Ridding Your Home of Mice
With fall and winter comes the unfortunate presence of unwanted household guests, such as mouse infestation. Whether you live in the country or within city limits, you may be met with a mice infestation that you would like to remedy immediately.
Beyond just being a nuisance, mice can cause of a number of problems within your home. From the noise of them running in between your walls at night to finding random holes in your food items, mice are one pest that is not welcomed. The damage they can do to your home and groceries will increase costs for you, which is a major inconvenience. Beyond chewing through your pantry and walls, they also leave droppings throughout your home which can spread infections and disease to your family and pets.
However, getting rid of mice in your home does not happen overnight and takes some effort and commitment, but it can be done. One stat you are going to wish you hadn’t read is that a healthy mouse can produce upwards of 100 offspring per year, which is all the more reason to act now and act fast. There are numerous home traps you can purchase and preventative measures you can take to keep mice out, but you may need to call in a pest control specialist, which is also the most humane way to take care of the critters.
Signs of Mice
In order to determine your best plan of extermination and before you getting started ridding your home of mice, you need to determine where exactly they have made a home in your home. Mice typically do not like to run about in the broad daylight or areas where they can easily be spotted. They prefer to run along the walls or floorboards, so it may be helpful to lay some talcum powder along your interior walls to see where they are making tracks. Check your home for holes in the walls, typically closer to the floor, as well as dirt smudges, droppings, and urine trails. In the event you actually see a mouse, try and remember what he looks like so you can do some research on the variety you are dealing with.
- House mice – typically are greyish in colouring and have longer tails. They are not finicky eaters and can be trapped with the popular cheese and peanut butter options
- Field and wild mice – are lighter in colour and have shorter tails, as well as a larger head, feet, and protruding eyes. These guys are pickier when it comes to food, so you may need to use seeds or oats to lure them into your traps
Keeping Mice Out of Your Home
- Try to cut them off from food sources or attractive nesting spots
- Always store food and waste in sealable containers
- If you have pets, be sure to clean their dishes immediately and use elevated food bowls if possible
- Vacuum and dust on a regular basis
- Remove any unwanted clutter from rooms, as this may serve as an attractive nesting spot
- Check the exterior of your home for holes
There are numerous types of traps on the market today that will help you catch mice, including:
- Conventional snap-traps – these are the most popular and are effective if placed in the right areas and you use the appropriate bait. Once caught, be sure to wear gloves when disposing. They are very quick and hassle-free, but they do not always kill the mouse immediately.
- Zapper-traps – these lure mice into cages and then administer an electric shock, which usually kills them right away. They are more expensive and require constant battery replacement
Humane Ways to Deter Mice
One way to deter mice from moving into your home is to grow mint, as the rodents have a natural aversion to the herb. Also covering cotton balls in peppermint and placing them along the walls and in the corners of your house may deter the mice from coming in and discourage them to leave. You can also use catch-traps, but be sure to dispose of the mice several miles away so they don’t come back!