do not work as well in extreme temperatures. Sticky types will reduce the invasion of mice. However, they should be used in combination with other capture methods. These work well for the young mice, yet, older mice have learned how to deter them from averting capture.
Using a Snap Mouse Trap
People have been using mouse traps for pest management for many years. It is likely one of the oldest methods for trapping mice. A snap trap works by placing some bait--usually peanut butter--at the entrance. This lures the mouse onto the trap, where it then snaps onto them, hence, trapping the animal.
In comparing the standard trigger snap trap to the professional models. The trigger ones have a 37% trapping rate, whereas the professional ones have a 54% rate. Both of these traps have a 12 to 14% chance of the mice escaping. Yet, the standard snap traps have a rate of bait stealing that is 16%.
What are the Signs of a Mouse Infestation?
There are many clues that might indicate a mouse infestation. These signs include their dark-colored, rice-shaped droppings. Chewed furniture or plastic, and the actual sightings of mice.
Another clue is the musky odor emitted by house mice. If homeowners follow these clues, it will aid them in discovering where their nests are. Mice construct nesting using a variety of shreddable fibers and materials.
Mice breed rapidly. This will result in an infestation. This can happen sometimes before you are even aware you have a problem. A large infestation of mice will require the assistance of a pest control company that offers affordable mice pest control cost. However, you can normally handle the smaller invasions with traps and bait.
How to Get Rid of Mice Humanely
As much as you dislike mice in the house, you don’t like the idea of killing them either. If this is the case, there are many humane options. One common way is with a catch-and-release trap. These traps are effective ways of getting rid of mice, and you don’t have to kill them.
To use one of these humane traps, you first spread something appetizing to the rodents onto the entrance of the trap. The bait can be a saltine cracker with a little peanut butter. The scent of this salty treat entices the mouse, encouraging them to head for the entrance. As it steps into the trap to get a bite, the door quickly snaps shut, trapping them inside. You can then take the mouse to a new safe location and release them.
Getting Rid of Their Entry Spots
To stop a mice infestation, you must rodent-proof your home. To do this, get rid of any indoor access and entry points. Since these little critters get into an opening a quarter-inch in diameter, this might seem impossible. Keep in mind when sealing up cracks if a pencil can get through it, so can a mouse.
Ensure you seal any openings or cracks in the walls, foundations, vents, and utility pipes. These are all open invitations to the inside of your home. Remember that when sealing these areas not use materials mice can chew through. For example, avert the use of wood, plastic, and rubber. The best sealants to use for sealing cracks are steel wool and caulking.
How to Choose the Best Bait for Traps
When setting out traps in order to capture their attention, you need the right bait. The best bait to use, or rather we say, the best food for mouse trap, are oatmeal, bacon, peanut butter, chocolate, hazelnut spread, or dried fruit. Use some fishing line or dental floss to attach the bait to the trigger of your trap.
Secure bait to the traps using a hot glue gun. This will prevent mice from stealing food sources and running off to safety. Replenish bait every couple of days; if the food doesn’t work, put some feathers or cotton balls on the trap.
Put the Traps in the Right Areas
The placement of mouse traps must be in the right places to be most efficient. This means plumbing along walls with the trigger aimed at the baseboard.
When placed this way you force the mouse infestations to run along the walls and into the bait. If not, they might cause a premature trigger when it goes in the opposite direction. Keep in mind to place traps near the areas you have seen droppings.
The creatures won’t venture more than 20 feet from their nest in search of food. Because they are naturally curious critters, they don’t avert from traps, as rats do. Ensure you change locations every couple of days when you replenish fresh bait.
A Clean House Will Not Deter Mice
To get rid of mice in the house, you must sweep, vacuum, and clean countertops daily. It only takes a few crumbs to sustain one mouse.
Using air-tight glass or metal containers to store food, including pet food and other items attractive to them. One of the ways to get rid of mice is to keep a clean house. A clean house doesn't deter mice, but a dirty house certainly attracts them!
Remember that mice have extremely sharp little incisor teeth. Therefore, secure the trash and keep it in a place that deters chewing. The plastic trash bags you use to put garbage in is no match for their sharp teeth.
Tackle Your Rodent Problems Inside-Out
Get rid of any trash or clutter these pests might find attractive. When outdoors and you come across any nesting or burrowing areas, make sure to destroy them. Having gravel along the walls of the foundation of your home will also avert any nesting opportunities. When there is less clutter and debris, it makes it easier to monitor and halt pesky rodent activity.
It is important for pest management to tackle rodents in the house as well as outside the house. This is the only way to ensure you will get rid of mice and prevent future infestations.
Get a Cat
The best form of pest management when you are attempting to get rid of mice, is to get a cat. Cats are much more fun in person than watching them in a televised video. Farmers have been using barn cats for their pest management for years.
Cats are natural-born hunters. They are predators and have the instinct to kill mice. Some cats seem very driven to kill mice, and others may not. That being said, relying solely on a cat to control a rodent issue is a bad idea.
Live Bait Traps
Live traps for pest management to get rid of mice are not recommended. Capturing mice in live traps can make them urinate. The urine of these miniature rats has germs and the potential for the spread of diseases.
Because of their excellent smelling sense, they can avert a trap. This is part of their keen ability to survive. They recognize the smell of people, as well as the food sources we leave for them.
Humane Pest Control
A rodent infestation is never a good thing. Not only are they bacteria carriers, but they also spread diseases and are unsanitary. You want them gone, but you don’t want to use poison to kill them. You just want to relocate them to a new home where they can live and not bother you.
There are humane and natural methods of rodent control. This is often the best way to get rid of unwanted house guests posing a health risk to loved ones.
When You Need to Get Rid of Mice or Rats, Call a Professional
You have sealed all the cracks with caulking or steel wool, you have tried the traps, and poison is not an option. You store all pet food and other food supplies in air-tight plastic or steel containers. Yet, you still have a problem. These miniature rats are invading your home. When you want to get rid of these critters and stop them from potentially spreading diseases, give us a call.
To get rid of mice, call A.N.T. Pest Control, the New Lenox pest control expert. We are a rodent control specialist that will give an answer to your rodent problem. Give us a call and give your pet cat a break!