If one mouse has taken up residence in your home, you can almost be guaranteed that it isn't alone and that you have a real problem. The chances are great that the mouse has a family. A mouse can have between 30-60 babies each year; they are capable of mating and reproducing when only six weeks old. If you have spotted a mouse in your home, you should act quickly before an infestation occurs. Once you have rid your home of the rodent, you should inspect regularly for droppings to ensure they have not returned. Here's how to get rid of mice.
- The first step is prevention. Check your home and plug any openings you may find that a mouse could use to enter your home. Don't assume the holes have to be large, either. Mice have been known to squeeze into a hole that is 1/4 inch wide. Check around your pipes, doorways, attic, crawl space, vents, radiators and even deep inside your cabinets and closets. A good temporary product to use when plugging holes is steel wool. Mice are unable to chew through it. You should go back and fill cracks and holes with a silicon caulk. This step will create some rodent control and prevent the situation from getting worse.
- Remove anything that would be a nice gathering place for mice. This includes boxes of old newspapers, magazines and just piles of junk. You should also remove any debris and "junk" from your attic, garage or outside sheds (mice use these places for food and housing).
- If you have a compost bin on your property, you should make sure that it's maintained and turned frequently. It is best to have your compost bin elevated off of the ground using blocks. This will discourage mice from setting up residence.
- If you have a wood pile, you should make sure that it is not propped against your home. A wood pile is a favored "hang-out" of mice, so try to keep yours away from your house.
- Try to groom the shrubs that are planted around your home's foundation, trimming them off of the ground. Overgrown bushes and vines are a perfect place for mice to hide. You should also be mindful of any plant you have that is used as a groundcover, inspecting it regularly for mice infestation.
- Make sure that any unrefrigerated or unfrozen food is put inside a metal container. This includes pet food.
- Keep a lid on your trash containers, both indoor and outdoor cans.
- If you want to use glue or snap mouse traps, place them in areas where a mouse would run. This includes along baseboards, around the inside walls of your home and behind your appliances.
- If you choose to use a mouse poison, be sure to follow the directions. When small children or pets are part of your household, you may want to stick to glue or snap traps.
- You also have the option of using non-lethal mice traps, if you are the type who hates to see anything killed -- even a pest.
- There are rodent repellents on the market, which you can also use to deter mice from taking up living quarters in and around your home.
- Get a house cat!
So, now you know how to control mice from getting in your home. Whether you choose to use rodent repellent, poisen or traps, prevention is always the first and easiest way to repel mice. Good luck!