Chances are, if you see a mouse in your home, there are going to be many more where that one came from. Mice invade homes through small cracks make nests within walls and floors, and live off of every scrap of food they can find in your home.
Mice can be devastating and dangerous to a home – among possible structural damage and unsightliness, they can carry various viruses and bacteria that will get into your food and make you and your family extremely sick.
A mice infestation is extremely difficult to get rid of, but not impossible. These tips for prevention and extermination should always be done at the first sign of a mice infestation.
1. Seal small holes and crevices.
When you find droppings, holes in food packaging, or other signs of a possible infestation, you should act immediately to find any possible sources of entry for the mice. This includes cracks in the walls, drains, open windows and doors.
Mice can get into small holes or openings that are much smaller than them, due to their body shape and how they can crawl, so don’t underestimate how small a hole or crack in your floor or wall seems.
You should make sure you fill and cover these holes, either with metal, concrete, wood, or drywall products. This will make sure that no more mice can get through into your home, or go from room to room through floors and walls.
You should also make sure that your trash cans, both inside and outside, are correctly sealed and reasonably clean. The small entryways of an open trash can, combined with food matter within the can, is an ideal place for a mouse to get in for food.
2. Set up traps.
Upon finding these possible entryways, you should set up traps in these high traffic zones and in other areas where they could be coming through. Especially ensure that, if there was an entryway in a pantry or other food storage room, all food in the room is properly sealed, and get rid of any products that have bite marks or other signs of mice feeding.
For traditional mousetraps, the best foods to use are often sweet foods like small apple chunks, chocolate, honey, and peanut butter. Mice also love seeds and nuts, so it can be very effective to put a small dabble of peanut butter on a trap’s mechanism, and place a seed in the peanut butter. These are ideal because you can reuse them after disposing of the dead mouse.
3. Get a cat.
If you have the means to do so, and/or you like cats and aren’t allergic to them, it may be good to get a cat for your home if you have a mouse problem that is difficult to deal with.
Not only are they nice, furry friends to have around, but they are great hunters of mice and other pests in the home. Also, mice have an excellent sense of smell, so if they smell a cat in the house (cats give off strong pheromones), there is a chance they will try to leave the house.
4. Poison traps.
This is a step to be careful with – if you do this, you should keep your home empty to make sure your pets or small children do not touch the poison. Consider taking a weekend vacation and place the traps around for that weekend.
If you’ve placed the traps in the right spots, you should kill a good number of mice. Just always be sure to keep a close eye on pets and children – this poison can be lethal when taken in large doses.
5. Peppermint oil repellent.
A more humane way to repel and eliminate mice from your home is to use peppermint oil-soaked cotton balls or old towels in your pantry and other infested spots.
Since mice have such a strong sense of smell and do not like the scent of peppermint, this is a humane, natural way to repel mice from your pantry and other small spaces. Even if the peppermint doesn’t get rid of them, you’re going to have a nice smelling pantry anyways.
6. Glue traps.
Glue traps are small, flat traps covered with an adhesive. The smell attracts mice to them, and when they wander on to the trap, they get stuck. Since these kinds of traps don’t kill the mice right away like traditional mousetraps do, they are often thought of as cruel or inhumane.
Considering glue traps are not overly effective, either, there are better options than using them. Also, if you choose to use these, make sure that your children and pets cannot find them.
7. Apple cider vinegar.
If you think mice are coming in through your foundation, it helps to sprinkle some apple cider vinegar and water mixture around your home. Using a half-gallon of apple cider vinegar and two gallons of water, sprinkle the grass around your home with the mixture in a gardening jug. Do this a few times a month for best results. The strong smell of the apple cider vinegar will soak into the ground around your home and repel mice from breeding around the foundation of your home.
The key thing in getting rid of mice is to closely monitor spaces and holes around your home – few holes are too small for a mouse to get through, so none can be overlooked.
Cover these holes up immediately when you find them, and set up traps around the area right away. Eliminating these spaces when you find them will both keep more mice from coming in, and will prevent the mice already in your home from nesting in hard-to-reach places.
For mice already in your home, there are a handful of ways to get rid of them, but few are humane – if you are looking for an effective repellent to use, peppermint oil is the most effective way to do it. It can be a time consuming process, but you’ll be much happier when you’ve managed to kick the rodents out of your house. Best of luck!