Mice infestation can be a nasty problem and knowing how to get rid of mice effectively is of great essence. Although mice don’t usually pose a lot of danger for humans they can be destructive when present in the house uninvited.
Managing mice infestation is similar to the way an infection is managed:
- Recognize the infection
- Do appropriate source control
- Eradicate the organism
The major steps in getting rid of these small creatures include identifying the presence of an infestation, eliminating any portals of entry, and decreasing their population.
Recognize the Signs of Mice Infestation
The first step to getting rid of mice is to recognize the signs of infestation, as follows:
Presence of small holes in wooden walls or doors
Mice have sharp teeth that can erode on wood, rubber, or plastic as they search for food.
Unwanted black or brown animal droppings
Some mice have spherical droppings with a diameter of approximately 0.25 inches while others have black rice-like droppings. In comparison, rats have droppings that are 0.25 to 0.75 inches in diameter. The distinction can be helpful when planning out how to eradicate the cause of mice infestation, since rats generally are bigger than mice and can scale high walls easily.
Dirt and small puddles in unexpected places
If there are places in the house which have dirt smudges and urine-looking puddles, then it is highly likely that the mice population have overrun the house. These signs are often found along walls since mice prefer scampering along corners and the sides of objects.Distracting rustling noises. Rustling or whispering noises, particularly when everyone in the house is asleep, is a sign of mice infestation. Knowing where the noises regularly occur and where they are the loudest can be a clue to the nest or the portal of entry of these creatures.
Manage food properly
The main reason why mice stay in a house is because of the availability of food. When left-overs or trash are not properly managed, they become a source of food for the mice. In source control, it is therefore important to make sure that every possible food source is stored properly. This can be done by storing food in metal or glass containers, within tightly sealed cabinets or within the refrigerator. Crumbs or spills should be cleaned immediately. Note that what is not considered food for humans may still attract mice. These include pet food. Pet food should be sealed up when the pet is not feeding to prevent attracting mice.
Remove possible nests or shelters
The importance of regular cleaning cannot be underestimated. Any form of clutter within the house could serve as shelter or nest for mice since they are small enough to squeeze through tiny spaces. Therefore, cleaning out clutter-prone areas such as children’s bedrooms, garages and basements, is a priority. One should also consider possible nests outside the house. To ensure that the mice will not have any place to stay, nooks and crannies outside the house, such as stacks of unused boxes or piles of trash, should also be removed.
Remove portals of entry
Any hole in the walls of a house can serve as a portal of entry. These holes include the passages of wiring and plumbing materials. One should always be on the lookout for these entry points and block them with resistant material such as metal, cement, caulk, copper mesh, and steel wall. Although rodents can scale walls, most mice can only reach up to two feet from the ground. Holes that are located within this height should be blocked as soon as found.
The last step in getting rid of mice is to ensure that no mouse stays within the house. One can resort to several methods:
Several repellants available in the market utilize the sensitive noses of mice. A natural alternative would be planting mint or spearmint around the house or in pots within the house.
Mouse traps are among the most popular population eradication methods for mice infestation. A key to effective trap setting is to desensitize the mice to the idea that something is indeed a mouse trap.
For any kind of trap, one should first put it out for several days without letting it go off. This helps the mouse think it is not dangerous. After a few days have passed, the trap can be set. To help decrease wariness on the part of the mice, one should avoid handling the trap with bare hands. Smearing something that can overpower human scent over the trap, such as bacon grease, helps deceive the sensitive noses of mice, thereby increasing the trap’s effectiveness.
Trapping should be done in clusters of 5 or more since mice can reproduce rapidly. Examples of lethal traps include snap traps, bucket traps, zapper traps, poisons and glue boards. Examples of live traps include bowl traps, catch traps and ultrasonic traps. All of these are easily available from local stores.
Pet cats, dogs and barn owls can contribute effectively in the ways of how to get rid of mice since they are natural predators. Dogs are actually better as mouse predators than cats. Barn owls are nocturnal and are very active at killing mice.