Mice are some of the most unwelcome wild rodent visitors to your house. All of us have visions of fear stricken household members screaming and chasing the mouse visitor with a broom, but really this is not the most effective way to get rid of these unwelcome rodents once and forever. This article will help to show you how.
Identification of the Mouse
First of all, make sure that you are dealing with mice and not rats. Chances are if your rodent visitor is bigger than 5-6 inches in length (counting the tail); chances are you have a rat. Wild mice are also different than house mice. Wild mice prefer grains and unprocessed foods and house mice will eat almost anything. To find out which kind you have it may be necessary to trap one. There are some differences in appearance between the two types of mice. A general rule about appearances is that house mice have heads that are proportionate to their body and wild mice will have larger heads and larger feet relative to their body. Field mice are considered wild mice.
Getting Rid of Mice
Ample food sources are the biggest attraction to mice. To stop mice from visiting you not only do you have to remove food items from their reach but you must also prevent access to the food items. You also have to find where they are coming from and if their shelter is near your house (or in your house) blocking their access to you. House mice will eat almost any available foods (including pet food) but they prefer nuts and grains. Some varieties of wild mice eat seeds, insects, and fruits. Start your food-search in the kitchen, beginning on one side and scouring every nook and cranny for unprotected food, crumbs, spills, and trash. Keep your food elevated if possible, in metal or glass containers. Keep your trash in strong, odor-proof containers with tight-fitting lids.
If you come across anything you think may have been touched by mice, throw it away. Even though it has not yet been proven that mice transmit diseases to humans, they are known carriers of several viruses that are very dangerous to us. On top of that, their parasites do transmit diseases to us.
Work your way through your entire house in this fashion; closets, pantries, dining rooms, bars, living areas, children’s rooms, and anyplace that food is known to go. Take careful note of any areas that appear to have been visited by mice, for example, check soft furniture for gnawing damage near the floor.
Next, go outside and search a fifty foot radius around your home. Check out exterior storage closets and sheds for pet food, seeds, ripe or rotting fruit, and any organic material that shows signs of feeding. Move compost heaps away from the house. Seal up bags of pet food or sacks of seeds and elevate or store them in metal trash cans.
Get Rid of Their Shelter
Mice like to live anywhere warm, quiet, and close to food. They have the ability to squeeze through openings the size of a US dime. They can get inside walls, ceilings, underneath fixtures, behind and under cabinets. Clean out all the clutter in your house as this creates places for them to hide. The point is to eliminate shelter. Keep in mind, the average mouse only strays about 25 feet from its nest, making your traps and barriers from its home to your home more effective and they will have to move to a new home somewhere else.
Block all methods of home entry
Besides removing the food items, this is one of the most important steps. Since mice get in through very small holes plug them by starting outside your home and looking for any openings that could be inviting to a mouse. Plug these with materials that cannot be gnawed. This means cement or mortar for the big holes, steel wool or metal plating for smaller crannies and nooks. Note that mice entry points can be as high as 2 feet off of the ground.
Now take a second look around the perimeter of your home. Once the exterior has been plugged against mice, go back inside, and into the basement (if you have one). Look for cracks, holes, and crannies that may lead outside. Plumbing and wiring conduits are common culprits for visiting mice to use, so plug those also with steel wool.
Various poisons and bait can also be used for mice besides old fashioned mousetraps. For more information about these methods please call pest controller.