You head out into the kitchen for a midnight snack, and when you turn on the light, you see the unmistakable scurry of a mouse as it disappears behind your stove. You might even let out the classic squeal of surprise at seeing this tiny home invader.
These mice may have been in your home all winter, but now that it’s spring they are getting more active and getting ready to breed. That one mouse you saw has a family, and soon that family will double, then triple, and in a few months, you’ll have a mouse infestation.
Although mice are cute, they have no place in your home with your pets and family. Mice carry parasites and diseases such as salmonella that can affect and infect your loved ones. If you have signs of mice in your home, it’s time to take action to prevent the problem from becoming worse. If you don’t notice any mice, you’ll still want to take the opportunity to keep them out.
Environmental Pest Management has years of experience when dealing with mice in homes. Here are some of the best ways to get rid of mice this spring.
Prevent & Protect
Making your home inhospitable is the first line of both offense and defense in your mouse-banishing strategy. Mice are looking for food, water, and shelter. Cut off their access to these three, and mice won’t want to take up residence.
Spring is a good time for a thorough home cleaning. Make sure there are no crumbs or debris that mice consider tasty treats. Check the top of your refrigerator, the bottom of your pantry, and under and behind your kitchen appliances. Wash dishes quickly rather than leaving them sitting out.
Also Read: 3 Proven Ways to Get Rid of Mice Fast
Even a tiny leak from an under-sink pipe can be enough to keep a mouse hydrated. They will also find water seepage in your attic or from pipes in your walls. Ensure your home is watertight and repair even minor leaks.
Fortify your home against mice invaders
Mice can get into your home the same way you do — through the doors. Make sure you have door sweeps to prevent them from being able to squeeze under them. Watch for small holes, especially around pipes and vents. Mice can get into your home via a hole the diameter of a standard No. 2 pencil. Invest in longer-lasting silicone caulk or use pieces of copper or aluminum wire pot scrubbers to fill the gaps and keep mice out.
Trap & Dispose
Unfortunately, there is not an effective way to remove mice from your home without killing them. Mice have excellent senses of direction. After all, they can find their way through the maze of your home’s walls and pop out for their favorite morsel. Mice that have been trapped alive and relocated doggedly find their way back to your home with their instincts and wiles.
The best way to get rid of mice is to use mouse traps. The standard wood and wire versions that have been around for decades are still a tried-and-true method. Try the professional grade traps for an improved catch rate. Newer plastic models that resemble binder clips work the same way as the standard wood and wire versions but are more expensive.
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While mouse traps are relatively simple mechanical devices, there is a skill in knowing how to trap these sneaky rodents effectively.
Also Read: Winterizing Your Home Against Rodents
Place traps in areas where there is high mice activity. Good places are along baseboards (mice don’t like to go out into open spaces), behind appliances, behind objects, and in darkened corners. Place traps perpendicular to the wall with the trigger end closest to the wall, or if parallel to the wall, set in pairs with the bait on opposite ends to attract mice coming from either direction.
Be sure to use enough traps. Some will fail, some will have the bait stolen, some won’t be discovered, some will be avoided. Go for saturation.
Use a high protein bait, such as peanut butter, fried bacon, salami, or other mice favorites such as oats, and chocolate. The success of your bait depends upon the availability of other food, so be sure to clean thoroughly before setting traps. If you have multiple mice, setting traps with a variety of bait will attract differing palates. It’s also a good idea to use an unusual treat as bait, to entice them to investigate. If they are more accustomed to getting your fallen breakfast crumbs, for example, peanut butter or chocolate might be more attractive.
Take advantage of the first night
The first night you set traps will be the most productive, and your catch rate will go down from there. Who knows? Maybe mice who witness or survive spread the word? Have a plan for the first night and make an impact.
Secure traps to the floor
If a mouse is only trapped by their arm, leg, or tail, they can run off with a trap that isn’t secured to the floor. A sticky putty is an acceptable way to do this without using nails.
Consult a Friendly Pest Removal Pro
At Environmental Pest Management, we are ready to help you prevent or correct a mouse infestation in your home. As you tackle your spring cleaning, if you find evidence of mice taking up residence, give us a call. We’ll do an inspection and help create a plan to keep your home pest-free.