Are you interested in proven methods to get rid of mice from your home completely? Here is a practical guide.
Mice are unwanted guests in most homes. This is because of the damage caused as well as their disease-carrying potential. These are big issues for many who want their homes free of these rodents.
Do you know how to get rid of mice in your house for good, naturally, and without killing them? Getting rid of house mice can depend on what strategies you adopt. The easiest option is calling an exterminator like Orkin or Terminix to get the job done.
We have written this article for this sole purpose; to help homeowners with methods on how to get rid of these rodents in the most effective way possible.
Here are some common questions on mouse extermination:
What scent will keep mice away from my house? What home remedy can I use to get rid of mice completely in my apartment? Can mice climb into your bed? What attracts mice in your house? Do cats get rid of mice in your house?
Find all the answers you need as you read on.
We provide a variety of ways you can achieve this without having to spend a fortune.
Begin with Mouse Identification
Effective mouse control starts with identifying the problem at hand. Most times, people confuse mice with rats.
Although both belong to the rodent family, it is necessary to identify the type of rodent involved. This helps you know their breeding and feeding behavior and enables getting rid of them fast.
If you notice your wiring and insulation getting chewed, chances are that you are faced with a mouse problem.
The reason is that their teeth are constantly growing. To trim them to the right size, they need to gnaw on all sorts of hard material. This helps in filling the teeth.
Apart from the length of their tales, fully grown mice range from 2 to 3 inches in length. However, some can grow as much as 7 inches. Most mouse species are black, grey, or brown. They have large ears and eyes in addition to whiskers.
One of the main reasons mice constantly chew on hard stuff is to file their teeth which grows continuously.
Are There Differences Between Mice and Rats?
There are major differences between the two. These differences include burrowing through walls which mice are known for.
How Can Mice and Rats be differentiated?
Most times people are confused with the differences between mice and rats. There are clear differences you can easily spot between the two.
Such include the smaller size of mice compared to rats. Rats are usually smaller in size. If you notice burrowed holes on your walls, chances are you are faced with a mice problem because rats will usually dig under your property/building.
It is easier to spot mice than rats because of their curiosity which is more than those of rats. Hence mice will be found to move around your home even during the day.
Common Mouse Species that Infest Homes and Farms
We earlier said there are multiple mouse species. What are these species and how do you recognize them?
The most common species include the White-Footed Mouse, House Mouse, and the Deer Mouse.
Let’s briefly describe each of these;
The White-Footed Mouse
These species will flock into your home when there is a drop in temperature (around winter and fall).
The average length for a full-grown adult ranges between 6 to 8 inches and is most active in bushy areas. These are mostly found around colder regions of the United States and Canada.
They are omnivorous and feed on a variety of food substances ranging from fruit, insects, seeds, and wood, etc.
As the name suggests, these are most notorious around homes. This species is likely to be found in your house. They feed on decaying and wet wood, can cause significant damage to your house structure, are mostly nocturnal, and thrive across the United States.
These species are mostly found in barns and sheds. They also take shelter in cracks around your property. Excluding the tale, Deer mice can grow to an average length of 5 to 8 inches. They have a white belly and are mostly light or dark brown.
They destroy by chewing on wire insulations, wood, and clothing.
Identifying Mouse Entry Points
If you will be getting the job done yourself, you need to find their points of entry.
Doing this is essential to eliminate them effectively. When using chemical or humane mouse traps, for instance, you need to know exactly where to place these traps. This enhances the efficiency of the traps.
Mice will normally find their way into your home and build their nests.
Without knowledge of their most-used routes, entry points, and nests, you can hardly get rid of them. Some of the most likely places to check include the basement, your car hood, and the garage.
What are the Tell-Tale Signs of Mouse Infestation?
Like most pests, some signs confirm the presence of mice. The most common signs of a mouse infestation are their droppings which are in the form of pellets.
Apart from mouse droppings scattered on your countertops, other signs of mouse activity include gnawing markings on wood (shelf, drawers, etc) and debris from chewed boxes.
Any or a combination of these is an instant sign that you have a mouse problem. Still yet, you may even see them running around especially at night.
Other times they can be heard gnawing on wood. It is very important to take urgent action when you notice any of the above. This is because they reproduce at an alarming rate!
Peak Periods of Mouse Infestation
Most people facing a mouse infestation problem will notice a rise in mouse activity during the winter season. This is because of the accompanying cold. To this effect, mice seek warmer environments as well as a steady source of food. Your home presents such ideal conditions for mice to thrive.
Because of this, the most effective ways of getting rid of these pests become necessary.
To get access to your home, mice will use openings such as cracks or spaces beneath your door or windows. If immediate action is not taken, they begin to breed within your home which compounds the problem.
Dangers of Mouse Infestation
An incentive to getting rid of mice is having an understanding of the dangers posed by them. Mice are very destructive. Apart from gnawing on wood and making holes on boxes (which may lead to the damage of important documents), they can cause house fires. How? Mice are known to chew on everything including electrical cables and wirings.
The removal/damage to insulation from electric wires has led to electric sparks which trigger fires. Mice are also carriers of diseases. These can be spread through their droppings on food. Also, the buildup of mouse droppings can increase allergies as well.
Common Diseases Spread by Mice
We said that mice are disease carriers and can easily spread these through contact with your food. If your food isn’t kept safe, it provides them with the nourishment they need.
While they feed, their droppings get mixed with such food. Consuming the same will lead to several health complications and diseases that include Bubonic plague, Salmonella, Hantavirus, Lymphocytic, and Choriomeningitis.
Other types of diseases spread by mouse activity include Colorado tick fever, Rickettsialpox, and Lyme disease among others. These diseases are life-threatening and are reasons enough why you shouldn’t tolerate their presence within your home.
How to Get Rid of Mice in Attics, Walls, Garage and Apartments
Getting rid of mice involves a whole lot of processes. There is no single way of doing this however; we will provide you with some of the most effective ways of ridding your home of these rodents.
This section will consider both professional mouse extermination as well as DIY methods.
We will also look into preventive treatments. These three sums up the whole process of mouse control.
Seeking Professional Help
Getting rid of mice may seem easy but it is not. Most people find out after trying several that this can be an overwhelming process that still doesn’t guarantee a solution.
The easiest way to approach a mouse infestation problem is by calling in the experts. Experienced pest technicians will visit your property to inspect the level of damage and infestation.
This is a thorough process that includes identifying entry points, routes, and nests among others.
There is an almost inexhaustible list of professional pest control providers you can use.
However, some of the most reputable ones include Terminix, Orkin Pest Control, Bulwark Exterminating, Bell Environmental Services, Riddex Plus Pest Repeller, and Ecolab Pest Control.
Others include Black and Decker Pest Control, McCloud Services, Southern Pest Control, and Abell Pest Control.
With this option, you do not need to worry about how the job gets done. The pest technician recommends the best pest control plan which fits your situation and preferences.
DIY Mouse Pest Control Strategies
The second option available to you is the DIY strategy. This is best for persons who prefer to get the job done themselves.
However, we must state that this can be a stressful undertaking. You also need an understanding of mouse behavior (such as reproduction, feeding, etc).
The following are DIY methods you can use to get rid of mice from your home;
Traps are a popular method of ridding your home of mice. These range from humane to snap traps, glue, and electric traps designed to kill mice on contact. All types of mouse traps work with baits. Humane traps will cause no harm to mice but will trap them alive.
For such, you will need to frequently check if a mouse has been trapped. With humane traps, you will need to release them far away from your home in order not to easily return.
When setting traps, you need to identify a commonly used route. You may also need to purchase several units depending on how severe the infestation is. These could be set in several rooms. Despite the effectiveness of mouse traps, there is no guarantee that this will solve your mouse problem.
Mice are known to be clever and can sometimes avoid the traps altogether. In such circumstances, you will need to change location.
Placing your Trap Correctly
When using a trap, it is very important to place it correctly. Traps are best-placed perpendicular to the wall. This increases the chance of mice running into the baits.
Also, such traps should be placed not more than 10 to 20 feet from their food source and nesting areas. It is also really important to rotate or change your trap locations every 2 days.
Keeping such traps in the same location(s) for long will make the mice avoid such areas. Also, the type of trap you use should depend on if there are pets and kids around. Some traps are designed for safety around both pets and kids. You should make inquiries before purchasing any.
Get a Cat
Mice are a favorite prey of cats. This option is best for pet lovers. Whenever there is a cat around, mice automatically keep their distance. This strategy of mouse control has been used over the ages and still effective to this day. You only need to buy yourself a cat and watch the problem disappear. This is a natural method that can be combined with other DIY methods to completely rid your home of mice.
This applies to both an existing mouse infestation problem as well as applying it as a preventive measure.
Use of Mouse Poison
Although there has been a decline in the use of poison to exterminate mice, its use continues to this day. There are several types of mouse poisons you can use.
However, the downside to using this control method is that mice could die in difficult to reach areas that can result in a stench.
Also, it is a dangerous method that requires all the care required especially if you keep pets and have kids around.
We recommend that you avoid this method if you can as it can mistakenly be ingested by children or pets. If you must use it, it should be applied in places only mice can reach. Areas that are out of reach to kids.
If you don’t live alone, consider telling others what it is to avoid careless handling.
How to Keep Mice Away from Your House, Bed, Camper, and Car
What scent will keep mice away? How do you stop these pests from entering your home? Find out more.
Mouse invasion can be a difficult situation to deal with. This is more so when effective control strategies are not deployed.
If you have a mouse situation in your home, business, or both, you will find this guide very useful. We will provide effective ways on how to keep mice away.
We understand that people will have a preference for certain mouse control methods over others. We believe that you will find the most suitable methods among the listed methods to keep mice at bay.
1. Use of Mouse Traps
This method of mouse control has been in use for a very long time. Over the years, innovative ways of trapping mice have been developed.
This has led to the introduction of different types of traps. Such include;
This trap, like all the others, uses bait to lure mice. The mousetrap bait is placed on a plate on the trap. Once it is stepped on, it gets triggered and snaps. This crushes the mice in the process.
For some people, this method is considered too harsh or cruel to rodents. They prefer more humane traps.
This takes us to our next point;
Electronic Mouse Traps
Electronic mouse traps are considered more humane than snap traps. These run on batteries and deliver a quick shock to mice killing it fast.
When using the electronic mouse traps, you need to check frequently to dispose of dead mice before they start smelling from decomposition.
Catch and Release Traps
These are the most humane types of traps. It helps you keep mice away by trapping them without causing them harm. You will need to take the trap out to release them. To make this control strategy effective, you need to close/block all points of entry used by mice.
2. Calling a Mouse Exterminator
People with difficult mouse infestation problems prefer this method. Sometimes, mice can become evasive and prove impossible to contain ourselves.
No matter how complicated the situation is, it is no match for the professionals.
A. Experience and Training
While you are not trained on pest management, the same cannot be said for exterminators. These professionals have been well trained as well as experienced in the art of mouse elimination.
B. An Investigation of the Property
When these experts are called in, they listen to understand your concern before investigating it. They are knowledgeable about mouse behavior and breeding patterns.
This helps them identify the nesting grounds as well as the entry and exit points.
Treatment depends on the findings and recommendations provided. The advantage here is that mice are completely exterminated and your property reinforced to keep them away.
If you notice a mouse incident within a stipulated time frame after treatment, treatment is repeated.
3. Use of Home Remedies
These are common yet highly effective methods of keeping mice away. They include different techniques that are popular among users due to its non-toxic nature.
These include some of the most effective natural ways to keep mice away;
So what keeps mice away naturally?
Some natural predators serve as pets and as well as prey on mice. Although this strategy has been used for ages, it’s still as effective as ever.
Cats are excellent mouse predators. While this is true, there are responsibilities attached to the care of cats. Many pet lovers will not mind the roles they have to play and will gladly do so.
On the other hand, some will prefer using other predators. Barn owls prey on mice and can either be used together with cats or alone depending on your needs. If you have trees around your home, you can hang nests on these trees.
Before long, the presence of these predators will keep mice at bay.
This is yet another natural method of keeping mice off your property. All you need do is slice these onions and keep out of the reach of pets. This is because some pets may find it toxic.
Mice hate the pungent smell given off by onions and will stay away.
However, you need to ensure that you replace these onions to avoid decay. The resulting smell can create a lot of discomfort.
Apply Essential Oils
Essential oils play an important role in keeping pests at bay. One such oil is peppermint oil. This is a highly efficient irritant to mice. Although it may have a pleasant smell to you, the same cannot be said for mice.
Apart from peppermint oil, the peppermint plant achieves the same result.
When applying this oil, all you need is cotton wool or cotton buds. These are dipped into the oil and placed at different entry points to your home. The smell drives mice away in no time.
This is one of the most widely used essential oils to keep mice away.
Sealing up Holes
One of the easiest ways mice enter into properties is through available entry points. These can be holes or spaces around doors and windows etc. To keep mice away, you need to seal these openings or holes. This can be done with steel wool.
This material is used because they cannot burrow their way in again.
Another method is by using patches of cement to cover these holes. Sometimes finding such holes can be difficult. However, you will know where they are when you observe the movement of these mice.
Cloves, like peppermint, has a similar effect on mice. Its pungent smell is released even more when crushed. You also have the alternative of using clove oil.
For best results, apply to areas most used by mice. The smell drives and keeps them out of your home.
Good Old Instant Potatoes
This is one of the cheapest ways to keep mice away. You will need to keep it out of reach to pets if you have any. Once ingested, instant potatoes will expand in the gut and dehydrates it.
The expansion kills the mouse.
Ammonia is also a good pest remedy for keeping mice at bay. The pungent smell it gives off irritates mice.
The downside to the use of this method is that it can also be toxic to humans. Its pungent smell is awful. It is best to only use it in areas where you will not visit constantly.
These may include basements or the attic etc.
If there is a remedy for mouse infestation that is safe for pets, it is baking soda. All you need to do is to mix equal parts of flour, baking soda, and sugar. The combination of sugar and flour is loved by mice.
Without adding any water, you only need to keep this in areas most infested with mice.
Upon feeding on the mixture, baking soda poisons mice by distorting the acid balance in the gut.
Electronic Ultrasound Waves
Electronic gadgets that release ultrasound waves are available for sale in stores. These come in different variants and emit ultrasound waves that cause severe discomfort to mice. These require batteries or just need to be plugged into a socket or power source.
If your property is large, you may need to purchase multiple units of this gadget. These will enhance the spread of ultrasound waves.
These leaves are toxic to mice. For best results, simply pluck these leaves and crush them. This makes it even more effective. The crushed leaves should be spread along the routes most followed by mice.
This can be repeated at regular intervals (3 days).
The use of mothballs in keeping mice away is well known. It gives off Naphthalene which is toxic to mice. It is also toxic to humans and pets therefore extreme caution should be applied.
The best way to keep mice away using this technique is by blocking all mouse entry points with it.
This strategy of mouse control is highly effective! All you need to do is to simply remove all traces of food leftovers. You can do this by properly disposing of unwanted food and proper storage of all types of foodstuff. Water leakages should also be fixed.
Doing this eliminates all sources of feeding making your home uninhabitable.
Another way is to properly dispose of waste. Your trashcan should have a lid. This should be sealed at all times.
Make a Hot Pepper Spray
This natural remedy involves making your hot pepper mixture with hot pepper and habanero pepper as the primary ingredients. This mixture is boiled and cooled down. It is filtered and then poured into a spray bottle.
When applying this, care should be taken so it doesn’t get into your eyes. Gloves are also recommended. Mice are unable to survive in an area where this is sprayed.
We have seen the several ways you can keep mice away. These options enable you to choose the most preferred home mouse control methods that fit your needs. It is important to note that you can use a combination of these methods as well as choosing a specific strategy.
Whichever you choose is absolutely up to you.
Using Preventive Measures for Mouse Control
Preventive treatments are the best ways to keep mice away. It makes your home unattractive to these rodents. The best part of this is that this pest control strategy costs little to nothing and can be easily used.
Preventive mouse control strategies include the following;
Identify and Eliminate Possible Entry Points
Mice will use all available entry points to gain access to your home.
To get rid of them, you need to find all cracks as well as sealing open gaps in doors and windows. You also need to check your drainage to ensure that there is no opening large enough for mice to crawl through.
Identifying and blocking all possible points of entry keeps your home safe and free from rats.
A clean environment contributes significantly to ridding your home of mice. This includes eliminating all sources of food too.
By storing your food in tightly covered containers and refrigerators, you will be discouraging an infestation. The dining area and kitchen or any other place you decide to eat should be properly cleaned. Even the little crumb of food or dirty utensils left unwashed can easily attract mice.
In addition to these measures, you should clean up all pet food. Most times, our pets have leftovers. If these are left overnight, it might be an inviting sign for mice.
Remove all Clutter and Debris Around your House
Ridding your home of mice includes removing all forms of clutter around your property. These are known to encourage mouse infestation. Also, weed should be trimmed low and surroundings maintained.
Doing these discourage the activities of mice.
Use a Predator
To get rid of mice you should consider introducing a predator. Cats are natural predators that feed on mice. You are likely to see remarkable results within a few days of having a cat around. This is a great option for pet lovers.
Knowing how to get rid of mice in your house involves several strategies. If you are interested in handling the process yourself, then you can use any or a combination of the above-mentioned methods. These are sure to serve the purpose
By adopting these measures, you are not only keeping your home free of damages caused by mice, but you are also protecting yourself from diseases that can be easily transmitted from these rodents to humans.
After getting rid of mice, it is important to always adopt preventive methods of control. This saves you a lot of stress, time, and resources in the long run.