Along with bed bugs and ants, mice pose some of the largest pest control issues in the U.S. Because mice can survive and thrive in a wide range of environments, they can be found just about anywhere causing irreparable damage to homes, gardens, and apartments.
Before you find yourself in a position of needing rodents exterminated from your home, follow these tips to prevent them from invading in the first place:
1. Seal Entry Points
- Inspect the outside of your home for potential entry points. This includes electrical and gas pipe entrances, connections to air conditioners and outdoor water taps. A mouse can squeeze through a space only a quarter of an inch wide or about the size of a fingernail.
- With any openings you find, seal them with caulking, foam insulation, metal screening or wiring mesh.
2. Keep Food Away
- Throw all food wrappers away and keep outdoor trash cans sealed and separated from your house.
- Clean up spills and crumbs promptly.
- Keep dry food and pet food sealed in glass or metal containers.
- Keep pets food bowls cleaned and covered during the night.
3. Repel Them
- Surround the outside of your home with herbs like mint and lavender. This repels them from making their way closer to your house.
- Sprinkle used cat litter around the outside of your home. Mice will detect the smell of a cat and move on.
- Trim overgrown vegetation and keep your garden clean if you have one. If your home does not smell like a good place for them to live, they will go elsewhere.
4. Remove Debris
- Remove compost and piles of wood and organic material to eliminate nesting grounds for mice.
- Store wood properly by keeping it in containers above ground and covered with plastic.
- Bird feeders can also be used by mice as a source of food. Cover it with petroleum jelly to prevent from grabbing hold of the feeder.
What to Do When Mice Control Doesn’t Work
If you still find mice in your home in spite of all your efforts to keep them out, you need to move on to more extreme measures. The best do-it-yourself options for getting rid of mice are poisons and traps:
Poisons usually work fast to remove mice, but remember that you have no way of knowing when or where a mouse will die as the effects of the poison don’t kick in until the mice has returned to the colony.
To make your own poison, mix two cups of salt, three cups of cold water and two cups of lemon juice and leave it out for the mouse to drink. Put the poison in an area where mice frequent. Mice should die within a few days after consumption.
Traps, on the other hand, allow you to know exactly where a mouse will be found. The most common types of traps are snap traps and glue traps.
Place the traps along the walls, as mice are nearly blind and they move close to walls. Bait your traps with something sweet such as peanut butter or chocolate. Keep in mind that while traps are very effective, you will have to dispose the dead mouse on your own either by picking up the trap.
If all these preventative measures and do-it-yourself methods fail, or the mice problem is beyond what you’re able to handle, contact a professional pest control company to assist you in finding a more permanent solution for a mice control for your home.