Getting Rid Of Mice
A Guide To Preventing and Getting Rid of Mice
Getting rid of mice can be tough, but certainly not impossible. Some people find them rather cute, while they strike terror in the hearts of others. Most people agree, though, that mice do not make for good housemates (excluding pet mice, of course). In any case, time is of the essence and you’ll want to act fast before your furry guests take over. Left unchecked, mice will very quickly shred boxes and papers with no regard for sentimentality or value. Many a person suffering from a mouse infestation has been horrified to find that priceless photographs and important documents have been turned into nesting material for teeming hordes of rodents.
Mice are small furry creatures with beady black eyes, disproportionately large ears, and long tails. There are many species of mice, but in suburban areas the house mouse – or Mus musculus, is usually the culprit when it comes to home infestation.
This variety of mouse is believed to have immigrated to North America along with early European settlers, though they are originally from Asia.
Your first line of defense against mice is to secure your home. Mice are very small, and can gain entry to your house through very small cracks and holes. Inspect your home thoroughly, looking in the back of your cabinetry, under porches, in attics and basements, and anywhere else a mouse might be able to infiltrate. Any opening more than ¼” across should be filled or blocked. You can use caulking or another type of crack sealant. Make sure to seal around openings for cables and pipes coming in from outside, too.
Check to see that windows, doors, and screens fit properly too. This will help to keep out mice, as well as other pests – and it can help lower your energy consumption by minimizing heat/cold loss.
The next thing you must do to prevent mouse infestation at your home is to make sure that you keep it clean and organized. While a mouse invasion can happen no matter how clean your house is, it’s much more likely to happen in a dirty one. This is because mice can subsist on even tiny bits of residue from food and drinks, and love to nestle among piles of clothing or trash.
Once you have mice in your house, take action immediately. Mice reproduce rapidly and before long, you’ll have entire colonies of these uninvited guests. In only one year a single female mouse can produce up to 60 offspring. These babies reach maturity in only a couple of months and then begin reproducing themselves. A mouse population grows exponentially and explodes beyond control rapidly.
The most natural way of getting rid of mice is by trapping them. The traditional mousetrap, also known as a “snap trap,” is a non-toxic way to catch and remove mice. This kind of trap, while effective, is usually not sufficient to stop a serious infestation.
Another way to go about getting rid of mice is with poison. You can purchase kits at most home improvement stores that bait the mice with some attractive scent but contain chemicals that are deadly to the mice. Adults nibble on these poisons and take them back to the others in the colony. This is an effective way to rid your home of more mice, more quickly. There are, of course, drawbacks to this method as well. The pesticides in these traps are toxic to pets and people, so use extreme caution. Another consideration is that the mice will die in your home and will have to be removed – and you’ll need to monitor your pets to make sure they don’t ingest a poisoned mouse.
Getting rid of mice takes time, and can be frustrating. If you feel overwhelmed, call in a pest control expert.