It all starts when you see a shadow move from out of the corner of your eye. Then, you start noticing droppings along your floor, in the pantry, and maybe even on the kitchen counter-tops. You might as well face it. You have mice. Down below we have some easy ways you can rid your home of these unwanted pests.
How To Get Rid of Mice Quickly
Identify the Mouse
The first key to getting rid of the problem, is to identify it. Different mice live in different areas and have contrasting behaviors. Its good to know what kind of mouse has infested your home, so you can know how to deal with them appropriately.
The Most Common Types of Mice
- Range from 1/4th an inch – 1/2 an inch
- Grayish brown/ Grayish black
- Found all throughout the U.S.
- Pose a serious structural threat, eat through wet & damaged wood.
Just like its name states, house mice like to situate themselves inside human homes. Where it uses all the materials it can find to feed and build nests. You won’t catch these guys in the wild. They’ll use shredded material like paper, cloth, and cardboard for nests but will also eat glue, soap and residue. House mice are also known to transmit typhus, salmonella and bubonic plague.
- Slightly larger than the average house mouse
- Can grow up to 5-8 inches
- Light-dark brown fur, white bellies and feet
- Found all throughout the U.S.
- Dominant in rural areas (i.e. outside garages & sheds)
- Known for chewing through wiring, furniture & insulation
Deer mice are known to transmit Hantavirus, which is a potentially fatal respiratory disease. They’ll often be found in outdoor structures, such as sheds and barns, and they can be prevented by sealing up common hiding spots. Keep an eye on small holes, cracks and crevices around your property.
- Average adult length is 6” to 8”
- Very similar to the deer mouse, fur is typically darker though. Both have white on feet and bellies.
- Found in colder regions, such as the Northeast United States and Canada
- Tend to thrive in bushy, forested areas
- Omnivorous diet that includes insects, wood, seeds, nuts and fruit
White footed mice would rather live outdoors but once the colder weather comes, will easily take their place inside your homes. Also, just like other rodents they can spread bacterial diseases when in contact with food. Furthermore, they are known for spreading lyme disease that they encountered from ticks in the wilderness.
Eliminate Entry Points
Rodent-proofing your home is an effective way to stop mice infestations from expanding or ever occurring in the first place. Defend your home from mice by eliminating points of entry and easy access. This can be difficult due to a mouse’s ability to squeeze itself into even the smallest of openings (one-quarter of an inch and up). A good rule of thumb is if you can fit a pencil into a crack, hole or opening, a mouse can get through it.
Seal cracks in the foundation as well as openings in the walls, including where utility pipes and vents occur. Steel wool and caulking works great here. Avoid using plastic, rubber, wood or anything else mice can easily gnaw through as sealants. Get weather stripping for door and window gaps and make sure the sweep on your door creates a seal against the threshold when it’s closed.
The best way to help get rid of mice in an ongoing infestation is to set mouse traps. It’s also a good idea to lay many different types of traps. Use bait traps, multiple-capture live traps and glue traps in conjunction with the wooden traps. This gives you a better chance at catching all of the mice, since some might be keen to certain types of traps and know to avoid them.
To many people’s surprise, mice actually don’t eat cheese, & baiting is key in trapping mice so you need to pay attention to what they are munching on for your best bet on catching them. If you don’t know what they’re eating, mouse-approved favorites include; chocolate, peanut butter, bacon, oatmeal, dried fruit or hazelnut spread. When you’re ready to set the baited trap, tie the bait to the trigger with fishing line or dental floss. This will make sure the mice get what’s coming to them without “making off with the cheese.” You can also secure the bait with a hot glue gun. Replace with fresh bait every two days. If the food isn’t working, you can try using nesting material such as cotton balls or feathers.
The next key factor in trapping mice, is the placement of the trap. Place the traps perpendicular to the walls, with the trigger section facing the baseboard. This causes the mouse to run directly into the bait as it naturally scurries along the walls, instead of running over the trap from the wrong direction, triggering it prematurely. Mice don’t travel more than 10 or 20 feet from food sources and nesting areas so place the traps anywhere you see mice or signs of mice, such as rodent droppings or “rubbings” on baseboards and walls. Change trap locations every two days or so. Mice are naturally curious so they won’t avoid traps like rats will.
Good sanitation might not be enough to get mice out of your house, but poor sanitation will definitely attract them. Mice can survive on just 3 to 4 grams of food per day, so a few crumbs here and there are all they really need. Vacuum your floors and be sure to wipe down counters, eliminating residue, crumbs and any access to food sources. Store food in glass jars or airtight containers. Don’t forget about securing your garbage. Mice have sharp incisor teeth so they can chew through just about anything, even concrete if the mood strikes them, so plastic bags are no match for hungry rodents.
In conclusion, to address an infestation, your first move has to be to determine just what you’re dealing with. It’s important to distinguish mice from rats and to identify the specific species that is causing you problems. Once you learn about several common species of mice that are found throughout homes, you can take steps to rid your property of them and prevent more from returning.