Are mice trying to make their way inside your home?
It’s very likely: winter is almost here. Mice generally live outdoors, but they don’t hibernate. That means, when the weather turns cold, they spend the winter looking for warmth, shelter, and food. And guess what? Your home has all three. As a result, your house or apartment looks very, very inviting.
If you’ve already seen one or more mice inside your home, you want to get rid of them ASAP. And if you’ve spent any time Googling the problem, you’ve most likely found a lot of “tips,” “tricks,” and “hacks” to get rid of mice.
Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation out there. Not all of the solutions you find online will actually get rid of your rodent problem. To help you separate fact from fiction, we’ve listed out the mouse solutions that work—and the ones that don’t.
Let’s get started!
Mouse “Solutions” That Are Anything But
It’s true that poor sanitation attracts mice. After all, they’ll eat your crumbs; they don’t care if they’re dirty! However, that doesn’t mean that cleaning solves a mouse problem by itself. That’s not to say you shouldn’t clean: you should, since it will make your home less attractive to mice. However, don’t expect a thorough scrubbing to get rid of a mouse infestation. Mice can survive on a few crumbs a day, so you won’t be able to starve them out.
Makers of ultrasonic devices promise that these devices will, essentially, “annoy” the mice into leaving your house. They promise that the waves (or sometimes beeps) that the devices emit will drive the mice away; unfortunately, this is one product that doesn’t live up to its claims. If you rely on an ultrasonic device to get rid of your mouse problem, you can expect to still have mice come spring.
Like ultrasonic devices, essential oils are supposed to drive the mice away. Sellers of essential oils claim that essential oils irritate a mouse’s sensitive nose so much that they leave the home; however, this just isn’t true. Mice might not enjoy the scent, but sprinkling your home with peppermint oil won’t get rid of them. They’ll simply move somewhere else in your home that isn’t quite so smelly.
“Just get a cat!” say some online articles. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. Aside from the simple fact that you might not want, have space for, or be allowed a cat in your home—not all cats are adept at mouse hunting. Sure, outside cats and barn cats are practiced mousers, but your average pampered house cat? Not so much. In addition, even cats that are good at hunting mice can’t solve an infestation on their own. They just can’t reach all the areas where mice can hide.
Mouse Solutions That Actually Work
Closing Entry Points
Rodent-proofing your home won’t solve an infestation, but it will stop an infestation from spreading, and it will prevent future infestations. This makes it an important first step in your mice elimination plan.
Where should you start? Look for cracks, gaps, and openings in your foundation and walls and near utility vents and pipes. Also make sure your doors and windows have good weatherstripping. Make sure to close up any gaps where you can fit in a pencil: mice can squeeze through openings just 1/4 of an inch wide!
We recommend using steel wool or caulk to do this—not wood or plastic (mice can chew through these).
Mouse Traps (with a few caveats)
Mouse traps can be a good way to get rid of a smaller rodent infestation; however we don’t recommend it for larger infestations. Why? Because it can sometimes take half a dozen mouse traps to finally catch one mouse. Scale that up to deal with a large infestation, and well, you can imagine! You can’t live in a house covered in mouse traps.
Furthermore, there is a right way and a wrong way to use mouse traps. Do so incorrectly and you’ll still have a mouse problem. Here are our tips:
- Place traps anywhere you’ve seen mice or mouse droppings. (They don’t travel far from food sources or nests.)
- Place traps right by the walls (where mice naturally run) at a perpendicular angle, with the trigger facing the wall.
- Use several different types of traps (like the classic wooden traps, glue traps, live traps, etc.) in case the mice have gotten “wise” to one type.
- Change the location of the traps slightly every several days if the mice aren’t biting.
- Use good bait, like peanut butter, cheese, chocolate, oatmeal, rice, or dried fruit.
- Change the bait every few days if the mice aren’t taking it.
Bait stations involve using little packages of pellets or other food that are attractive to mice. Mice gnaw through the package with their sharp teeth, eat the food, and then die.
Bait stations are useful in that they don’t rely on the mouse triggering a trap (like a mouse trap); however, they are best handled by someone who has experience with rodent elimination. That’s because bait stations—since they involve poison—can be dangerous around children and pets. It’s important to ensure that the only thing harmed by the bait is the mouse. A professional will also know the proper manner on how and where to use the baits.
Need Help? Call Us Today
If you’re having trouble getting rid of the mice in your home, we can help. Call us today to talk to a pest expert!
Contact Scherzinger Pest Control, a trusted pest control company in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas, including Dayton, OH, and now Columbus, OH. We’ve been pioneers, engineering new standards for ways of eliminating and controlling bugs and pests. Contact us by phone at 1-888-681-1925 or through our website, Facebook, orTwitter.