Repair & Maintenance

How to get rid of mice

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mouse near a mouse trap
Rodent problems are serious but are easy to take care of
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How to get rid of mice

Oh no; you've seen a mouse; now how do you get rid of it?

A mouse is capable of getting through an opening only one quarter of an inch wide.

Mice often leave behind droppings in kitchen cabinets, pantries, drawers, and any other place they may have gone in search of food. It is important to close off the source of entry and eliminate any mice currently within the home.

And here's a pleasant thought: Where there is one mouse there is likely to be more. According to the website article "Controlling House Mice", published by the University of Missouri, a female mouse has between five and ten litters per year with about five or six babies in each litter. The young are capable of reproducing at the age of six weeks. A mouse infestation can easily get out of control if not dealt with as soon as it is recognized. Because of this, it is extremely important to learn how to get rid of mice.

It is important to check for openings where mice can gain entry. If your house has a crawl space, check around plumbing pipes as well as inside cabinets for spaces mice can get in. Then, fill in cracks and openings with silicon caulking to keep mice out. Also check for openings around doors, windows, foundations, and vents. Make sure your outside doors are level and have a proper seal.

The best way to get rid of mice is to make your home as uninviting to them as you can. Maintaining a clean kitchen will help you get rid of mice. Mice are scavengers, and as such they eat whatever food you leave lying around. Crumbs, seeds, vegetables; whatever scraps you leave laying around, mice will eat it.

Other tips to avoid mice:
  • Keep all foods in proper, sealable containers. A clean kitchen isn't enough. Mice are attracted to the scent of food. So, make sure you properly seal all of your non-perishable goods,

  • Remove anything that would be a nice gathering place for mice. This includes boxes of old newspapers, magazines and just piles of junk. You should also remove any debris and "junk" from your attic, garage or outside sheds (mice use these places for food and housing).

  • If you have a compost bin on your property, you should make sure that it's maintained and turned frequently. It is best to have your compost bin elevated off of the ground using blocks. This will discourage mice from setting up residence.

  • If you have a wood pile, you should make sure that it is not propped against your home. A wood pile is a favored "hang-out" of mice, so try to keep yours away from your house.

  • Try to groom the shrubs that are planted around your home's foundation, trimming them off of the ground. Overgrown bushes and vines are a perfect place for mice to hide. You should also be mindful of any plant you have that is used as a groundcover, inspecting it regularly for mice infestation.

  • Make sure that any un-refrigerated or unfrozen food is put inside a metal container. This includes pet food.

  • Keep a lid on your trash containers, both indoor and outdoor cans.

    How to get rid of mice

    Now that you know how to avoid having mice in your home in the future, here's what you can do for the mouse (or mice) you've discovered. There are various types of traps that can be used to capture or kill mice. "Controlling House Mice" recommends the use of traps if the mouse infestation is not too severe.

    It says that traps are advantageous since poisons can be dangerous, and with traps the dead mice can easily be located and disposed of. When poisons are used, the mice often die and are not found until there is an odor.(Not very pleasant!) Also, poisoned mice can pose a danger to pets that may eat them. The same article details the various traps and how they work. There is the typical spring-loaded, wood-based trap, a live trap, and a glue trap. Traps should be positioned close to the wall or cabinet where mice have been a problem.

    A good bait to attract mice is peanut butter—not cheese. It is not easily removed without setting off the trap. It is suggested that several traps be used for more efficient mouse elimination. Live traps can trap more than one mouse at a time, and the mice can be released without harm in another location. Glue traps will hold mice with special glue, but they can be ineffective with high temperatures or in dusty locations. It is advised to use caution when placing any traps where pets and children can access them. When the problem is really severe, multi-dose poisons are safer to use than one dose poisons. Label directions should be followed very carefully, and poisons should not be used if there is a risk of children or pets coming in contact with them. If you have any questions or are hesitant to take any action, call your exterminator for professional assistance.

    Following this guideline is the easiest and most effective way as to how to get rid of mice. It will solve the current rodent problem and will prevent any other rodent infestation.

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