Best Ways to Get Rid of Mice in Attics, Walls, Garage and Apartments
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 be depends 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 home owners with methods on how to get rid of these rodents in the most effective way possible.
Here are some common questions on mice 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 Mice Identification
Effective mice 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 mice problem.
The reason is because 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 filing 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 mice 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.
We earlier said there are multiple mice species. What are these species and how do you recognize them? The most common species include the White-Footed Mice, House Mice, and the Deer Mice. Let’s briefly describe each of these;
- The White-Footed Mice
These species of mice 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 are 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.
- House Mice
Like the name suggests, these are most notorious around homes. This specie 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.
- Deer Mice
This specie of mice is 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 cause destruction by chewing on wire insulation, wood and clothing.
- Identifying their 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 eliminating 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 basement, your car hood, and the garage.
- What are the Tell-Tale Signs?
Like most pests, there are signs that confirm the presence of mice. The most common signs of mice infestation are their droppings which are in the form of pellets. Apart from mice droppings scattered on your countertops, other signs of mice activity include gnaw markings on wood (shelf, drawers etc) and debris from chewed boxes.
Any, or a combination of these are an instant sign that you have a mice 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 Mice Infestation
Most people facing a mice infestation problem will notice a rise in mice 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. In view of this, the most effective ways of getting rid of these pests becomes necessary.
To get access into 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 Mice 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 same will lead to several health complications and diseases that include bubonic plague, salmonella, Hantavirus, Lymphocytic and Choriomeningitis.
Other types of diseases spread by mice 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 Permanently from Your Home
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 mice extermination as well as DIY methods. We will also look into preventive treatments. These three sum up the whole process of mice control.
Seeking Professional Help
Getting rid of mice may seem easy but it is not. Most people find out after trying severally that this can be an overwhelming process that still doesn’t guarantee a solution. The easiest way to approach a mice 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 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 mice 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 type 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 mice 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. In spite of the effectiveness of mouse traps, there is no guarantee that this will solve your mice 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(s) 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 to avoid such areas. Also, the type of trap you use should depend on if there are pets and kids around. There are traps which are designed for safety around both pets and kids. You should make inquiries before purchasing any.
Get a Cat
Mice are favorite preys of cats. This option is best for pet lovers. Whenever there is a cat around, mice automatically keep their distance. This strategy of mice 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 is applicable to both an existing mice infestation problem as well as applying it as a preventive measure.
Use of 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 mice 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 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 pet. 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.
Using Preventive Measures for Mice Control
Preventive treatments are the best ways to keep of 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 mice 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.
- Good Hygiene
A clean environment contributes significantly in ridding your home of mice. This includes eliminating all sources of food too. By storing your food in tightly covered containers and in 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 mice infestation. Also, weed should be trimmed low and surroundings maintained. Doing these discourages 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.