Few things indicate more problems with the home than mice infestations. Mice come into the home for a number of reasons. In some climates, they are in search of a warm place to live, safe from the cold; in others, they are simply on the hunt and stumbled on the jackpot with your home.
Regardless of what’s bringing the mice into your home, here’s how to go about getting rid of them:
Recognizing Signs of Mice in the Home
Mice leave a few distinct marks when they invade a home:
Sign #1: The first thing that you may notice is that there are droppings present beneath cabinets, underneath appliances and furniture or on the countertops. Mouse droppings or feces look like small, dark rods that are about 1/8 of an inch long. They can often be found near food or water sources such as in the kitchen, pantry or bathrooms.
Sign #2: In the pantry, you may notice that the corner of the cereal box has been chewed; this is a telltale sign that there has been a rodent, such as a mouse, in your pantry. Mice often leave remnants of chewed plastics, bags, boxes or other items behind and it is not uncommon to find knowing marks on food containers within the kitchen if there are mice in the home.
Signs #3: Mice generally enter and travel through homes between the walls. Although they come out mostly at night to find food and water, mice will live within the walls where they can avoid humans and pets. When mice have moved in and are living behind the walls of a home the homeowner may hear strange noises such as scurrying, scratching or squeaking coming from behind the walls.
Getting Rid of Mice
Once the signs have been recognized, your next step is to get rid of the mice quickly:
Tip #1: Preventing mice from entering the home is the best defense you have. Keeping windows tightly locked or covered with screens, closing or plugging cracks, openings and spaces that are ¼ inch or more in width are all ways to keep mice out. Make sure that all holes around the home have been tightly sealed including areas where drain pipes exit the home, areas in which phone or cable lines enter the home and areas where soffit or fascia openings that lead into the attic.
Tip #2: Keep food containers sealed and clean the dishes as soon as they are dirtied to prevent rodents or other pests from sticking around. One way to protect your pantry is to keep cereals, sweets and other foods in hard plastic containers. Avoid paper bags and thin plastic wraps.
Tip #3: Snap traps are an effective way of trapping mice, as are glue traps. Place them in areas where mice frequent and wait for them to be lured in. Snap traps should release a spring that either kills or holds them in place. Glue traps will keep mice from going anywhere, eventually starving them out.
Tip #4: Poison is an effective tool in killing mice, but you run the risk of exposing children and pets to the harsh chemicals. Additionally, poisoning mice can result in the mice dying behind the walls of the home, leaving a foul smell behind.
Eliminate Mice—For Good
With no way to enter homes and not making food available to them, mice will eventually move on. Knowing how to recognize the signs of their presence early on and taking preventative and active steps in their removal should send an even clearer signal that mice are not welcome.
If you’re still running into mice despite your efforts at attempting the above, contact a professional pest company to help take care of the problem for you. Through multiple treatments and recommendations on home maintenance, they can find a quicker solution to getting rid of your mice problem for good.