Mice… Thinking about these cute little critters might bring up memories of Tom and Jerry, but in reality, an infestation of these rodents could cause a lot of damage to your home. The house mouse, or grey mouse, belongs to one of the most invasive species. Domestic mice reproduce all year round. They can have 5 to 10 litters a year, and can give birth to 12 baby mice per litter. Mice are opportunistic and determined creatures. They will take every opportunity to get into your home and damage your property. They can chew on electric wires, contaminate food and appliances with their urine, and nibble on furniture. So, how do you get rid of a mouse invasion?
Avoid leaving dinner out for mice
Mice are attracted to leftover food and crumbs. Kitchens should be kept spotlessly clean, and special attention should be given to places where food is cooked and stored, such as under the fridge, behind the oven and in cupboards. Kitchen counters should always be cleaned, and dirty dishes washed promptly after each use. Trash should be placed in a plastic or metal bin with a tight-fitting cover. Pet food should be stored in closed containers and food and water bowls should be removed between meal times.
Seal off any potential entry ways
Mice can squeeze into cracks as small as a dime. The following areas should be inspected:
- Pipes and electric wires
The junction between the roof and the outside wall of the house is the most common entry point. You should also check for cracks in walls, near windows and entrances. Gaps should be closed off with durable materials such as steel mesh, cement or pest-blocking sealant. Avoid expansive foam as it will not be able to withstand being chewed on.
Some people prefer to eliminate mice, while others prefer to trap them first before deciding on their fate. There are several types of mousetraps, and several ways of trapping them.
If you want to catch mice without killing them, you can use a catch and release-type trap. Food must be placed inside to attract mice. Once the mouse enters the trap, an automatic locking system will click into place and prevent the mouse from getting out. All you then have to do is release the mouse – ideally a few kilometres from your house.
You can also make a simple and easy-to-use trap. Put some peanut butter into a tall tub and place it near a table whose surface is bigger than that of the tub. Use an empty paper towel tube to create a flat tunnel, then put some peanut butter in one end. Place the tube on the table, with the end containing the peanut butter over the top of the tub. This trap is safe for kids and pets and uses no chemical or toxic products.
It is also possible to trap mice using mechanical traps sold in stores. Buy several traps. The way they eliminate mice is different, but they generally work in the same way. Avoid using poison, as the mouse will eat it and could die somewhere you cannot find it. Also, poison could be ingested by children or pets. Adhesive traps should also be avoided. The mouse will starve to death or chew its feet off and go off to hide somewhere. To trap a mouse, use tempting bait such as peanut butter. Place the trap against a wall or near a pail and remove it when you have trapped it.
Use a natural mouse repellent
Want to get rid of mice but you don’t have the heart to trap them? To convince them to go away, you can make an excellent mouse repellent using essential oils. Rodents dislike the smell of essential peppermint oil. The large amount of menthol contained gives off a powerful smell, which will repel mice.
With a strong menthol and camphor aroma, essential oil containing bay leaves is also a very good mouse repellent. You can also use bay leaves as a repellent by placing bunches in strategic locations.
Get help from an efficient mouser
Cats love to catch mice. They are successful hunters by nature. Even if a cat doesn’t hunt them, mice will know the cat is there by its smell and will stay away from your house.
Remember to disinfect surfaces
Surfaces where mice have been may be covered in dangerous bacteria. Pick up any feces with a paper tower and then wash the surfaces with soap and water. Don’t forget to wash your hands.
If you have no success with the methods you’ve used, it’s time to call an exterminator. A professional exterminator knows where mice like to hide and will use the most appropriate solution to get rid of them.
Have you ever had problems with mice? What worked for you? Please share your experience below.