While you might enjoy showing your home off to guests, you probably don’t desire the same when it comes to mice. There are several reasons to avoid a mouse infestation. These rodents can do damage to your home, may carry diseases, and can put your health and that of your family at risk.
If you know that your home has mice, the best solution is to work with an animal control specialist. However, there are several things you can do at home until you can make an appointment with a professional. We’ll be showcasing the three top ways to control mice so you retain control of your home.
What Mice Look Like
Mice that come into houses are the most prevalent mammals across the world. Natural to central Asia, these rodents were transported to the United States in European ships. Today, they can be found in every state in the entire country.
An adult mouse weighs about ½ to one ounce and has a slender, small body. Mice have large ears and little hair on their bodies. The tails are long and have some fur. The fur is typically gray or light brown with buff or white undertones. In captivity, mice can live around two years. In the wild, they have a life expectancy of nine to 18 months.
Mice are intelligent and agile. Some can jump up to a foot and all have extraordinary senses of touch and smell. Mice don’t have exceptional eyesight but can easily detect movement, which makes them challenging to catch.
What Attracts Mice Into Homes
Experts say there is about one rodent for every person in the United States. Mice live in every country and most terrains, ranging from forests to grasslands and beyond. Mice are good at living outside but will take the opportunity to come into your home if it’s possible. Three things attract them more than anything.
- Food – Mice need food to remain alive so they look for it anywhere they can. If you have food sitting out in your home, that can bring in mice. The same applies to crumbs on the floor or countertop.
- Shelter – When the weather cools down, mice will come into homes for warmth and shelter. Since these rodents are small, they can get into small spaces and make themselves as home in your dwelling.
- Nesting materials – Nests are used by mice to give birth and raise babies. They enjoy shredded paper and cotton but may also use insulation, pet hair, or any other items you have available.
Top Three Ways To Get Rid of Mice
If mice are in your home, there are several methods of removing them. However, keep in mind that it may be hard to find and catch all of them. This is why we recommend bringing in a pest specialist to help with your efforts. The three best methods of preventing a mice infestation are explained below.
Mice Control Repellents
Since mice have a strong sense of smell, you can use that to your advantage. Several mice repellant options are worth a try. Consider the following:
- Fabric softener sheets – Most people have fabric softener sheets available so this is an excellent place to start. Take the sheets and place them in entryways where mice may be entering the home to ensure no more come inside.
- Apple cider vinegar and water – Mix apple cider vinegar and water before placing it in a spray bottle. Use this spray along the outside of your home, making sure to spray potential entry points thoroughly. This should be reapplied about once a month.
- Essential oils – Mice do not like to smell cloves, peppermint, pepper, or cayenne oils. You can purchase these oils at any health food store and soak them up in cotton balls. Place the balls anywhere you have seen mice in the past, such as under appliances or behind cabinets.
This is an inexpensive option that is humane and safe for pets and children. However, reapplication is needed and it will not deter significant numbers of mice.
Put Out Mice Traps
Traps are a common way to get rid of mice. They work quickly and efficiently. You can choose a live trap that catches the mice so they can be released or select a traditional trap. The latter kills the mouse on contact to thin down the population in your home.
A typical wooden snap trap works well for small amounts of mice, while multiple-capture traps and bait traps are better for situations with lots of mice. Common bait choices include dried fruit, peanut butter, cheese, and bacon.
These traps are fast-acting and effective, but you may need a large number of them. You’ll also be tasked with disposing of the mice if you aren’t using a live trap.
Create Bait Stations
A bait station is a sealed packet consisting of poison pellets or a meal made to kill mice. The packets can be sealed using cellophane, plastic, paper, or other materials that mice can chew through. When the mouse takes a bite of the bait, it causes them to die.
The problem is that some areas do not allow the use of bait stations for mice. You’ll want to be sure you know the laws and only choose this option if it’s legal. While it’s an effective method, it can harm animals and children so it should be applied only by a professional.
Choose a Pest Specialist for Mice
When it comes down to it, home remedies will only work on a limited basis. The better option is to enlist the help of a professional pest specialist to remove these rodents from your home. Pest specialists are thoroughly trained on all methods of eliminating mice from homes. In addition, they have the education and experience to back up these methods.
Not sure where to find the right pest specialist for your needs? Find a Pest Pro can help. We’re dedicated to helping you find a pest control professional and offer a 100% guarantee for peace of mind. Visit our contact page, enter your zip code, and take a look at all your options for getting rid of mice in your home.
Click here to read our past blog, How To Get Rid of House Centipedes.